17 August 2016

Heist Bank's offerings are criminally good

Picture this: you're planning your night out. You want something chilled - preferably a few bars, potentially a club, but you don't want to commit. But then when you're in the first place, you're loathe to move, but you don't want to feel like you missed out, etc etc. Nightmare, no?

The good news is, there's a solution. Huzzah! It comes in the form of Paddington's Heist Bank, a do-it-all hybrid of food, drink, flowers and... karaoke. Y'know, for when things get a little crazy and you have an insatiable urge to warble along to "We are never, ever, ever, getting back together" a la Taylor Swift. Or something.

I was invited to the launch a few months back and am happy to say I had a rather good time.

Upon entering, we were greeted with the most gorgeous bouquet of flowers from the talented ladies of Botanique. In addition to selling fresh flowers outside the restaurant every day, on the evening we had the chance to get stuck into a flower crown making workshop. And when I say "we", I mean my more creatively-inclined friend did the hard work, and I just took some snaps...

But more on that later!

As with any good launch night, the cocktails were flowing (we opted for the Dark & Stormy, so delicious) and the nibbles were a-plenty.

I'm easily pleased when it comes to cocktails, so the addition of a little flower to garnish meant I was already won over even before I'd taken a sip...

We couldn't resist the tempting smell of fresh dough and salsa, either.

Watermelon with labneh, sprinkled with toasted seeds; olive and cheese curd doughnuts; and our agreed personal favourite - n'duja croquettes with wild garlic mayo.

I need to talk a little bit about these croquettes, because really, they were something else. The n'duja was this creamy, tomato-ey sauce which literally oozed as you bit into the warm, crispy potato outer. Oh my gooooosh. So delicious. The garlic mayo took it up a notch, but I would have happily devoured them solo, too.

The combination of wood and cement could have made Heist a little... cold. But the furnishings, including the eye-catching pieces of art, break up the cavernous space and make it feel like you're in an edgy artist's condo in New York City.

My favourite was this double height light installation by Pure Evil (who is currently exhibiting in Shoreditch, btw), which leads you downstairs into the basement...

With squishy chairs and a football table simply begging to be played. Which we did, and I won. Soz, Sasha.

The basement can be hired out for private events/parties, and is where they hold karaoke (I'm pretty sure the walls are sound-proofed, so your singing (screeching? howling?) won't disturb other innocent customers. Pretty nifty, I know.

And when we were done exploring, we were lured upstairs again by the promise of wood-fired pizza.

The toppings were not your standard sort. We were treated to smoked sausage, hispi cabbage, chilli and smoked mozzarella (above), smashed peas, courgette, Rosary goat's cheese and mint (below, being cut) and three mushroom, burnt butter white sauce and tarragon. Phew! It was some seriously intense pizza tasting, but I can confirm that we both loved the sausage pizza the most (ha). The mushroom was amazing, but so rich that I could only enjoy it in a measured dosage.

Pretty much stuffed to the brim with canapes, pizza and cocktails, we settled down to enjoy the flower crown workshop.

The flowers were, obviously, beautiful. They also smelled incredible. But then again, I am very much your typical "BUY ME FLOWERS" kind of gal, so being surrounded by flowers put me in my happy place.

 The flower crown coming together. Too beautiful!

And the evening ended how all good evenings should end - sitting down, sipping a delicious cocktail, and smelling the... peonies. Which are better than roses, let's be honest.

Heist Bank is now open for your drinking, eating and flower-ful needs. Come for the food and drink, linger for the karaoke, and take home a beautiful bouquet. You can't go wrong.

**I was invited as a guest to Heist Bank in exchange for review, but all opinions expressed are my own.

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