New cocktail menu

April 27, 2016

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We’ve mixed things up here at the Tavern and we’re happy to announce our brand new cocktail menu. Work your way through on your next visit.


Gaston Chiquet Champagne, Hedonist Cognac, Olorosso Sherry, bourbon cherry &

orange bitters.


Buffalo Trace, King’s Ginger, honey, lemon juice, pale ale & hops infused Laphroig.


Belsazar White, Ron Abuelo 7yr dark rum, black tea, peach, Angostura bitters.


Broker’s Gin, Cynar, Maraschino Liqueur, orange bitters & lemon &

artichoke perfume.


Takashimizu Junmai Daiginjo Saké, Broker’s Gin, green tea infusion, ginger ale.


Blood orange infused QuiQuiRiQui Mescal, Pernod Ricard, agave & orange bitters.


Pisco Aba, Fee Brothers Plum bitters, lemon juice, egg white.


Celery infused Moskovskaya Vodka, apple juice, cider vinegar, lime juice & raspberry

& campari syrup.


Ron Abuelo 7 yr, Johnny Walker Black, Pedro Ximinez & orange bitters.


Tres Generaciones Anejo, agave & grapefruit bitters.


Pineapple infused Cortez Bianco, Aguere Coconut Rum, Angostura & orange bitters

& coconut ice.


Jam Jar Gin, parsley, grapefruit juice, elderflower & cardamom.



Set Lunch Menu This Week

My how time flies and weather continues to disappoint! Despite all the blossoms, there’s still a chill (and some snow!) in the air. Come and warm up with comfort food with a spring-worthy twist.

For general bookings speak to Adele and the team: website, call (020 7060 5335) or email.

Duck liver parfait, turnip, candied orange and chervil.
Leek, potato and olive oil soup.

Courgette and wild garlic risotto.
Chicken and white wine pie.

Chocolate and cardamom ice cream, spiced pear.
Charolais & chutney.


Orchard Fizz (apple, lime, agave, pepper & tonic) 5.50
High Tea (Seedlip, lapsang suchong, lemon & orange marmalade) 6.00


Music at Merchants – week of 25th April

April 25, 2016


It was the most unimaginable news. The brightest star in our musical universe is gone forever, leaving behind the legacy to end them all. Remarkable written tributes came from Simon PriceAlexis Petridis, Bryndon Cook  and Noah Berlatsky while musical tributes came from Charlie Bones, the Horse Meat Disco boys, a live mix from DJ Premier and our own Bill Brewster

We will continue to celebrate Prince, his music, his spirit and his memory forever. may u live 2 see the dawn. Here’s who’s playing at Merchants Tavern this week:

The mighty Andy Smith makes his first appearance at Merchants Tavern on Wednesday night. A heavyweight DJ, collector and producer he’ll be bringing out some rare 7”s and touching on disco, dub, jazz and soul.

Thursday night sees Leo Elstob back at the helm after far too long. This prolific producer, remixer, DJ and art director keeps it unexpected with a mix of late night jams, underground pop, go-go and anything else that takes his fancy

Harv Nagi takes control of Friday night. If you don’t know about his show on Point Blank FM, get a taste of it here – – expect spiritual jazz, fierce latin, and deep soul from his crazy collection

Toby Tobias (Rekids/Delusions of Grandeur) takes a break from wrestling with his MPC on Saturday night. Expect groovy synth jams, dusty disco and rare balearic stylings

Mixmaster Morris is back on Sunday with the afternoon downtempo selection. Recently seen in action dropping the tempo significantly at DJ Harvey’s London gig at Ministry of Sound he’ll be playing a very Sunday-friendly selection from 4 – 8pm

Sounds come from Spiritland

POSTED IN Music at Merchants, News

Meet the supplier: real wine with Les Caves de Pyrene

April 20, 2016

Winer lovers from far and wide gathered at The Real Wine Fair 2016 this weekend just gone to celebrate and indulge in the nectar of the gods. As the festivities continue for the rest of this month, the Real Wine Month, we thought it would an appropriate time to pick the brains of an expert in the field (or more accurately, the vineyard). Philippe from Les Caves de Pyrene kindly gave us some education and tips on why this is one of the most exciting and interesting areas of the industry. À la tienne!

For those who don’t know, what does Les Caves de Pyrene do?

We are an importer and distributor of wines from small artisan growers throughout the world

How do you define natural wine?

Wine made from grapes that are grown organically or biodynamically (no pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertlisers) and made using their own yeasts (no added enzymes, no colouring, no acid or added tannin) and the minimum of added sulphur (or none) to truly capture the taste of the grapes, the nature of the vintage and the sense of origin (terroir)

What’s the difference between natural, organic and biodynamic wine?

Organic farming simply precludes using a list of chemicals. Biodynamics is more holistic,;it considers the environment and the role of biodiversity in farming. It involves working the soil with certain preparations at certain times of year to bring the vines to health and to ensure that they are resistant to disease.  Much biodynamic activity work on natural and lunar cycles. Natural refers to the moment the grapes arrive at the winery. It describes the process of winemaking where the winemaking uses no chemical interventions (yeasts, acids etc) – effectively the vigneron is gently guiding the juice rather than “making” the wine.

Why do you think these types of wines have grown in popularity the past few years?

The wines are exciting – they often taste unusual, natural and refreshing, occasionally funky. They tend to  be lighter. People are becoming more interested in provenance and finding wines which have stories and also knowing that what they eat and drink doesn’t have unnecessary additives in it.

Has this rise in popularity had any positives or negatives effects on the industry and if so what are they?

Positive from a public point of view, positive in terms of restaurant lists and independent retailers because these wines offer a wider choice. They are made by individuals rather than companies; they don’t have to be consistent, so they are always different. Oenologists (professional winmakers) are naturally suspicious – if anyone can make great wine then who needs an oenologist. Journalist and wine commentators are also skeptical. It seems important for some people that they preserve the notion that you can assess wine and create hierarchies (hence points scoring and wine competitions). There’s a lot of money at stake.

Why do you think natural wines dismissed by some people in the industry?

Because anyone can enjoy them! The wines are never submitted for judgement in competitions; there is real hype – it is always about what is in the glass. They can’t be easily defined so no-one can give them points or judge them by the usual conventions.  Finally, they offer a challenge to those make more industrial wines or use lots of additives to stabilise  the grape juice in that they prove that quality wines can be made very simply indeed.

What do you personally love about natural wines?

Never knowing what you are going to get. And that they are living and mutable. The wine is always changing and developing. And because they are meant to be drunk they are often lighter, fresher and more gastronomic – and certainly more digestible.

Is it true that natural wines give less of a hangover?

Difficult to prove although personal experience would suggest so.. Wines made with lots of sulphur will exacerbate allergies (although not cause them). I think, however, the cocktail of additives in many wines mixed our diets and lifestyle often has an adverse effect. Natural wines seem to be easier to drink.

Finally, what’s your favourite natural wine and what Merchants Tavern dish would you pair it with?

There are no straight answer to that as there are different wines for different moments… I would have to go for a glass of Auvergne Gamay les Pierres Noires from Domaine Jean Maupertuis that I would pair with your selection of Prosciutto, Chorizo and Salami


Set Lunch Menu This Week

Our set lunch menu this week should Shoreditch-side folks dashing for our door. See below for this week’s plates and our two non-alcoholic concoctions.

For general bookings speak to Adele and the team: website, call (020 7060 5335) or email.

Salt cod croquettes.
Spring minestrone.

Brown crab linguine, chilli & ginger.
Chicken, helda beans, spelt & parmesan cream.

Vanilla custard & earl grey soaked prunes.
Charolais & chutney.


Orchard Fizz (apple, lime, agave, pepper & tonic) 5.50
High Tea (Seedlip, lapsang suchong, lemon & orange marmalade) 6.00


Music at Merchants – week of 18th April

April 18, 2016



Recovering from a weekend of Record SHOP Day madness, we bring you a fresh week of music in the bar at Merchants Tavern. We bring you no less than six sexy selectors playing the best in music you can almost dance to on our tasty sound system. Here’s how it looks:

Justin Quirk takes to the Spiritland turntables for a second outing on Wednesday night, playing a set traversing from The Congos to Gong and all points in between. He’ll also be recovering from a marathon at the weekend so feel free to give him a bracing leg rub.

Zaf (Love Vinyl) is back in business on Thursday night. Purveyor of impossibly rare disco, soul, AOR and more, he’ll be playing across the boards. Check out his famed disco shack in the Boiler Room interview here

Ben Morris (Kudos Records) holds it down on Friday night. Wayward jazz, deep electronica and records you’d forgotten all about are the order of the day

On Saturday night we welcome back Paul Hillery and Ben Murphy. You’ll know Paul from his incredible series of Folk Funk and Trippy Troubadours mixes – and if you don’t know, get to know. This time he’s bringing musical soulmate Ben Murphy along for the ride, playing smooth rock, gentle psych and funky folk.

Chris Coco (Melodica) is the Sunday relaxation master. Whether you’ve having a roast with your mum or coming straight from DJ Harvey, he’ll be playing toe-tappers of organic and electronic origin from 4 – 8pm in the bar

Sounds come from Spiritland

POSTED IN Music at Merchants, News

Music at Merchants – week of April 11th

April 11, 2016


Two doses of new talent at Merchants Tavern this week, as well as some familiar faces behind the turntables.

Wednesday night sees Tony Higgins in action. Jazz collector and aficionado Tony is the man with a large and pristine collection of jazz recordings, stretching out into direct-to-disc recordings, rare promotional releases from hi-fi manufacturers like Denon, JVC and Trio and more. He’s also worked closely with Gilles Peterson on a series of British and Japanese compilations as well as producing music docs for TVs. Let’s just say he’s our kind of DJ. Hear him kick off five nights of music from 6.30pm

Adventures in Paradise are back for their monthly dose of tropical business in the bar. Katie Barber and Michelle Kelly hold it down across the boards on Thursday night. Hear them in action on the wireless with Mr Mudd right here

We’ve been waiting to host DJ Supermarkt for a while and finally it’s happening on Friday night. The creative mind behind the fantastic ‘Too Slow To Disco’ series dives deeply into the worlds of West Coast disco, AOR rarities, mid-atlantic grooves, immaculate yacht rock and slo-mo chuggers. He’ll be launching the latest compilation release, ‘The Ladies of Too Slow To Disco’ on the night, and there’s a whole world of joy on his Soundcloud page here

Mr Black and Andrea (Purple Radio) bring the noise on Saturday night, with a whole world of acceptable rock, unacceptable disco and a thorough exploration of the cheeseboard

On Sunday afternoon we hand the reigns over to Shepdog (Nice Up! Records) – better known for his bass-heavy Serato excursions, he paddles in the gentle end of his record collection, going to folk to afrobeat and dub from 4 – 8pm

Sounds come from Spiritland

Photo from Eve Studios in Manchester

POSTED IN Music at Merchants, News

Set Lunch Menu This Week

April 6, 2016

Spring has sprung… And that can only mean you’re going to start seeing more spring vege on our set lunch menu hence forth. Lighter flavours that still come in the form comfort food to take the edge off the chill that’s still in the air.

Helda beans, fresh curds and black olive
Duck hearts, walnuts and lardo

Chicken, spelt and spring vegetable broth
Venison pie

Muscavado sponge, mascarpone and espresso
Charolais and chutney


Music at Merchants – week of 4th April

April 4, 2016


‘Sang the sun rise on an amber morn –
‘Earth, be glad! An April day is born.

‘Winter’s done, and April’s in the skies,
Earth, look up with laughter in your eyes!”

We couldn’t put it any better than Sir Charles Douglas Robert when it comes to April’s charms. Here’s who’s lighting up the bar at Merchants Tavern this week:

Nick Luscombe (Flomotion/Late Junction) is back from his travels at the Tallinn Music Week, where he was working with his Musicity project, so you may be in for a dose of Estonian electronica on Wednesday night

Damo (Downlow Radio) has been a heavy disco digger for many years, and plays on the Spiritland system for the first time on Thursday night. Expect jazz-induced deep soul and disco vibes, afro, electronica, edits and more – have a listen to his style here

On Friday night we hand things over to the Merchants Tavern resident Rik Moran (tothebone) bringing the fruits of his global travels to your ears

Elle Andrews returns for her monthly happening this Saturday night. You can expect something typically deep from Elle, touching on dub, tribal rhythms and music with meaning

Jim Breese is your Sunday selector. The Balearic Recordings main man breezes in from his coastal lair to keep things extra mellow in the bar from 4 – 8pm

Sounds come from Spiritland

POSTED IN Music at Merchants, News