Located inside The Other House South Kensington is London’s latest must-visit hotspot, the Owl & Monkey. It is a bar focused on sustainability, with an extraordinary interior, one-of-a-kind signature cocktails, and equally exciting non-alcoholic alternatives.
We’re always pleased to be writing pieces on new places where considerable effort has been placed, not only on service and offerings but also on how something looks and the ambience it creates, and The Owl and Monkey, a brand new cocktail bar in South Kensington, fits that description. And it’s not only in the beauty stakes where the Owl & Monkey deserves a Doff of the Hat; its entire menu of cocktails and small plates is underpinned by sustainability – driving an innovative use of local and seasonal produce.
Opulence & Exotic Design
Discretely tucked away behind the façade of 11 grand, Victorian townhouses is the Owl & Monkey. Once you step inside, you’ll find yourself inside a fantastical world, containing exotic jungle-like wallpaper to cut-bronze mirrored walls and extravagant leaf-like lighting that casts a golden glow over the evening.
In addition, it also boasts jade marble floors, beautiful restrooms and a rich red leather bar, and the contrasting animal prints and patterns increase the feeling of opulence and exoticism. The centre stage to all of this is the open atrium, offering tree top views and tantalising glimpses into life going on in the residents and members club below.
Alcohol-Free Without Compromise
The Owl & Monkey offer a range of innovative cocktails, many of which have equally delicious alcohol-free alternatives, created by Head Barman Flavio Russo and his expert mixology team. Tapping into the rising demand for low-or-no ABV beverages, with more than 30% of young people in the UK claiming to be teetotal, the team created a series of signature cocktails with hangover-free alternatives to meet the needs of health-conscious residents and locals.
Utilising an array of local, seasonal, and surprising ingredients, an evolving menu of signature cocktails have been designed to tempt and delight. ‘Horse Play’ is a refreshing twist on an amaretto sour, available with a choice of alcohol-free Seedlip Spice 94 or Konik’s Tail Vodka, topped with espresso, amaretto, raspberry and beetroot cordial.
The must-try ‘Jungle Fever’ is a unique blend of The Other House Gin, Italicus, infused with fresh cucumber juice, Franklin & Son’s Ginger Ale, and chilli vinegar finished with a spicy, salted rim. This sweet and sour cocktail is also available alcohol-free with Seedlip Garden 108, an entirely moreish drink, which can be enjoyed guilt-free.
Mixing the classic with the avant-garde, ‘Orange Is the New Sour’ has been concocted to fulfil cocktail connoisseurs’ wildest dreams. Casamigos Mezcal and Aperol are served with freshly squeezed carrot juice, bold citrus, and English Breakfast tea and garnished with Ms Better’s Bitters Foamer. The refreshing result is also available alcohol-free using Everleaf Marine and Rock Samphire.
In addition to the Owl & Monkey’s signature and classic cocktails, a tempting menu of sharing plates is available to complement the drinks menu. Light bites such as Padron peppers in whipped feta, roasted aubergine in red miso, soy and sesame, and slow-cooked short rib of beef sliders are all served up against a backdrop of curated playlists and live DJ sets, transitioning comfortably from early evening to late at night.
Its drive to be sustainable
Sustainability underpins every decision that is made at the Owl & Monkey, as is evidenced by its minimal waste policy – from dehydrating discarded fruit and vegetable peels and transforming them into beautiful garnishes to utilising pulp and otherwise forgotten elements of fruit and veg and utilising them as purées for the base ingredient of cocktails.
There are no limes on the menu due to the carbon footprint. In its place is British buckthorn for a citrus kick and for a touch of the exotic pineapples, which have been supplier-vetted and are transported by boat once a month.
For more information on the Owl & Monkey, visit its website www.otherhouse.com.
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