Wow, what a trip! Some of you know that I’ve been travelling around the south of England and visiting various Tequila hotspots on the coast. My first stop was Bournemouth and it was divine! Who knew that you could have a holiday within England?? The beach was stunning with soft sand and gorgeous views. So you don’t need to travel around the world to have that Mexican feeling! Of course nothing beats the real thing but it’s certainly a great start!
Throughout my time in the Tequila scene I’ve heard heaps about Ojo Rojo Mezcaleria in Bournemouth. It did not disappoint! What a delightful place! The décor, the atmosphere and the selection was fantastic! It’s such a pleasure seeing people so passionate about the Mexican spirit (and spirits of course!).
They even have a book entirely dedicated to their impressive selection of agave spirits, explaining varieties, production and the individual brands. Simply excellent and would hugely recommend anyone going there! If I lived closer I would probably be a strong regular… One day, maybe!
The food was excellent too, and it is certainly not easy to find authentic dishes in England. The ceviche in particular was divine!
My next stop was Eden, fabulous little secret! They are an outside bar which can of course be covered up so you can still enjoy the outside whether it rains or shines. They have just given their backbar a little refurb too, expanding their selection of spirits. With a lovely team behind it, the bar is a must see for a cheeky tipple or two.
After being recommended to see the guys at 1812 at the Royal Exeter I took my trusty bag and introduced myself, to which I was surprised when the bartender said ‘Word is about that you are in town’! How absolutely splendid! The bar is really swish, and I felt a tad underdressed but they welcomed me with open arms and eagerly tried my offerings. Joe, who was working the bar, even made a few drinks for me using some of my products:
La Medida Espadin built with fresh lime, Tekali Almond Liqueur and topped with ginger beer and some good old fashioned angostura bitters – so easy and so good!
The second one was La Medida Espadin shaken with a dash of fresh lime, honey and yellow Chartreuse – herbaceous and delicious!
Whilst there, more and more bartenders and managers from other bars in town accrued which is always a great sign! If you fancy a well made quality drink I hugely recommend trying this gem out with a very knowledgeable team.
After meeting a chap from Level8, Skybar at 1812 I had to go see him of course. What a view! Located at the top floor of a hotel you will be greeted with not only a wonderful view, beautiful setting and a lovely team but also a nice array of spirits including a healthy dose of Tequila! But there’s never enough of the good stuff, right?
Afterwards I headed towards the beach to see the Urban Beach, predecessor of Urban Reef. Also within a hotel and as with Level8, everyone is welcome! Here I met a wonderful girl who had just come back from travelling Asia and she told me that the only thing she missed when there was Tequila! Music to my ears! She tasted, we talked, it was good! A lovely bar that makes you feel on holiday somewhere far away…
Finally my last stop in Bournemouth, or rather Southbourne, was the Larder House. Another recommendation and I will certainly recommend further and tell you all to check it out! They have a lovely Library upstairs that sends you to another time. Sit down with a book, a wonderful cocktail, created inhouse and just relax, letting the bartenders take you on a journey. What more can I say? Jim, who happily saw me, despite me dropping in unannounced, told me all about the story of the Library and the Larderhouse and was keen to learn more about the items in my little bag. Already having a vast knowledge of Agave spirits, he enjoyed my booze, which made me happy!
All in all: go to Bournemouth! What a splendid and happening place full of keen people who show real passion in what they do and can guarantee you a great night out. What’s more is that despite Ojo Rojo being the most authentic Mexican bar & restaurant in the area, I guarantee that the Tequila & Mezcal scene is booming there too, with loads of bars and bartenders insisting on a good backbar selection of agave products!
See you soon!!