Have you ever been locked into your own home? Yes, not out but in? Well I have, and folks - it’s not pretty. After eating my flat out of chocolate because I was going to "starve to death", I was ready to escape come 5pm and have a nourishing meal. It was a good job that I had a reservation for Elk in the Woods (and the locksmith came to set me free).
After getting over my delirium of not being house-bound anymore, I set off on the Northern Line in search of Elk in the Woods. Without much hassle, my friend and I located it down a charming, fairy-lit cobbled street, a few minutes stroll from Angel station. Locating number 37, we pushed through an unassuming coal-black door to find an all-around cutesy venue.
The right hand side of the space is painted cotton candy pink and adorned with vintage mirrors of various sizes, while the left gives the impression of a comfortable cabin style living space (fireplace included). However, this wasn’t where we were seated. We walked through a wooden arch where we plonked our tushies at a table for two, that sat underneath a handful of deer skulls.
The interior of the venue is very simple – apart from the few deer skulls, there aren’t many ornaments. The cool-ass wallpaper, old brick work and wooden, cabin style walls weave together and meet in the middle to become the stand out feature of Elk in the Woods.
Atmosphere & Clientele
The greeting area of Elk in the Woods, in my opinion, is the kind of place I’d want to stop and drop everything (bar my cocktail glass, of course). The chairs by the fireplace are the type that would make you curse your need to take a trip to the bathroom. Men and women in their mid-twenties had occupied this area when we arrived and no doubt they felt the same way as they were in their original positions when we left.
Surveying the dining area, it’s clear that the clientele of this quirky establishment range from mid-twenties upwards. I imagine it’s very popular for young professionals too, although there were many older couples and friends taking up tables. Due to the top quality food offered and slightly older clientele, Elk in the Woods acts as a relaxing retreat to enjoy balanced dishes and hand crafted cocktails.
The Food and Drinks
You’ll come across it in many London bars, the bartenders are taught to make the cocktails look dapper rather than focus on quality. Not here; not at Elk in the Woods I tell you. The cocktails are served in simple glass wear and they let the liquid do all the talking. Each tipple we ordered smashed it out of the park, especially the Winter Margarita - Espolon Blanco tequila with fresh grapefruit, orange liqueur, chilli and sea salt (£9.50). In the words of my dear friend Kellie "who the hell made this, and are they single?"
For starters at Elk we ordered the Oak and Apple Wood Smoked Potato Skins with Caramelised Onion and Reblochon Cheese (£4.50) and the Calamari with Chorizo Mayonnaise (£4.80). The mayonnaise went splendidly with the fresh squid and the potato skins were crispy with plenty of filling. For mains, we pin pointed the Three Bird Stew (£15); it contained Pheasant, Duck and Chicken with Apple and Pork Sausage Roasted with Pear, Plum, Orange and Rosemary. Despite my father’s love for hunting, I have never eaten pheasant so this was a must try for me. A lot of people described it like chicken but I found the taste a lot stronger. The portion was massive and a must try for meat lovers, the only downfall was the lack of vegetables with the course.
Unable to skip dessert, we locked lips with Elk’s Homemade Popcorn Ice-Cream Sandwich with Salted Caramel (£5.50) and the Dark Chocolate Sphere served with a Salted Butterscotch Sauce (£6.50). The perfect ending to my disastrous day.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Angel; how could I not when it’s one of the first places I discovered my love of cocktail guzzling. It still ceases to surprise me with hidden restaurants and bountiful bars and I’m glad to have found another hidden treasure. Thanks Elk in the Woods, you literally made my day with your knock-out tipples and savoury dishes.