The Wood Samaritan
The Wood Samaritan is a North American-inspired log cabin bar. It’s filled with hunting trophies, ancient skiing gear and pumpkin spice Old Fashioneds. And all tinnies – which includes a few canned wines – are half price on between 4pm and 6pm on weekdays.
Drinks here have a distinctly Canadian influence too. Owners and school friends James Frew and Lauren Turner (both ex-Naked For Satan) take inspiration from Edmonton, Canada, where Lauren’s grandmother is from. The PB&J Bourbon Negroni is Buffalo Trace and peanut butter stirred with strawberry jam, Antica Formula vermouth and Campari, while the Old Fashioned is a mix of hyper-seasonal pumpkin spice with bourbon, bitters and orange peel.
The team also knocks out one of Canada’s great national drinks: the Bloody Caesar. A Canuck version of a Bloody Mary, the Caesar replaces tomato juice with Clamato (a savoury mix of tomato and clam juice) and adds a little house-made cold-smoked horseradish to the mix. There’s mulled wine, too: grenache with mandarin, apricot, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and star anise, and a little apricot liqueur.
In the kitchen, the focus is on simple, classic bar food to match the drinks menu’s comforting slant. Expect mac‘n’cheese croquettes with smoked blue cheese and chorizo, fried chicken sliders, and smoked salmon with dill cream cheese and crusty bread. There are plenty of tasty vegan dishes too, such as deep-fried pickles; popcorn cauliflower; and jalapeno poppers stuffed with black bean, red onion and coriander.
The kitsch, ski chalet-esque fit-out has wood-panelled ceilings, beer taps featuring a Thanksgiving turkey, an odd assortment of Canadian spoons and a full-size canoe. It leaves you feeling caught somewhere between a family ski holiday and a sitcom Christmas special.