Until the end of August, Boisdale restaurant, an iconic Scottish institution in the heart of London, will play host to a “Little Jamaica”, bringing vitality and good vibes to Canary Wharf. Sated popped on down to the launch on a beautiful Summer’s eve to see what was what.
Reminiscent of the palm fringed beaches of the famous Portland parish, the Boisdale Jamaica Garden Terrace comprises 130-metres of hanging gardens filled with lush tropical plants, cascading palm trees, Caribbean cocktails and the billowing aromas from the finger-lickingly good jerk barbecue.
As we enter, the sounds of reggae mixed by Saxon Soundsytem wafts through the verdant jungle, instantly getting us into the mood for the evening. Friendly staff are on hand and present us with the choice of Jamaican Red Stripe beer or a potent rum punch specially created for the occasion by Boisdale mixologists. We opt for the latter – a sweet and zingy concoction made with refreshing pineapple juice, a squeeze of lemon and healthy doses of Wray & Nephew overproof rum and Appleton Reserve.
Delectable patties, courtesy of Grace Foods, with light pastry and melt-in-the-mouth peppered meat are proffered alongside lightly fried Jamaican dumplings and crab cakes. Hands down, the ultimate winner was the delicious jerk shrimp lettuce cups. The fiery combination of pepper-fuelled jerk BBQ prawns hand-smoked over the grill by the gregarious chef Daniel, and crunchy purple slaw served in a lettuce leaf, provide the perfect refreshing summer bite.
Vivacious, colourful outfits are in abundance and Miss Jamaica dazzles revellers in her stunning yellow dress. The atmosphere is relaxed and contented as the Jamaican High Commissioner His Excellency Seth George Ramocan addresses the crowd, inviting all there to help celebrate 55 years of Jamaican Independence, linking the Scottish identity of Boisdale with Jamaica’s rich history (including the fact that Jamaica is the only Caribbean island with its own tartan) before handing over the evening’s proceedings to the resident DJ.
Boisdale Jamaica Garden Terrace is the perfect spot to relax and unwind with a sundowner, providing work-weary City folk with a tropical oasis several storeys above the bustle of the street this Summer.
Text by Nicole Dulieu