INSIDE REDEMPTION, LONDON’S FIRST ALCOHOL-FREE BAR
Redemption, London’s first alcohol-free restaurant and bar, has just opened in Notting Hill. Here’s our verdict on the mocktails and the super-healthy menu
When Catherine Salway decided to open an alcohol-free bar in Notting Hill, she knew it would be a risk. Turns out? She might be on to something.
Why? Redemption is more than a no-booze zone. The food menu, designed by a nutritional therapist, features gluten-free, vegan and raw dishes which allow you to ‘spoil yourself without spoiling yourself.’ It’s a unique drinking and dining concept, but it’s one that local Chepstow Road residents are more than happy to get on board with.
Within three days of opening, Redemption was packed. When local customers popped in to return the empty plates they’d borrowed to take their food away in, it became obvious this place was a hit with its health-conscious neighbours.
‘You don’t need as much alcohol as you think you need to have a good time,’ Salway told me during my visit. ‘We’re proving that.’ As customers around me sipped on their colourful mocktails, I realised she had a point.
I tried the coco-rita, a margarita substitute made with coconut water, lime, agave syrup and served in a salt-rimmed glass, and was pleasantly surprised. It had the look and feel of a cocktail, but with no promise of a hangover. The apple mock-jito, a mix of apple presse, fresh mint, lime and soda was also delicious – and guilt-free.
The menu was one of the healthiest I’ve seen and is definitely designed for raw food lovers. Courgette spaghetti, tossed in walnut and pumpkin seed pesto, was a refreshing alternative to a carb-heavy Italian dish while the maki rolls platter, filled with red and black quinoa, avocado, mushroom and sesame seeds, looked almost too good to eat. On the hot food front, the beetroot barley risotto was the most comforting (and filling) dish, but the most memorable part of the meal was the ‘good for you’ dessert.
‘Cheesecake’ made from strawberries, cashews and coconut on an almond and medjool date base was less sickly than the real thing, but somehow, it tasted even better. I felt I had indulged, without really indulging – and this is exactly what Redemption is all about.
‘We designed Redemption to be a sanctuary away from the usual temptations so that once you’ve stepped foot in the door you can’t make a bad decision for yourself, others, animals or the planet!’ Salway added. ‘And hopefully in a cool setting so you don’t feel like you are depriving yourself.’ Despite the lack of wine, pasta or meat that I might usually choose on a restaurant menu, I didn’t leave Redemption feeling deprived. It was dinner with a difference and although it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s a brilliant addition to London’s healthy dining scene. Redemption, Notting Hill, 6 Chepstow Road, W2 5BH. redemptionbar.co.uk The Knowledge Cost: Mocktails start at £4, main dishes £12-£15, desserts £6 Good for: A healthy night out with delicious food and no hangover What to eat: The quinoa maki rolls are particularly unique – a great sushi alternative MORE NEW RESTAURANTS & BARS COMING TO LONDON THIS AUTUMN