After recently tweaking our Exmouth Market restaurant with an exciting new small plates menu, a great new wine list and cocktail bar offering, we’re now all set to launch our package of ‘Shore to Door’ experiences in April. These sociable, interactive and above all delicious events are perfect for anyone with a passion for great food and drink that’s responsibly sourced and sustainable.
Ever wanted to be able to shuck oysters like a pro, or master the act of filleting a fish? Then our monthly Seafood Masterclasses are for you. Held on the fourth Sunday of each month, you’ll have the restaurant – and our executive chef Luke Robinson all to yourselves. Learn how to prepare and present the trickiest of fish and seafood that is cooked to perfection, whilst sipping on our signature Bonnie Mary cocktail and enjoying a three-course lunch with paired wines, designed to deliver full on flavour. Bottle up your knowledge and newfound confidence, complete with recipes to take home, and look forward to putting your skills to the test with friends and family next time you’re round the dinner table.
Master-classes cost £80 per person, up to a maximum of eight people, booked exclusively or as a mixed group.
Sea Food, Drink Wine (#SeaFoodDrinkWine)
On the second Wednesday of each month, join a group of 20 guests for an evening of wine tasting and seafood eating, along with frequent appearances from merchants, growers, winemakers and special guests from the wine trade. Pinot Noir with Seabass? Champagne with Oysters? Each month, the focus will be on a different region, grape or wine style as we taste eight wines before sitting down to dinner and polishing off the bottles under the guise of ‘food & wine pairing’.
Sea Food, Drink Wine costs £40 per person and is for a maximum of 20 people (over 2 tables of 10), booked exclusively or as a mixed group.
The Kitchen Counter
You’ve had the kitchen table experience, now come to Bonnie Gull and reserve the Kitchen Counter. Spanning the kitchen pass and the bar, you’ll enjoy a 5-course tasting menu overlooking the kitchen. Our executive chef Luke Robinson will ensure you’re well looked-after and there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions about the provenance of the food and ingredients.
The Kitchen Counter is available to reserve exclusively from Tuesday – Thursday evening for 6 or 7 people and costs £60 per person excluding drinks. Wine pairings can be arranged on request.
Twitter @BonnieGull #SeaFoodDrinkWine
Email email@example.com as the contact for reservations/enquiries from the public.
Ahunter@bonniegull.com for press enquiries.
It’s been a busy couple of months…now that I’ve got a chance to catch my breath I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all of you who have been to our new restaurant, Bonnie Gull Seafood Cafe, which opened on Exmouth Market in April. Now that we’re through the teething issues and curve balls that a new opening presents, it’s nice to be able to look back at an exhausting but successful launch. It was not without its issues of course – not least a delay in our license coming through which meant in the first few weeks some of you had to bring your own booze. Thank you for your patience through this and also for your feedback, which has had a huge influence on shaping the menu and the service.
I’m pleased to say that the new Bonnie Gull has gone down really well with both customers and critics alike (bar one miserable bearded chap but I suppose he’s got a rep to keep!). As with all new restaurants there are lots of changes during the opening period and I’m really happy with the huge improvements that have been made in a short space of time as the team have quickly found their feet in EC1. If you dined with us in the early days I would encourage you to re-visit because now that the menu and service has settled it’s really blooming into a great restaurant.
The size and location of the new restaurant allows us to try a few things we can’t offer at Foley St such as 'Bonnie Hour' – a daily promotion between 4:30 and 6:30pm where we offer a range of £5 cocktails and fantastic Dorset Blue oysters for just £1! We’re also offering a pre-theatre menu for £14 between 5-7pm – the perfect start for evening at Sadlers Wells. To view our latest menus at Exmouth Market click here.
Our original restaurant, Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack on Foley St, continues to go from strength to strength. We’ve now got a terrace license which gives us a bunch of extra covers outside and turns our little corner into a buzzing spot on a sunny day. It’s busier than ever down there now so booking in advance is highly recommended.
On my way to the office this morning (yes, on Easter Saturday), I was delighted to pass a group of aged mods on mopeds in all their finery stopping for an ice-cream on Great Portland St. This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the famous Mods & Rockers clashes, which primarily took place in the seaside resorts of Southern England in 1964. It also marks the launch of Bonnie Gull Seafood Cafe, our second restaurant, with its strong influences from1960’s British seaside culture. It’s almost like we planned it (we sort of did!).
The first bit of bother took place over the Easter weekend in Clacton, Essex. It sparked a media frenzy that fuelled a second set of better documented ‘riots’ on 18th and 19th May that year in Brighton, Hastings, Margate, Bournemouth and Southend with reports of skirmishes reported as far north as Liverpool. Thousands of fashion-conscious, motorcycling youths clashed with each other and with police in towns that were not used to seeing this level of action. The media jumped on board to make the most of it but in truth it was all pretty tame stuff. The level of violence and aggression would probably equate to a bunch of Hackney hipsters clashing with some Fulham rugger boys over who started the trendy beard craze. Hardly devastating scenes I would venture. The media labelled both groups of youths as “folk devils”, reporting headlines such as “Dead Mod in Sea” when in reality it was just an unfortunate teenager who had drowned in an unrelated incident. Many of the images that came from the clashes have become iconic representations of British sixties culture but in fact many of them were staged. According to purist mod and author of the novel ‘Sawdust Caesars”, Howard Baker, "Reporters and photographers were paying off a lot of kids. You'd get a fiver or a tenner. We'd get pissed on it."
These images and other visions of 1960’s seaside Britain were central behind our inspiration for Bonnie Gull Seafood Cafe. Working with our designers, Fabled Studio, we wanted to create a feeling of the perceived former glory of these seaside towns and the iconic image of Britishness that they created. Whether they were glorified by the media or just rose-tinted memories distorted with time, for some reason we look back on scenes from the British seaside with a sense of pride.
Our Seafood Cafe aims to take you back to this vision of British seaside culture…perhaps not flinging deckchairs at people but more dangling your feet off the pier licking a whippy ice-cream (flake and all) with the sound a merry-go-round behind you. It’s pretty timeless, innocent, warm feeling sort of stuff. Around the restaurant you’ll see subtle references to these days gone by - a vintage jukebox playing rare Northern Soul, a custom-made oyster chest made out of a pinball machine and ginghum formica tabletops. You'll also see the work of photographer, Chris Cooper, who went to Blackpool and Weston-Super-Mare for us to capture the image of the faded glory of the British seaside towns. Whether there was ever was any glory in the first place is up for debate but it certainly implants a nice memory and as it was a bit before my time, that’s how I’ll choose to remember them.