Made in the Shade, Hoxton
Hoxton. I’m SO not Hoxton. I don’t date men with moustaches (caveat: Tom Selleck. Yes I went there) and I don’t like my menfolk to get away with skinnier jeans than I. The boy was running late, typical for a couple of dates in. I didn’t really know where the hell I was, geographically speaking, and I was starting to freak out. Hoxton Street is quiet, man. Is it always this quiet? Doubt it. I guess it was just a Wednesday. Still, there was a sense of being in the right place at the right time – like something excellent was about to happen.
Another girl rocked up outside the venue, clearly also waiting for someone. We started talking. Hit it off right away – don’t you just love it when that happens?! Girl crush. Finally, jogging on the approach, Himself arrived. I introduced him to my new friend. It wasn’t long before the other chap appeared and the four of us happily hustled inside out of the smoky night air.
Made in the Shade truly surprised me. It is an eclectic cultural mix: taking in the best of New Orleans and Jamaica (Patrick Williams is in the kitchen serving up some very interesting Caribbean nosh) by way of Dublin’s Temple Bar. Dreamed up by industry heavyweights Jeremy Thompson Jewitt, Jim Wrigley and Peter Lewis, this venue has all the elements of a one stop shop. A come-in-at-11am-to-get-a-hangover-brunch-and-get-sucked-in-for-the-rest-of-the-day kind of place. There’s a private dining room, beautiful garden, games room, plenty of space to chill out and delicious food/drink. All the wins. Oh and bankruptcy. But hey, what else are weekends for?!
Made in the Shade’s drinks list is a complete winner. The intellectual cocktails, each with its own cheeky spin, are not to be missed. Try the UFC (Ultimate F*cking Cocktail, which features a special drop of Guinness reduction), or the robust Leonard Fashioned (fun take on the Old Fashioned), or perhaps the Young Lady (Tequila, Crème de Peche, Blue Curacao, lemon juice and egg white), or the Shady Maid Lemonade if looking for something a little more delicate (Gin, lemon juice, cucumber juice, soda). The adventurous among you will delight in the additional ingredients: beetroot juice, bergamot syrup and St Germain Elderflower Liqueur. Also – check this out – the ice cubes are hand cut to be artfully employed in the creation of cocktails. Definitely unique. If, however, cocktails are not your thing then the wine list is very impressive and the beers on offer are not to be scoffed at. They also serve Guinness: SOLD.
The evening panned out thus: lil’ bit of tasty food, very nice drinks and lots to say in just the right setting. The music was subtle yet definitely present and I detected some excellent numbers during the (few) zone out moments. He is a good conversationalist; a bit ‘Devil’s advocate’ some might say but I like ‘em contrary and I definitely like him (Sssh!). It was an immensely enjoyable evening. Despite being the perfect place to get pissed together, talk sh*t for hours and stumble home hand in hand, it wasn’t a late one: I had to get back south of the river (in truth, being too far east scares the utter Bejesus out of me) and he had an interview the following day, but we both said next time. We’ll visit on a Sunday for the full MITS experience – splendid.
It’s not been open long, so remains to be seen. Seats are a little clustered around the bar; an unwelcomed obstacle between yourself and amazing cocktails. All in all, I expect great things from Made in the Shade – this could become Hoxton’s flagship venue.
4 – Potential to end very well. Comfortable/homely venue. Check. Well stocked bar. Check. Nice full belly. Check. Chemistry…