Heard it through the grapevine: an underground olive grove at Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Café brings a slice of Sorrento to Southwark
Hidden in the depths of Southwark is an unlikely porthole to the Amalfi coast, at a new Olive Grove pop-up at Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Café.
Union Street Café is not a café, but in fact a large urban restaurant and bar with an Italian-inspired menu. This Spring, it is hosting an immersive pop-up experience that celebrates the small but potent olive with a curious cocktail and bar snacks menu, inspired by the spherical fruit.
The industrial, basement bar has been transformed into an Instagram-friendly, enchanted garden, bedecked with a twinkling canopy of entangled vines, olive trees and crawling bougainville. Wrought iron and wooden tables and chairs are lit by twinkling candles and hanging lanterns for a beguiling setting, infused with laidback Italian glamour.
The cocktail menu features two contrasting extra virgin olive oils hailing from Puglia. Oil in a cocktail? I know, but stay with me. Drinks are expertly blended in partnership with MARTINI for a refreshing, pun-heavy menu of summer spritzers, splashed with olive oil for a silky, fragrant twist. The innovative concept has been devised by bar manager, Davide Degiovanni, who runs through the menu with expertise and panache.
The Oliver Spritz is a zesty, long drink that mixes MARTINI bianco, lemon juice, prosecco and a drop of Leccino oil, perked up by a hit of Brazilian Cachaça. It is a cooling, post-work concoction that pairs well with an enticing menu of small bites that includes creamy goats cheese and walnuts perched on toast; a large, fluffy cloud of buffalo mozerella mousse; plump olives and spicy salami, bathed in rich virgin oil.
Elsewhere, the Olive Garden cocktail is a vibrant blend of violet and elderflower liqueurs, stirred with gin and MARTINI dry for a sweet, light libation. Bloody Mary aficionados must try the Smoky Tomato Oil, a light but intense variation on the traditional red zinger that pairs slow-simmered tomato sauces with vermouth, dark rum and bitters.
Warmth, with a dash of old school Italian glamour, permeates this pretty Italian set-up, bolstered by a convivial team of friendly waiting staff. You may be in Southwark, but you’ll feel like you’re perched on the Amalfi coast. Saluti!