Having already visited Pond to record the quirkiest places to eat in London social video, I literally jumped at the chance to return to this trendy Dalston hangout. Why? Let me list the reasons for you. Number one: they have a summer-ready alfresco area that’s perfect for soaking up that much-needed vitamin D AND it boasts its own water feature. Number two: the food here is incredible. Number three: they have a Hip Hop High Tea every month, and it’s gone bottomless.
As already mentioned above, Pond have a fabulous sun-trapped area to pull in the Dalston crowd. It’s hidden away and you have to travel down a little sideway to find it, making it all the more appealing. Looking at the entrance to Pond, you’d never think such a large space exists inside. As the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover, or in this case, entrance. Passing the threshold, the interior is simple; brick work and exposed steel are used to create a cool, stripped back vibe. Plenty of seating, from backless bar stools to spacious booths guarantee you a seat, while the long stocked bar guarantees you swift, hassle-free service.
Afternoon tea; although I love nothing more than acting like a lady while politely stuffing my gob with buttery scones laced with clotted cream every once in awhile, it can get a bit boring and samey. Who’s with me? Que Hip Hop High Tea. Once upon a time this awesome event wasn’t bottomless, but it has recently started to offer free-flowing mimosas and house cocktails for 1 hour and 30 minutes. If I do say so myself, this boozy addition alongside its towering street food platter (that’s served on old school vinyl) has made this Sunday event a stand out affair.
There were three house cocktails to choose from the evening we visited, but my number one spot went to the Raspberry Sombrero: a vodka and tequila based beauty. It was strong, punchy and to the point. Although it was easy to pinpoint my favourite cocktail, when it comes to the food platter at Hip Hop High Tea, I’m stuck for words. There were three tiers and each one was more impressive than the last. We went for a combination of the East Coast Big Papa and the West Coast Cali Dreaming. I won’t give you a low down of everything I scoffed, as I may ruin my laptop with copious amounts of dribble, but the Graceland Monte - peanut butter with bacon, banana and cheese in a deep-fried finger sandwich - was AMAZING. So amazing that the calorie content didn’t bother me. The Togarashi Shrimp in a Steam Bun (shrimp with pickles and smoked ketchup) was up there too. The bun was fresh and the pickles went amazingly with the shrimp and smoked ketchup. I’m not one to spoil all the fun so I’ll only mention one more street food item. The Mac Ballerz, (mac and cheese balls rolled in seaweed and panko crust and deep fried) oozed with gooey hot cheese and the thin coat of seaweed welcomed a salty crunch. I know what you’re thinking - ‘I need to go here’. Look to your right my friend, you can book a space here right away.
The music a venue plays is a real game changer and Hip Hop Tea’s atmosphere was fuelled by the amazing DJ sets by Spex MC and Brandish Sound. Everything from ol’ skool hip hop to garage were booming from the speakers giving the event a super cool edge. Just as edgy as the event, was Pond’s crowd. There were clusters of people arriving at various times throughout the evening and everyone seemed young and glamorous.
I’m never one for venturing very far on a Sunday. I’m more of a laze-in-my-pjs-all-day kinda gal, but Pond hold the power to get me up, dressed and out of the house faster than you I can say Hip Hop High Tea. It’s an event for the masses that can’t be missed.