Test Driving the Clove Club's cocktail matching menu

It was always hard to get a table there. But now that the Clove Club jumped on to the World's 50 Best Restaurants list this week, you can pretty much kiss goodbye to any spur-of-the-moment decision to dine there.

But while reservations in the dining room are something you'll have to fight every gastro-tourist between here and Sydney for, there is another way. Last month we heard they'd launched a new cocktail and bar snack pairing menu - what they describe as a 'Cocktail Progression'. You make a reservation the same way you would try with a meal there - by buying a session on TOCK.

The experience showcases three specially designed drinks and paired drinking snacks for £50 and you could try it tonight (as opposed to waiting three weeks for the next available table in the restaurant).

Bar chef Rob Simpson proved to be an expert guide through what turned out to be almost four courses of drinks and bites. And he's clearly delighted that for once the cocktails are the starting point. He and his team come up with the idea for the drink and it's that which dictates the food pairing rather than the other way around.

The Cocktail Progression costs £50 (£30 deposit required) at The Clove Club, Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old St, London EC1V 9LT. Book here.


01 cloveKabosu, Wild Strawberry, Orange, Sparkling Sake - Served with Pheasant Egg Mimosa


02 cloveNettle Gimlet - Served with Chickpea & Nettle Chips


03 cloveScotch, Blood Orange, Black Pepper - Served with Warm Haggis Buns


04 cloveSloe Sherry & a Peated Barley Cake