What’s My Weekend: Alex Kammerling

The inventor of Kamm & Sons aperitif shares his weekend haunts

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Friday

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I love the street-food scene in London at the moment. It is such a vibrant and exciting mix of dedicated coffee roasters, fish smokers, gin distillers, bread-bakers and cooks, all working long hours and totally dedicated to their given product or skill. Being an entrepreneur myself I understand the hard graft that you need to put in and respect anyone who does the same. Friday night means Street-Feast, above (38-50 Pritchard’s Road, London, E2 9AP, streetfeastlondon.com), amazing food and drinks with a buzzing crowd and brilliant music (watch-out for Kamm & Sons when Street Feast returns to Dalston Yard, as have just secured a spot for the summer). If the sun is out, the place is electric!

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Saturday

Saturdays start like every day in my house, with a strong coffee. If the weather is good I’ll head down to Maltby Street (Ropewalk, London, SE1 2HQ, maltby.st,) or another of the street markets. I normally grab something to eat there (the Reuben’s at Monty’s Deli [] are worth the queue and the St. Johns] custard doughnuts are off the hook). I’ll stroll to Tower Bridge and along the river to marvel at London’s majestic architecture. I normally end up spending too much money at Borough Market, above (8 Southwark St, London, SE1 1TL, boroughmarket.org.uk,), stocking up on cheese from Neal’s Yard, below (6 Park St, London, SE1 9AB, nealsyarddairy.co.uk,), coffee from Monmouth Coffee (2 Park St, London, SE1 9AB, monmouthcoffee.co.uk) and fish from Furness (furnessfish.co.uk,), although there are normally a few extras in the shopping bags like truffle oil, chorizo from Brindisa (The Floral Hall, Stoney St, London, SE1 9AF, 020 7407 1036, brindisa.com) and some nice Isle of Wight tomatoes from the Tomato Stall (thetomatostall.co.uk).

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Neal's Yard, Borough Market

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If I still have the energy, I will go to the Tate Modern (Bankside, London, SE1 9TG, tate.org.uk) and see what is on. I love art, photography, architecture and design and will try and see at least one show over the weekend. I recently saw the wildlife photographer of the year, which blows my mind every time I go – truly inspirational.

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Brindisa, Floral Hall

I love to cook. I find it therapeutic and I will just pop some music on (loving Etherwood at the moment) and pour myself a drink. Having worked in the drinks business for more than 20 years, I’m not short of spirits. I must have over 100 bottles at home, and even though I’m an experienced cocktail-maker, I still revert to the simple drinks: Campari with orange juice (blood orange juice when it is in season), a vodka martini (with Vestal Vintage) or just my own spirit Kamm & Sons mixed with Fever-Tree bitter lemon (always served with a wedge of lemon and stick of celery).

I try and cook a bit of everything but particularly like making one-pot food - tagines, chillis, curries. I love nurturing a dish until the flavours have married, then let it cool, before re-heating a serving. Don’t know why that helps the flavours, but it does!

It is then definitely feet-up to watch a good movie with my best-mate (thankfully also my fiancée) We have a knack for choosing disturbing films, We need to talk about Kevin, Tyrannosaur, and most recently, The Experiment.

Sunday

Sundays can go either way: while I love the buzz of the city, I do crave nature and can often be found getting lost on Hampstead Heath or Epping Forest. This inevitably leads to a big Sunday roast and not doing much else, apart from snoozing and reading the papers.

I’m a bit of a bargain hunter and love antique and secondhand shops. I can happily potter all day, although I particularly like Camden Passage, Islington, N1 (camdenpassageislington.co.uk), great for picking up vintage glassware and knick-knacks. I’ll try to sneak a quick aperitif in at 69 Colebrook Row (69colebrokerow.com) which is always a good excuse to say hi to friends as I used to work there. Ask for a Spitfire – not always on the list but they will make it for you. For a cosy dinner, I love The Elk In The Woods, above (37-39 Camden Passage, 020 7226 3535, the-elk-in-the-woods.co.uk), lots of great sharing dishes and the staff are really chilled.

Sunday is the best night to go out and one of the best bars in London in my eyes is Happiness Forgets (8-9 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6NU, happinessforgets.com), in a basement on Hoxton Square. The guys that run it are all top of their game but are not pretentious with it. They have great drinks, friendly service and a great mix of people. Another favourite is Callooh Callay (65 Rivington St, London, EC2A 3AY, calloohcallaybar.com), which has a special place in my heart. Apart from being the first bar in London to stock Kamm & Sons, I also had my first date there with my future wife. Aahhh.

Alex Kammerling is the founder and inventor of Kamm & Sons British Aperitif – a bitter sweet botanical spirit - served in The London Edition, Pollen Street Social, The Groucho Club and Oskar's Bar at Dabbous. Alex has just launched a new 70cl bespoke bottle design that is available from £26.00 at MasterofMalt.com and also sold at Harvey Nichols and Selfridges nationwide.

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