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Issue 61 - Comfy Bumpkin

Whisky Magazine Issue 61
January 2007


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Comfy Bumpkin

London's newest gastro-pub has created a relaxing,home from home atmosphere where drinkers can feel comfortable experimenting with whisky,as Kate Ennis discovers

Walk past newly opened Bumpkin, a stylishly rustic looking bar and restaurant in London's fashionable Notting Hill area, and you'd be forgiven for thinking it's just another one of those identikit gastro-pubs for trendy types.

It's certainly not where you would expect to find a hand-picked selection of almost 1,000 malt whiskies. But then Bumpkin is no ordinary gastro-pub. It's the latest venue from Ignite Group, the savvy and successful London bar operator that has set its stall to create a serious destination for whisky.

With Jamie Forbes – one of the most exciting young proponents of whisky on the United Kingdom bar scene – installed as bar manager, things look promising indeed.

Style bars are one thing, but placing whisky – or more significantly, single malts – firmly within the context of a food led-environment, offers up new and exciting possibilities.

With more diners now seeking out new food and drink pairing experiences, the idea here is that whisky makes an amenable dinner accompaniment for Bumpkin's menu of wholesome country food, with roasted meats and hearty pies. A table of diners can take a bottle of whisky to compliment their main course, perhaps trying a Macallan 18-year-old sherry wood alongside their leg of lamb or a Talisker with the rib of beef.

Bumpkin provides a down-to-earth, relaxed environment for all-comers to discover malt whisky. The ground floor is home to the casual brasserie and hop-covered bar, while the first floor is a restauran...

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