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cliftonIt doesn't take much more than the sound of some decent grub and strong drink to raise Hot Dinners' interest, and the idea of a pop-up Gin Garden certainly has our name all over it. It's a drinks/food event popping up for Christmas in Maida Vale at Clifton Nurseries.

The people behind it are the aptly-titled The Gin Garden who together with The Wandering Chef will be running a cafe at this well-to-do garden centre in Little Venice. Breakfast dishes will include Bircher muesli with Barberis (optional Argot Oil booster) and homemade Gravlax with rare pickled Cucamelon. And lunch could be Spiced Butternut Squash Soup with Diced Pork Belly and Chilli Cress, Leg of lamb with Celeriac Gratin, Peas & Radish salad or a warm Salad of Ham Hock, Shaved Heritage Apple and Roated Yam.

Even better will be the drinks side of things with martinis of bergamot, saffron and spiced pear; orange blossom gin and tonics; lavender royals; and hot chocolates with your choice of extra warmth (chilli or a shot of spicy rum).

It all sounds lovely, and the one downer is that the project will only be open during the day. So either turn up for lunch and settle in for the afternoon, or pop along at the weekends. We quite like the idea of getting gently sozzled and then buying a 10 foot Christmas tree that's patently too big to fit past our front door.

The Gin Garden at Clifton Nurseries will open on Saturday 1st December and will run until 23rd December 2012. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday - 08:30 to 17:30 and Sunday 11:00 to 17:00.


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