Static bars are all well and good but we’ve got our eye on the plethora of lovingly refurbished vehicles doing the rounds this summer, ranging from a Rum Bus in London’s East End to a rescued library truck enlightening cocktail drinkers at the Edinburgh Fringe. Find out where they’re making their stops and get on board.
For rum in the sun: Appleton Estate Rum Bus
About to hit the road is the Appleton Estate Rum Bus. Yes it’s a bus and yes it’s filled with quality rum. Moreover, rather fittingly, it’s identical to the models that used to ferry the good folk of Jamaica around their island from 1948 until the late 1970s. This version is a 1966 Bristol original and we have to say it has been done up a treat. The first stop on its route will be in London on 1 August where ‘passengers’ can enjoy classic rum cocktails from Background Bars, the best in street food, chocolate pairing from Charbonnel et Walker’s chocolatiers and music from legendary label Phonica Records. After its two day stop it will head off to events around the country including Lounge on the Farm, Foodies Festival Edinburgh, Foodies Feast Battersea and London Cocktail Week.
For improving the mind: Hendrick’s Gin Mobile Academy of Alchemical Meanderings
The Mobile Academy of Alchemical Meanderings (MA’AM for short) is a rescued library bus. As such its roots are in improving the mind and Hendrick’s Gin is all for keeping with learning and enlightenment. Well, of a sort. Now restored by expert crafts people it has been transformed into a traveling parlour bar. On a mission to explore unusual locations and happenings around the British Isles it will reawaken and stimulate curious minds and palates. Inside visitors will be able to sit back on leather seats around a banqueting table or peruse the well-stocked library of curiosities, as well as savouring the alchemical wonders of Hendrick’s cocktails. MA’AM moves off first to Edinburgh for the Festival Fringe from 8 August.
For gin-spiration: Gin Bar at the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen
Don’t let the name fool you. This is no ordinary bar but a converted 1952 Citroën H van. The vehicle may be all Gallic charm but its cargo is decidedly English because gin’s the thing – ten varieties last time we counted. Admittedly it isn’t trundling around the country but when the sun shines just pull up one of the deckchairs that surround it, sip your G and T, and in the heart of Hyde Park close your eyes and imagine you’re actually in the heart of the countryside.
Open on sunny days only
Serpentine Bar & Kitchen, Serpentine Road, Hyde Park, W2 2UH. 020 7706 8114.
The Cocktail Lovers say:
If you really want to do cocktails and vintage vehicles in style the obvious thing to do is to get your very own London Routemaster. The Rosebery is a beautifully restored 1966 model with a very elegant, fully functioning cocktail bar on the lower deck. As for the upper deck that houses an extremely smart dining area complete with a reclining roof. Naturally. The Rosebery travels the country for festivals and functions, but can also be yours for that very special events.
This week we’re loving:
The Thinking Drinker’s Guide to Alcohol at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Wise quips and super sips from Tom Sandham and Ben McFarland, performing their fun and informative guide to smarter drinking (with free samples of six premium tipples and guaranteed belly laughs.) The Assembly Rooms, 54 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2LR.