Much like the crusty seats and determination not to make eye contact, drinking on public transport is a Great British rite that should be chiseled into stone and plonked outside Oxford Circus. Mancunian sauce company Meat Lust have combined the three British pillars of beer, BBQed meat and busing to bring London a redeemer, an apology for the tube’s alcohol ban, as Bare Bones Tour XXL gets you boozed up on a double-decker.
Taking a double decker red bus, lopping off half the roof and sprucing up the insides, Meat Lust have created a moving pad of laddish dreams. Downstairs, a bar is manned by Gispy Hill brewery and there’s a curved sofa area, perfect for lolling on as you fill yourself up with meaty goodness and booze. The top deck is split between a smoking grill piled with various BBQ dishes and separate seating areas.
The Bare Bones Tour XXL promises the kind of experience you usually reserve for a Sunday-night stuffing-session in your undies, with eight dishes and four beers over three hours. Kicking off from Spitalfields market, the bus moved between the venues as a chef cooked up the sort of BBQ dishes found in London’s favourite meat restaurants; from a chicken drumstick smothered in stilton, fiery buffalo sauce and dolloped in caviar through to ribs dripping in BBQ sauce. Hot street-food pop-up Bleecker Burger was the first guest of the carnivorous night, with a small beef slider which we doused in Meat Lust sauce.
Stopping at a Dalston car park that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Netflix horror movie, we found the renowned Ribman for our second guest meal. Forget hipster-toting, ‘secret-location’ flouting, Mark Gevaux is a proper Essex former butcher who hands out rolls crammed with juicy rib meat - well worth a trip to deepest darkest East London.
Clutch, just off Columbia Road, showered us in chicken. By this point I was ready to whip off my tights and lie on the grass rubbing my tummy, but the restaurant’s chicken is mouth-cramming-ly good. Strips of tender bird were coated in parmesan and lemon crumbs, chicken wings were covered in a tongue-tingling buffalo sauce and chicken lollipops came smothered in garlic. The last stop was steak at Foxlowe which dished out hanger steak, onions bone marrow and gravy mushrooms.
Gone are the days of a tepid Stella on the back of the night bus, as Gipsy Hill were doling out four of their bottled beers. The South London brewers were on hand to pair booze with meat, as we slurped from an Amber Ale South Paw through to the chocolatey ‘Dissident’ - an English Porter.
Meat Lust’s Bare Bones Tour XXL is a dirty orgy for the senses, something that sounds so wrong but feels so right. Put your faux sophistication to one side and embrace the meat-stuffing, beery Neanderthal you truly are.