Tredwells: fabulous plant-based menu and upcycled cocktails in central London
Going to Tredwells is not only a very tasty night out, but also an education in and of itself. You have to go in with some curiosity, though, because you could easily miss things if you didn’t ask. The subtle PB marking on the drinks menu is apparently familiar to Tredwells regulars, but was new to me. It stands for plant-based, which came as a surprise on a drinks menu, but, as our very friendly waitress, Helen, explained to us, this was due to the various animal products often used to filter wines and beers that meant many of them weren’t plant-based.
I was also surprised to find a Spanish wine on tap. The last time I had wine on tap was in Argentina on my gap year when wine on tap was synonymous with large quantities of very cheap wine. I think we paid the equivalent of 50p for a litre of it! But here again, we were educated by Helen. This particular wine is grown from a grape variety that originates in Germany but is no longer grown there, so the Spanish winegrower has started cultivating it so that it doesn’t die out. The reason it comes on tap (in a keg-like barrel that can be resealed) is to reduce the number of glass bottles needed to distribute it. Chantelle, the chef-owner of Tredwells, is passionate about reducing waste.
We opted for the tasting menu, which was wonderful because I knew that we could sit back and relax without having to stress over our choices. The only problem with tasting menus is that often they fill you too full, but Tredwells has got this just right. Both of us were able to send back clean plates with every course and polished off a beautifully light and fluffy chouxnut (not doughnut!) with tangy, gold-leaf encrusted plums to finish perfectly replete and able to enjoy the rest of our wine.
It’s worth arriving a little early to sample some of their cocktails at the bar. My friend, typically, was already chatting up the barman and enjoying a Smoked Whiskey Sour when I arrived slightly late because I’d managed to cycle straight past the entrance and get lost a few metres away! His drink was divine (I tried it myself), perfectly balancing the smokiness, the sourness, and the underlying whiskied sweetness, it was by far and away the best Whiskey Sour I’ve had.
Not to be outdone by him, I ordered a Farmer’s Friend, which is a fantastic concept that I think all bars should offer – an upcycled cocktail of by-products from elsewhere in the bar or kitchen. I don’t remember everything that was in it, but gooseberries for sure. It was refreshingly tart and tangy, like a fruit sherbert. I loved the fact that neither cocktail was too sweet – always my bugbear for cocktails.
If you’re wondering where to try next, I would recommend taking a look at Tredwells. They have a wide array of plant-based and high-welfare meat options making creative use of seasonal produce as well as kitchen surplus.