I don’t know about you, but life has been so busy lately. I am literally counting down the days until the summer break for the kids, where we can have a little bit of a break from routine is much needed. And what has been getting me through until the kids break up, has been a few evenings of doing things with friends, getting out of the house and just chatting the night away.
Last week my friend Maria and I were invited along to have dinner and drinks at Copper Leaf, a restaurant and gin bar in Hampton Wick (Kingston). It is literally just over the bridge, with plenty of different places to park nearby and to walk. We managed to find a car park that was free after 8pm, but the restaurant does do a two-hour free parking deal, where they will pay for your parking if you show them your car park ticket.
I was really impressed when we walked in. For starters, the frontage looks really classy and then when you walk in, it has some modern decor, making it look really stylish. Definitely a good spot for dinner or just drinks. Although not huge, there are plenty of places to sit. The staff were friendly, helpful, and attentive with questions that we had, and checked on things like food preferences and allergies (always a good thing to be asked, for me as a veggie).
There is a choice of menus, from a tasting menu to tapas, and there was a large drinks menu, including things like mocktails (the lycée and rose one was incredible). You can tell that it is labelled as a gin bar though, as there was a specific menu just for gin. You could choose one, that comes with eight small gin drinks, of all different types. Maria reliably informs me that it was amazing. It looked so pretty, that is for sure, with edible flowers, fruit peel, and so on. It was priced at £40, but if you had a few of you sharing, it works out at £5 for each gin, which is a fairly reasonable cost.
With a veggie and a meat eater there, we got to try a variety of different dishes from the tapas menu. They have a great range of vegan and veggie foods, which is really impressive, as well as plenty of meat and fish options.
We started with bread, padron peppers with chilli salt, and then Maria had meatballs, serrano ham croquettes, octopus, and cured salmon with beetroot and cucumber, all from the tapas menu. From the veggie / vegan options, I had tempura asparagus with poached egg, patatas bravas, manchego cheese croquettes, and chana masala with rice.
For dessert, we shared half a peanut butter cheesecake each, with miso ice cream and caramel sauce, and half a lavender and white chocolate panacotta each with berries. The both tasted good, but the ‘deconstructed’ cheesecake was definitely my favourite.
The presentation of all of the food was brilliant, and we both thought the food tasted great. There were lots of food combinations that we hadn’t tried before, but they really worked (hello, pickled walnuts). The portions, as we were eating from the tapas menu, were actually pretty generous, so there will be plenty if there was a few of you to get a couple of dished each and share around. For that, I think you do get value for money, as each dish is about £5.
I haven’t really ventured that much ‘over the river’ in Kingston before, but I definitely would again. The location is good, the food was good, the service was excellent, and the selection of drinks was fantastic. So I could see myself going back even just for drinks another time. It is a good spot for both, so I would definitely recommend popping in if you are in the area.
Copper Leaf, 5 High Street, Hampton Wick,
Kingston Bridge, Kingston upon Thames
Tel: 0208 943 4502
It would be great to hear what you think. Have you even been to Hampton Wick or Kingston before?
*we dined as guests of Copper Leaf, but all words and opinions are our own. I would only recommend something that I would be happy to pay for myself.