HOXLEY & PORTER
Date: SUMMER, 2013
Location: HIGHBURY & ISLINGTON, LONDON
Photography: ANDREW BEASLEY
Service: FULL DESIGN SERVICE
“Created by Michaela Reysenn’s Kai Design, its interior brings together the flavours of Victorian gentlemen’s clubs, Colonial Poirot, Egyptian noir, and surrealist jungles.
The influence of namesake ‘Hoxley’ – an intrepid explorer who has broken away from his genteel English roots to discover the mysteries of Africa – is most evident in the Dining Carriage. Guests are welcomed by floods of natural light through leaded glass, wicker seating and gilt-edged tableware. But never far from the surface, a darker undercurrent – the wilds of frontier entertaining, a sharp wit – shows up in roughly textured woods and dark down lighting.
The cocktail bar delves into the enigma of ‘Porter’, a diamond so exquisite that since its discovery in 1880, has inspired riches, ruin and royalty. With textures of intricate gold leaf, dark teak and geometric motifs, this space evokes lost kingdoms; the glittering of treasure and the foreboding of curses.
Heading up the bar team, Michael Pendergast brings together an appreciation of seasonal and home-crafted ingredients, honed at Powder Keg Diplomacy, with nods to ancient cultures and exotic flavours – and presented with a theatrical flourish or two.A few lucky drinkers (who can be counted upon for utmost discretion) will be whisked down into The Crypt, a flavour laboratory where Michael and the team conjure up many of Hoxley and Porters own ingredients such as ginger ale…and those edible scorpions!
Hoxley and Porter is the vision of bar operator Costa Tofan who comments: ‘We wanted to bring something unique and fresh to Islington – at Hoxley and Porter you’ll find inspiring drinks, fine food and the space to appreciate great company. We have created somewhere you can stay all night and get lost in the story, somewhere you can come back to time and again and discover new elements to your surroundings.”
Review By: Chris Crummbs 2014