Never knowingly out-cooled, Peckham is getting a pretty unusual Christmas pop-up this year: a hybrid urban-forest-mead-bar. Mead is one of the world’s oldest alcoholic drinks, made by fermenting honey. London’s only meadery, Gosnells, is running this seasonal sensation, after the success of its summer mead garden. They’ve even got a funny pun name for it: ‘Gosnells Garden of Meaden’ and have hired that woman off of ‘Dragon’s Den’ to be the face of it. That last bit is a lie, of course.
On the monkish drinks menu (mead was often produced in monasteries, which explains a lot) is the new Gosnells 4 percent sparkling Wildflower Mead on draught, along with its Hopped, Sour, Hibiscus and Citra Sea meads in cans. If you’re a proper mead-head, you should check out its 5.5 percent Original, its small-batch experiments, and its Vintages 2019, 2020 and 2021, all made from London honeys. For the less honey-committed drinker, there are softies from Square Root in Hackney and lager from Freedom Brewery, plus what’s billed as ‘a razzamatazz of snacks’.
You can also take away more mead, plus mead vinegar, and, in a bold move, purchase actual Christmas trees. So the plan is, get stuck into the mead like Friar Tuck, then, once suitably jollified, drag home an unsuitably massive fir tree that you have to leave in the front garden overnight then saw in half in the morning to get it through the front door accompanied by a shocking mead hangover. See you there, yeah?
Gosnells Garden of Meaden, Bellenden Road Business Centre, Arch 2, Bellenden Rd, SE15 4RF. Book here.