The Cut is one of London’s amazing gastro streets – like Dean Street or Upper Street or Kingsland Road – veritable gourmet gold. And it sounds cool too. It has Meson Don Felipe with its amazing Spanish tapas and live music; the Anchor & Hope , sister resto to Great Queen Street and full of huge sharing plates of rabbit and beef and lamb and tumblers of wine; and Baltic just round the corner on Blackfriars Road with its gorgeous interior and cocktails and Polish food. Its the perfect cultured night out – pre-theatre meal followed by a night at the Old Vic or the Young Vic just along the road. So last week I went along with The Chef, Pipalippa and assorted friends to grab a bite to eat and watch Vernon God Little at the Young Vic, which I’d been meaning to go to for ages (it’s on until 12 March so you may still be able to catch it).
Baltic sticks in my mind for several reasons – its absolutely gorgeous inside, really romantic and light and an amazing room, has wonderful cocktails, really lovely service with an adorable waiter and beautifully light and interesting food. Although I’m a little biased as I lived in Praha for 6 months and a love of all things Central European has remained with me ever since.
The cocktails were amazing – the 1937 Clubland came with a glass of white port and a jug of vodka served on ice. The Polish Martini with bison grass vodka and honey and apple juice was absoutely delicious and served in a beautifully heavy cut-crystal glass that reminded me of the shops of Prague. The Chef loved the pork rillettes and I enjoyed my beetroot & smoked mackerel salad which felt light and healthy although they were incredibly stingy with the mackerel – more please! For mains I tried the grilled herring with celeriac mash & lingenberries - really light and tasty and when do you ever see herring on the menu? Pipallippa loved her ox tongue too.
If you can get a table before 7pm you can do the pre-theatre menu which is great value £15 for 2 courses. If you add a cocktail (about £10 each) and wine you’re talking £30 a head which is still decent. I really liked the food – it wasn’t perfect but for the cheapie theatre menu it was great. And I’d love to go back to make a proper night of it.
After stuffing ourselves with food and cocktails we headed to the Young Vic which was my first time there. It also has a great bar (above) and although it’s a lot bigger than my favourites Soho Theatre and the Barbican, it has a great intimate atmosphere and even our cheap seats (£15 each) had a brilliant view. Vernon God Little was excellent – after a slowish start, it swelled to a giant concerto of sofa-moving, soul-singing excellence about how easily we condemn others and trial by media. Some really brilliant acting, we’re so lucky in London. If you don’t manage to catch Vernon God Little then I’ve also heard good things about And The Rain Falls Down which sounds intriguing, and soaking wet, or there’s lots more coming up. I’m yet to try the Old Vic either which seems infinitely posher and more grown up, but I’d love to see Rattigan’s Cause Celebre with the wondeful Anne-Marie Duff. And War Horse - when oh when will I ever get to see War Horse!