6 October 2013

Hoxley & Porter

Caroline                 Mary

Here's another new little place for you to try if you fancy some homely, cockle-warming fare. Taking over from what used to be The Grand Union pub, Hoxley & Porter on Upper Street in Islington has recently opened its doors serving modern British food in rather quirky surroundings.

The restaurant area, we're told, is influenced by one half of the venue's name, Hoxley: an explorer 'who has broken away from his genteel English roots to discover the mysteries of Africa'. 'Porter' takes the name of the cocktail bar at the back, named after one of the most exquisite diamonds. The design team have gone all-out with bespoke wallpaper, jungle motifs and vintage furniture.

Although we didn't sample the cocktails that I've read good reviews about, we did have a couple of mocktails which were delicious. The barman actually came over to our table for feedback - I think they're still in that experimental phase which I always find quite exciting to be part of.

We were seated in the dimly lit restaurant area, surrounded by rhino heads and scorpions in jars. The music playing was 1920's and the atmosphere relaxed.

My starter choice wasn't a difficult one. I may have mentioned that I love a salad.  I went for the honey glazed goat's cheese salad with golden beetroot, pine nuts and balsamic reduction.

It sounds delightful and it was. There was a generous amount of cheese (always a deal breaker) and the beetroot was juicy and flavoursome.

Here is Mary...

...and here are Mary's seared scallops with celeriac puree, spinach, crispy bacon and truffle.

I had to have the hearty Pie of the Day for my main course - I find it hard to resist a pie when it's available. Today it was chicken and mushroom.

Although I prefer my pies encased in shortcrust pastry rather than topped with a flaky pastry lid, this pie was pretty nice.

The creamy filling was tasty and the chicken tender.  Not bad at all.

The 'baby' carrots I ordered on the side were massive!

I couldn't resist the sound of the Hoxley Sundae for dessert. Made with salted caramel and Chantilly Cream, it was unusual in that it was topped with red chilli and served in a beer glass. 

I was left a little disappointed. There was far too much cream and not enough of everything else. The vanilla panna cotta was lovely but unfortunately it was overshadowed by the honeycomb which was a little on the bitter side.

Overall though, we had a very pleasant meal in a cosy setting with friendly service. Good value for money too! I think this place could be really good once they've found their feet.

I reckon I'll be back to try the cocktails!

Hoxley & Porter
Bar Service
Waiter Service

Talking of cocktails, I may have mentioned that I'm avoiding them at the moment. I fancied a health-kick month in the run up to Christmas season so I'm holding back a bit on the big meals out and cutting out the booze. Two weeks down and two to go!

So sorry if this blog is a little quieter than usual over the next couple of weeks. Business will resume as normal before you know it. 

Already I can tell that it's going to be a fun run up to the festive season! 

In other news, I decided to cut my hair. I've had my hair long for a couple of years now and I thought it was time for a change. I have to admit I love having it shorter again!

I hope you're having a fantastic weekend!

Caz x

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  1. That goats cheese starter looks so delicious! Whenever I go out to eat, the first thing I always do is scout out the menu for anything that involves goats cheese. I'm so predictable!

    Lucy x The New Northerner

  2. Shame about the dessert!

    Everything else sounds lovely, the goatscheese salad especially, and the decor is amazing!

    Your hair looks great :)

    Hmm maybe...

  3. I love your hair short!! Looking forward to catching up when you're back on the bandwagon!

    Katie <3

    1. Thanks Katie! I hope you can make it on 19th :) x

  4. Rhino heads and scorpions in jars - sounds right up my street! Love the weird and wonderful. Good luck with the anti alcohol stint, I should really consider doing the same!

    I thought you also may be interested in posting some of your trips on www.triptease.com. They are a fantastic new website where you can upload some of your reviews and link back to your blog. I'm a little addicted!

    Ella x

    1. Oooh, thanks for the website suggestion - going to check it out! x

  5. Oo this place sounds pretty good! I'm like you.. I rather my pie encased rather than simply topped with pastry. Still looks pretty good though. So great that you're doing a alcohol free month! I need to do one after christmas and new years..

    Teffy { Teffys Perks Blog } X


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