Feeling left out of Shakespeare week? Never fear, we have a treat in store for hardened Shakespeare fans…
This week is Shakespeare Week, where all across the land school children are being introduced to and immersed in the wonderful world of Shakespeare. This is a national, week-long celebration to encourage a new generation of Shakespeare lovers and includes various activities, performances and even a broadcast of Love’s Labour’s Lost directly into primary schools.
As a team of writers and lovers of literature, it goes without saying that we at Fed Up & Drunk are all huge fans of the witty bard and need no encouragement to celebrate his life and works. Robert Graves was dead on the money when he said: “The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he really is very good, in spite of all the people who say he is very good.”
In honour of Shakespeare Week and of a bard who was known to frequent a bar or two, we have discovered a few Shakespeare-inspired venues for adults!
A music and arts pub that has been running for over 100 years and has survived a typhoid epidemic and two world wars, The Macbeth has the staying power and resilience of a true Shakespearian character. Down a small side street in Hackney, The Macbeth is very much its own place and isn’t afraid to adorn bare stone walls with cool murals, light the way with a mixture of vintage lamps, fairy lights and brightly coloured globes, and when it comes to entertainment this joint is clearly King. Hosting everything from Beyonce and Folk nights to some awesome alternative rock n’ roll, those who visit always return. What’s your poison? Try a signature Southside Hoxton when you get to the bar: spiced gin fresh lime, mint, gomme syrup and an egg white. When the hurly burly’s done and when the battle’s lost and won, The Macbeth will certainly be on the cards for next Saturday night!
Midsummer Common, on the banks of the river Cam is a setting worthy of a Midsummer Night’s Dream. In fact in the summer it’s easy to imagine faeiries dancing among the apple trees and wild flowers, playing tricks on unsuspecting punters. Midsummer House glitters with Michelin stars and the menu at the restaurant would please even the fussiest Titania. Those pretty apple trees are more than just a vision, they play a key part on the menu, as Daniel Clifford carefully incorporates them into his signature dish: scallop, truffle and apple. It’s easy to fall head over heels for Midsummer House, without succumbing to any magic spell.
Oh what a noble mind can be o’erthrown by a Hamletini! Make mine a Chocolate Martini and cover my palate with Cold River vodka, hazelnut and Mozart Black liqueur topped with fresh cream and chocolate. The cocktails at London’s The Hamlet are renowned throughout the land and the lengthy list provides enough choice for a real cocktail connoisseur. Warm and cosy, The Hamlet is definitely a place to bring your friends for a hearty catch up and a few tipples. Order one of the platters so everyone can get stuck in – the mezze platter is particularly good with chicken goujons, artichoke dip, chorizo, crispy courgette fries, goat’s cheese, grilled vegetables and olives and dips. Fit for a king, I’d say.
It may be the green eye’d monster that mocks the meat it feeds but you’ll find no jealousy within these walls – just steak and fine Greek cuisine. Steak probably would have been scarce on Shakespeare’s own menu, but here at the Othello taverna and steak house it is celebrated and the menu will have your mouth watering. Fresh sea bass, rack of lamb, scallops and Stilton sirloin steak all vie for attention on the delicious menu and the laid-back refined atmosphere makes it a an ideal spot for a meal for two. With glowing reviews from all walks of life, The Othello Taverna is a destination of choice for many in the Upminster area.
You can’t get any closer to Shakespeare than this. The Swan is located at Shakespeare’s original stage The Globe in London with stunning views over the Thames and St Paul’s cathedral. Actors who have starred in notable Shakespeare plays – we’re thinking specifically of David Tennant and his moving portrayal of Hamlet – have frequented The Swan. Unsurprising given the quality of the food here really. Seared mackerel with Jerusalem artichokes, braised gem and salsa verde? Yes please. Elderflower jelly with gooseberry compote just sounds like a dish you would find Oberon tucking into.
Many a happy couple have aptly tied the knot at The Romeo and Juliet Inn, a pretty inn nestled in rolling Scottish countryside and those who visit just for supper soon find themselves in love with the place. If you’re looking for an escape from the world and every day stresses, there can be no better place to retreat to. On the cusp of Scotland’s largest regional park: the Clyde Muirshiel, you can really lose yourself in the beauty of the Scottish wilds – explore and adventure before dining on hearty homemade fare at The Romeo and Juliet Bistro.
Shakespeare would be proud to have his name attached to such a distinguished establishment, serving up quality British fare. Everything that graces The Shakespeare’s menu has been sourced responsibly and within the British Isles and the team here are dedicated culinary performers. If, by chance, you are heading to the theatre, I’d highly recommend indulging in the pre-theatre meal. If hot smoked local ham with bubble and squeak, pea purée and redcurrant sauce followed by a popping Eton Mess Knickerbocker Glory (yes, that’s right!) sounds right up your street, you know where to go.