Terra has all the magic to make your visit a perfect place to eat and drink in East London, offering a little something for everyone. Tucked away in a corner of Eataly’s labyrinth, Terra’s inviting art deco cocktail bar is a must-stop for an aperitif before dinner or a cheeky after-work drink. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Liverpool Street’s hustle and bustle add to the ambience at Terra and once there, you know you’re going to be happy to settle in for a while.
Try Terra’s botanical cocktails, inspired by the four elements of the earth and specially curated by Georgia Billing (Sexy Fish, finalist in Diageo’s World Class competition), with an emphasis on Italian produce: vermouths, grappa, and amaro (bitter) liqueurs. We were lucky enough to have mixologists extraordinaire and East London residents, Chanise and Elena creating our superb concoctions during our visit. If you’re a fan of Negronis then Il Bosco is a must-try, flavoured with Italian porcini mushrooms and infused with London dry gin. Or if you like to spice things up then the Arrabbiata, a fiery margarita with dried chilli and tomato infused Mescal is sure to hit the spot.
Once you’ve tried one or two (or three) of Terra’s exquisite cocktails, head into the restaurant with its open kitchen and wood-fired grill. The space continues to be welcoming and exudes a relaxed and buzzy vibe. The menu is seasonal and designed to showcase high-quality meat and fresh seafood, along with flavourful vegetarian dishes. Everything’s well-executed, the service is friendly, attentive and knowledgable. We decided a light red would suit pretty much all of the dishes we’d chosen and so we went with our waiter’s recommendation, the Langue Nebbiolo, an easy-drinking wine from the Piedmont region of Italy – so easy-drinking we later ordered a second bottle 🙂 Terra offers the longest Italian wine list in Europe outside of Italy, so we’ll be sure to try a new wine next time.
We were very happy we started with the Farinata, a traditional rosemary Ligurian pancake made from chickpea with caponata and basil pesto – great to share or perfect on its own as a light meal. The Tartare Di Tonno, tuna tartare with cucumber and green chilli sauce was light, fresh and zesty. We ordered a basket of Pane, a most excellent and generous selection of rustic onion loaf, focaccia Genovese and sourdough bread, served with extra virgin olive oil. We went on to polish off our mains: succulent slow roasted pork belly served with roast pototoes and a grilled swordfish steak, served with a bowl of Cornish leaf salad and gremolata. Since we still had some delicious bread to devour, we finished by sharing a plate of creamy Gorgonzola, dried fruits, honey and nuts. Who’d have thought four hours had passed us by since we were welcomed at the bar. We can see how Terra will fit into the neighbourhood landscape for years to come, it’s combination of first-class ingredients, wine, cocktails, friendly service and Italian passion is sure to win the hearts of many.
Eataly London, 135 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3YD
Emilia’s Wood Wharf serves up simple and satisfying food where you can dine in or go alfresco and enjoy the views across the water. Freshly made pasta is cooked in-house in various inviting ways in the open kitchen, where the chefs and staff are friendly and add a traditional, local feel to the place. It’s the perfect spot for a casual lunch or dinner with friends – maybe spark up some competition and while away the hours at the custom table bocce (Italian bowls) in the bar area. Marinated olives, tomato bruschetta or a plate of creamy burrata with sourdough bread is a great place to start, washed down with an Amaretto Sour or Negroni. Followed up by the must order, Truffled Cacio e Pepe or the 4-hour slow-cooked béchamel Bolognese, tossed through pappardelle. Just as delicious, vegan options include homemade pistachio and basil pesto with sautéed cherry tomatoes or homemade creamy walnut sauce with chestnut mushrooms. For dessert there’s the affogato with creamy mascarpone gelato, that’s worth ordering even if you’re full. If you have room, try Emilia’s signature Amaretto tiramisu; vanilla panna cotta with strawberries; homemade pecan caramel chocolate mousse or choose from a selection of 100% natural Italian gelatos.
12 George Street, Wood Wharf, London E14 9QG
Gloria is a gaudy welcome change to the restaurants we’re inundated with today, an antithesis to the stripped back industrial décor that fills every crevice of Shoreditch. Yes, the food is good but I say it’s more about the occasion, the atmosphere. Gloria is a big night out. It is somewhere to get dressed up, sip cocktails and savour the food, without worrying that your allotted time slot is up.
54-56 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3QR
Step into Cecconi’s from the hustle and bustle of Shoreditch and be transported to all-day Venetian brasserie, serving the best of northern Italian dishes in the classiest of settings. The decor is understated elegance, less is more, with wooden tables and chairs, allowing the fabulous food to speak for itself. While you get on with the business of choosing starters, order an aperitif – a Velluto, a cocktail of Bombay Sapphire, Chambord, lemon and Italicus, an aromatic liqueur of bergamot peel, lemons, chamomile, lavender and other botanicals. To eat, expect cicchetti – small snacks or side dishes, typically served in traditional bàcari, or bars, in Venice – and pizza and pasta, washed down with glasses of th e best wines Italy has to offer.
58-60 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP
Whether you’re a fan of a simple Margarita or a controversial Hawaiian, there’s always comfort in knowing what to expect from the humble pizza. But, it’s safe to say, Homeslice Shoreditch is shattering the expectations of pizza conventions, one 20″ pizza at a time. With an ever-changing seasonal menu, this trendy spot rolls out the finest flavour combinations for East Londoners to feast on all year round. Having caught sight of a 20” pizza in real life we opt to go for half and half (kudos to you if you’re feeling ambitious to have one to yourself!). If you’re looking for pizzas with pizazz, then this is the place to go – just be prepared to roll yourself home!
374-378 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT
Start with the creamy and luscious burrata, generously drizzled with olive oil. Then share a platter of cured meats and cheeses. The cheeses are superb and go perfectly with the earthy-tasting charcoal focaccia – this is where Zia Lucia stands out from the pizzeria crowd. Their USP is their experimental dough options – from the traditional flour dough to an unusual vegetable charcoal black base which gives a unique flavour, as well as aiding your digestion. So it’s ciao to post-pizza bloat! Friendly service, excellent pizzas and a fabulous list of toppings. The locals must be delighted to have it on their doorstep.
Unit 1a, 12 Piazza Walk, Aldgate East, London E1 8ZH
Lunch specials include the Cesarecce pasta in homemade creamy walnut sauce with chestnut mushrooms and toasted Pugliese ciabatta on the side. The portion is generous and the pasta is rich yet light. All pasta is served al dente which means it will be firm to the bite in typical Italian fashion. For dessert try Emilia’s special: vanilla ice cream with biscotti crumbled on top, best when combined with a strong caffe latte. Besides the food being fantastic, the staff are laid back and professional, making you feel welcome and relaxed. If you’d like to try some of the dishes at home, Emilia’s Crafted Pasta also hosts masterclasses teaching you the techniques and execution of their signature dishes.
77 Alie St, London E1 8NH
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