Have you heard of Darwin & Wallace? No, I didn’t think I had either. But funnily enough I’d visited a few of their venues without even realising. They’ve quickly become one of my favourite places to go, whether it be for dinner, a boozy brunch, a wild night our or just a casual drink (although we all know there’s no such thing as just having one drink). I never realised the likes of No. 32 in Clapham Old town, No. 197 Chiswick fire station and 601 queen’s road were linked but now I think about it, it’s blazingly obvious. I was invited to a couple of events last year to explore exactly what The Darwin and Wallace company offers in its bars and restaurants.
These bars are modern, chic and neutral-looking whilst being affordable, chilled out and incredibly popular within their settings. They take inspiration from their local areas, meaning that each bar is unique and quite different from one another. Maybe this is why it took me so long to realise that they were all linked.
There are a total of 7 neighbourhood bars which make up the Darwin and Wallace collection which are mainly based in West and South West London. These are located in Pimlico (No 11 Pimlico Road), No 32 The Old Town (Clapham), No 1 Duke Street (Richmond), No 197 Chiswick Fire station (Chiswick), No 29 Power Station West (Battersea, 601 Queen’s Rd (Wimbledon) and their newest venture, No 17 Dickens yard (Ealing) where I attended the fantastic launch party late last year and didn’t really want to leave.
LAUNCH PARTY AT NO 17 DICKENS YARD
We were lucky enough to be invited to the grand opening of No 17 Dickens yard, and what better way to celebrate than with a party. The drinks were flowing and the food was circulating the incredibly busy venue back in November when a whole host of lively locals turned up to see where they would be spending many a future evening with their friends.
From the outside the venue would definitely catch your eye. Standing alone in Dickens Yard, the upstairs terrace immediately catches your eye as you imagine a cosy evening with a glass of red wine. Or you picture yourself sitting downstairs in the classy yet understated main bar area. Although, on this evening there would be no chance of sitting as it was filled to the brim with visitors. Waiting to get their hands on the lavish cocktails that had been created and the vast amounts of delicious canapés and small dishes that were circling the event.
We started on the cocktails. I enjoyed them all (I am not one to not enjoy a cocktail) but the honey martini was by far my favorite. However, after a couple of cocktails the sugar starts to hit you and so we decided that we needed to opt for something a little less sweet and so moved on to sample their wine.
The food was incredible. We’d not eaten any dinner and were a little worried as some events are very sparse on the food front. However, we had absolutely nothing to worry about. There was food coming at us from every angle… Unfortunately, there wasn’t a huge amount of vegetarian food and so my friend was still A little hungry at the end of the evening. I, on the other hand enjoyed many culinary delights, such as, pate, falafel, mini burgers, a little portion of fish and chips (oh my goodness it was great, definitely could’ve managed more than one.) and a steak pie (I gave my friend the pastry because she was hungry and I’m just that lovely). It was a little taster of the food that they serve here and it really did do Darwin and Wallace justice. If all of their food is that great then their business is going to be the best in town.
MAV Brunch at 601 Queen’s Road
Each weekend 601 Queen’s Rd host brunch DJ sessions curated by MAV Music Agency. On the 17th we’ve put together a guest list of Wimbledon locals and influencers to enjoy free flowing cocktails and a brunch feast alongside an amazing live soundtrack and I was invited down to see what it was all about! We were there with a lovely group of bloggers to see what the brunch was all about… and obviously the prosecco was flowing!
We were seated towards the back of this beautiful space. There’s so much light pouring in from the glass ceiling which makes the whole area feel really fresh (even on a hangover). From where we were sitting you can look out onto the entire bar area which I assume is overcome with people at the weekends and during the evening.
And then it was time to FEAST. We were able to try a lot off different elements from the brunch menu, which started with a fruit salad (which had a beautiful spiced juice, I was not expecting this but it made so much difference). There was avocado and feta salad and pancakes with bacon and toast and my personal favourite… THE CARAMELISED BANANA! This is something i’ve had before when we brunched at No.32 (You have to try the Banana & Ricotta Pancakes – they are out of this world. I cannot fault this dish in any way shape or form).
Here are a few images of the brunch that we had at NO. 32
So if you’re looking for a new place to hang out then why not give on of the Darwin & Wallace bars a go?!