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Food: Why Histon Smokehouse rules

There's a new market in the garden, a new menu in the main restaurant and now there's a new bar, too. Histon Smokehouse is on fire, as Velvet reports

Relaunching post-lockdown with a new menu and onsite smokery, Histon Smokehouse has just unveiled another new addition: an intimate upstairs bar, in partnership with Estrella Damm. Coupling taps of the iconic Mediterranean beer with a special tapas-style menu, the venue is ideal for group dining and private parties.

The bar was the brainchild of Smokehouse boss Simon Morrice and Greg Smith, Damm Brewery’s regional manager. “During lockdown Simon and I were talking and he said he had an unused space upstairs that he was looking to do something with,” explains Greg.

“As the conversation developed, it became apparent we could make it a themed Estrella Room. Simon is a big fan of all of the range and, wanting to have a space that was about embracing those special times with friends and family, his idea matched perfectly with the Estrella ethos - ‘Those little moments that you look back on and they make you smile’. . .”

The bar comes hot on the heels of the Smokehouse’s new garden market, which sees a roster of artisans show and sell their wares at the Smokestalls weekly. It also follows the unveiling of the new-look main menu, inspired by head chef Jamie Burton’s personal love of smokehouse cooking.

Installing an onsite smokery, fed with a well-honed mix of whisky barrel, cherry and hickory chips to achieve just the right flavour profile, Jamie’s menu took shape last summer when, for the first time in a decade, the pandemic caused him to miss Notting Hill Carnival. Deciding to recreate the flavours of carnival at home, he persuaded his dad’s wife - Veronica, otherwise known as Mumma V - to part with her closely guarded secret jerk spice recipe; the result was sell-out chicken.

“I personally love this kind of food and I could see other people were loving it too; that’s what made me think we could make the Smokehouse concept work full time,” he explains. Expanding the menu to offer an impressive range of wings, steaks, strips, ribs and vegan and veggie options (tofu, plantain, jackfruit), with a choice of sauces (including Mumma V’s jerk) and sides (corn, greens, beans), Jamie has also developed a Smokehouse take on tapas, for those wanting smaller dishes, and on Sundays, an all-day brunch and beer can chicken (the latter by pre-order for groups of four or more).

“Like Simon, I come from a fine dining background,” adds Jamie, “and this is still the finest quality food, just a more relaxed take which fits with the atmosphere of the Smokehouse, I think.”

For more information - including details of lunch, brunch and dinner menus, opening days and times and bar hire - visit histonsmokehouse.co.uk. Follow @histonsmokehouse for updates.

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