The Hoxton Pony saddles up in Shoreditch

Posted on 07 October 2009

By Jessica Ainlay

Paint on your skinniest of skinny jeans, kids, and giddy up, we’re going to the Hoxton Pony in Shoreditch. The Hoxton Pony is a 400 capacity restaurant and bar with gastropub ‘East End Grub’ in one of London’s trendiest of areas. Trendy can sometimes means ‘tries too hard’, and Shoreditch is coping with its growing popularity, with owners trying to find the right balance of originality, creativity and passion. The Hoxton Pony is no exception and have found just the right balance. The venue is minimalist modern, sleek in design, though with a strange taxidermy case behind the bar, while the downstairs very much has a simple, gray, industrial-feel dance floor.
The staff runs the place with such passion, you’d think they each own the place. The menu (both cocktails and food) contains completely original bites and drinks, each item created with individual zeal.
So often with food nowadays in Britain, you hear the moniker Modern British, which is often a way to make clear that it is not the stereotypically gross grub of yesterday. And for the most part, British food is miles better than it once was. But The Hoxton Pony takes classic British staples and inventively modernises them.
Bubble and Squeak , a traditional breakfast fry -up, comes out in the form of fried balls great for popping. Welsh rarebit comes individually made on slices of homemade bread; pies and mash served in healthy portions and (sustainable) fish and chips are made with love and were being wolfed down at the table to the right by 4 very fashion-friendly boys.
Forget tea at the Ritz and head to the Hoxton Pony’s afternoon tea party, which uses a Hoxton-Pony-patented self-cooling fusion tea pot to serve some of the most delicious cocktail mixed, poured into self-designed platinum-plated tea cups, set round the table, complete with Sandwich tray filled with the ‘modern British’ bite-size munchies straight from the menu.
The cocktails and drinks are made with the most passion by a team led by the current UK Bartenders Guild champion. The menu is a constantly evolving 30-strong menu of Hoxton Pony-created cocktails using organic, British produce. This means (with the admitted exception of lemons and limes) you won’t find any drinks on the menu with passionfruit, starfruit, or even pineapple, as the Hoxton Pony uses only fruits (and vegetables) which grow in the UK, and the bar stocks locally brewed beers like Meantime (as in Greenwich Meantime, brewed right in London).
It’s not just the local produce – the Pony’s got a proper conscience. No fancy bottled water here – tap water is served both sparkling and still, and waterless urinals have been installed, saving 590,000 liters of water a year.
Feeling fine about your do-gooder deeds (with help from the cocktails and the ‘tea’) the dance floor downstairs lets you dance the night away with top London and international DJs mixing up electro, ska, classic soul and vintage soundtrack hits.
The waiter described it as West End service in an East End location. I say, forget service with a smile, Hoxton Pony offers service with a passion in a place so cool, it could whip Urkel into Dizzee Rascal.

The Hoxton Pony
104-108 Curtain Road
London EC2A 3AH

Categorized | Eat & Drink

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