The Shrub and Shutter, Brixton
Every so often a venue will come along that simply blows your socks off. The Shrub and Shutter has done just that and I’d even go so far as to crown it my best new bar of 2014. Tea lights flicker invitingly ushering you in from the early evening darkness and an unassuming shop front belies the wondrousness of what lies within. Part botanical workshop, part bookish hipster cafe, Chris Edwards and Dave Tregenza have furnished this place expertly with a keen eye for detail that doesn’t go unappreciated and the result is akin to the Danish concept of ‘hygge’, roughly translating as ‘cosy’ meaning you feel welcome to spend hours here. Perfect place to bring a date then.
Food and drink geeks, behold! There is a new altar in town. The Shrub and Shutter offer so much variety, weekly changing specials and just about a tonne of passion. For him, try the ‘deer hunter’ cocktail (tincup bourbon, orange, SotE smoking pipe bitters, capovilla tabacco amarone and birch sap), it comes served with a mouthful of venison. For her, how about the ‘harler vin’ (tito’s handmade vodka, the crusher pinot noir, fresh lemon, vanilla sugar and plum bitters) served with frozen grapes. Both are perfection, much like everything we tried on the menu. The ‘owl and the pussycat’ comes served with a teeny tiny cheeseboard which is delectable and the perfect accompaniment. There is also a great list of bar snacks including a sumptuous chicken liver parfait served with sauternes jelly and toast.
Brixton is the perfect date location given its eclecticism and bold personality. The Shrub and Shutter is the newest addition to the scene but may find itself featuring in any number of future Brixton date permutations. You could visit the latest exhibition at the Black Cultural Archives and afterwards head down Coldharbour lane for a sneaky cocktail and some exceedingly delicious bar snackettes. Or, why not make early evening reservations and have supper and a few cocktails before catching a movie at the Ritzy cinema for some romantic back row action, popcorn-stuck-to-your-top notwithstanding. Alternatively, dine elsewhere, maybe in Market Row or Brixton village, but bring your date to Shrub to impress them with the cocktail of their lives. A nice time to visit would be an evening midweek or even a Saturday afternoon, when you are likely to have the bar all to yourselves, and the friendly staff can really lavish their attention on you. It’s a great spot and you will certainly win all kind of cool points for bringing your date here so what are you waiting for?
All I will say is good things come in small packages.