An exciting new restaurant and gin bar has opened shop at Hampton Wick. The location is brilliant, it is nestled next to a local pub, just off the circle going towards Kingston Bridge. Boasting a 60 gin strong menu sourced from around the world, there is probably a gin cocktail to suit every mood.
I was invited to review Copper Leaf along with Nayna and Heidi. It was a bright summer evening and a gin and tonic seemed like a great idea. I decided to go with the Gin of the week called Gabriel Boudier Saffron. The cocktail was mixed with Fever tree tonic, refreshing orange zest and chocolate bitters, was garnished with a generous pinch of delicate strands of saffron and a block of massive hand-carved ice.
The bartender and expert mixologist Hannah showed us her impressive collection of botanicals many of which she forages herself and a lovely collection of dark and mysterious potions – bitters which she concocts herself. This creative mixologist even uses ice cubes that she hand carves, they are massive and help you enjoy your drink longer without diluting it quickly. The second I saw the giant ice-cube, I exclaimed saying that it was the Rock of Gibraltar which then Heidi christened as the Ice cube of Gibraltar.
Heidi too chose the Saffron gin cocktail while Nayna enjoyed a blush pink Lychee rose cocktail infused with rose water, lychee and rose syrups and gulkand.
We opted for the Tapas menu and the chef sent us over a mixed selection of some amazing small plates.
My favourite tapas were from the seafood collection. Juicy Atlantic prawns floating in garlic and chilli oil were perfectly done. Lyme bay salted cod fritters which sat on a bed of saffron aioli were so good they reminded me of my trip to Lisbon where I enjoyed more cod fritters than I can possibly remember.
And the cured salmon served with tiny bite sizes cubes of beetroot and cucumber and transparent salt and vinegar gel tasted better than it looked.
From the meat collection, we tried the sauteed Spanish chorizo in red wine jus, spiced Hampshire lamb served with a curry emulsion and mint yoghurt, Albondigas – juicy beef meatballs smothered in a delicious tomato and basil sauce. I loved the Serrano ham croquettes the most, they are served with moreish smoked paprika aioli.
I also really liked all the tapas which we sampled from the vegetarian and vegan selection. We had patas bravas in a spicy tomato sauce, Tempura asparagus with lime aioli, pan-fried green beans sprinkled with crunchy pinenuts, garlic and sundried tomatoes, fabulous manchego cheese croquettes with pickled walnuts and caramelised onions. The chana masala was okay, the basmati rice it was paired with was perfect for scooping the juicy tomato sauce from the other tapas. It was hard to pick a favourite but the manchego cheese croquettes and tempura asparagus were our top two.
Nayna washed down the veg tapas with this summery mocktail called the Tropical Crush. A fruity explosion with a mix of passion fruit, mango,pineapple and coconut syrup.
I decided to explore the Negroni gin menu and chose the Teagroni. It is infused with Chinese blue flower tea and is really a taste sensation. Presented beautifully cocktail was a great accompaniment to my tapas.
Luckily, it is possible to try all the versions of negroni by opting for the Negroni collection from the Gin tasting menu. Apart from the Negroni collection, they have the two World Gin collections, Dry, exotic floral and even herb and spice gin collections. Each is served with matching garnishes and is perfect for sharing with friends.
For dessert, we sampled the Peanut Butter Cheese Cake garnished with candied peanuts and served with Miso Caramel Ice Cream, Grilled pineapple with rum-infused cherries served with a side of coconut sorbet, also the lavender and white chocolate Panacotta, which had the perfect wobble and was topped with macerated Strawberries and ginger crumble.
With its delicious modern European cuisine and beautifully presented Tapas made by their talented chef, excellent service, fabulous gin cocktails made by their very talented mixologist – Copper Leaf ticks all the boxes. Importantly, the experience they provide and the high quality of the food and drinks, excellent presentation – put them on par with some of the leading restaurants in the city – all this without burning a massive hole in the pocket. Definitely, a place to consider when looking for a restaurant in Kingston, Hampton Wick, Teddington and surrounding areas.
Heidi enjoyed a masterclass at Busaba Eathai, which is just across the Kingston bridge, along the riverside.
*With thanks to Copper Leaf for an invite. All opinions expressed and photographs used are, as always, my own. No monetary compensation was provided for a positive review.