What’s My Weekend, Charles Montanaro. 5cc Group Bar Manager

The cocktail maestro shares his favourite London haunts

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Friday

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Friday is a special day for me: I’ll head to every 5cc (there are five in the group) across North and East London to check on my guys and play around with some weird and wonderful spirits. After a busy evening I enjoy finishing work with a crisp and fresh martini at our brand new gin-focused site 5cc Singer Tavern, above  (1 City Road, London, EC1Y 2AY, 5cc-london.com). I then head out to Loveshake (5 Kingsland Road, London E2 8AA, theloveshake.co.uk), known for its awesome milkshakes (try ‘The Old Bailey’ - Two shots of Baileys in a shake) or NOLA Bar (68 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3AY, nolalondon.com) to catch up with friends while drinking Boilermakers – ie  a glass of beer and a shot of whiskey.

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Saturday

I’m one of the lucky ones in the industry to (usually) have Saturdays off. I’ll start with a full English at the Three Crowns, above  (8 East Road, London, N1 6AD, 0207 842 8516, thethreecrowns.co.uk), or Ozone (11 Leonard Street, London, 020 7490 1039, EC2A 4AQ, ozonecoffee.co.uk) for a perfectly made coffee, and then head south to Borough Market, below (8 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL, 020 7307 1002, boroughmarket.org.uk) to source some fresh produce for my Sunday cook off.

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After wandering around the market and picking up enough meat and fish to feed an army, I like to a walk down the Thames past Vinopolis, below (1 Bank End, London SE1 9BU, 020 7940 8300, vinopolis.co.uk), to check out original new wines, and the Whisky Exchange (1 Bank End, London SE1 9BU, 020 7403 8688, whiskyexchange.com) to see if they have any new and wonderful releases. I’ll then hop by the Tate Modern (Bankside, London SE1 9TG
020 7887 8888, tate.org.uk) before heading back home.

In the evening, first stop is Portside Parlour (14 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3DU, 203 6626 381, portsideparlour.co.uk) for some rum, cocktails and possibly the best bar snacks (Octopus Terrine and the Manchego Stuffed Zucchini Flowers) in East London, before jumping in an Uber to my new favourite watering hole Sovereign Loss (469, 467- 469 Brixton Road, London SW9 8HH, 07867623618,  sovereignloss.com), a discreet, speakeasy-style bar open till 5am, with a no-fuss attitude, and where every drink is exactly what you’d expect -  great.

 

Sunday

First thing I like to do on a Sunday morning is bake some fresh bread and make a great breakfast before heading out to Columbia Road Flower Market (Columbia Road, London, E2 7RG, columbiaroad.info) to get some plants and refresh my herb cabinet. From there I’ll head to see my friends at East London Liquor Company, above  (Unit GF1, 221 Grove Road, London E3 5SN, 020 3011 0980, eastlondonliquorcompany.com) for a coffee on the terrace, while they make me a pre-batched bottle of ELLC Batch 1 Gin Martinez to take  to Victoria Park to chill out by the pond.

The final late afternoon stop is Satan’s Whiskers (343 Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9RA, 020 7739 8362, satanwhiskersblr.tumblr.com), or Happiness Forgets (8-9 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU, 020 76130325, happinessforgets.com), for impeccably crafted cocktails and great hospitality right on my doorstep, before going  home time to get ready for another busy week at 5cc.

 

 

Charles Montanaro is Group Bar Manager for 5cc’s collection of specialist cocktail bars, having worked up through some of London’s top establishments, including Sushisamba, NOLA and Duck & Waffle.

5cc has just opened its fifth outlet, The Singer Tavern, in the heart of East London, introducing a carefully crafted martini menu exclusive to this venue.

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