Is Bedford going up in the world?

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So last night, thanks to my cute little sister, us and 3 others were treated to a VIP experience at the newly opened Slug and Lettuce, on Bedford High Street.

I was keen to keep an open mind, as those of you that know Bedford, will know that the bar that was there before (Yates) wasn’t the best place to be in Bedford; personally I found it was either full of ‘kids’, or people slumped in the corner making the most of the cheap booze. Anyway, whoever does the S&L social media had done a good job of getting people excited for their opening, so I was actually looking forward to our night out there.

IMG_7611When we arrived we were taken to the cocktail mixology table by the general manager, given a glass of prosecco, and was told what we had in store for the night ahead.

As far as first impressions go, I was actually really impressed with what they had done. Even down to changing the windows so it looked less of a dive from the outside too!

We were introduced to our cocktail master for the evening, Matt, and also given a menu to chose our food from the 3 course meal that we were being treated too. We probably spent a bit too much time chatting to Matt as we got the impression that the other staff weren’t overly happy with our interaction with him – however, we were also their to have fun, so if you can’t have a laugh with your cocktail master than your’e in for a boring night ahead! From gentle ear-wigging, I think we should have made a cocktail before our starters were brought out – oops!


To start, I ordered the breaded calamari. The calamari itself was actually quite tasty, with just the right amount of crispiness and not overly oily from being breaded/fried. The only let down for the dish, was the mayo dip that it came with. A sweet chilli or tartare sauce would had added a bit of flavour to this. As we were eating, we were very aware of the table next to us having a blazing row and literally crying in to their food – you can’t take the Bedford out of Bedford…. This just added to the nights entertainment (am I allowed to say that?!) even though we had no idea what was going on. I did want to just tell them to go home and avoid the scene, but its not a night out in Bedford without the drama I guess!


Once the starter plates had gone, Matt started placing cocktail making goodies in front of us to make a classic mojito! Oh yes! Matt gave us a fun and quick demonstration as he could clearly see our eager faces were ready to get stuck in. On the word go, the limes were flying, the mint being slapped, and shots being poured! Obviously the competitiveness of the group came out as we smugly placed our decretive limes and mint on the top of the drinks, that it was hard to tell who’s was best without sharing them around (which none of us wanted to do as clearly our own was the best)! The winner of the best cocktail, was supposed to win the one that Matt made in the demo… So, to decide the winner, we were each asked to draw a cocktail that represented our sex lives. I would post the picture, but I think I would get in trouble for that by the rest of the group…. Anyway, the winner was my sisters boyfriend, so I will gloss over this part of the night. No one needs to know why he had drawn handcuffs round the base of the cocktail glass…

IMG_7641After the fun of this cocktail round, the table was cleaned, and dinner brought out. My first impressions of the food coming out, was that the portions looked decent! Second impressions, was I couldn’t see my main coming out… The waitress that brought over the food asked what I order, and when I said a fishcake salad, she replied that they didn’t serve that and I must have order a fish and chips instead… nope, I know what I ordered… Anyway, our hero, Matt, came out and explained that the kitchen had missed my order and it wouldn’t be too much longer and that they did indeed serve fishcake salads. My main eventually arrived just after everyone had finished eating and I tried to eat as quickly as I could as didn’t want to hold up the rest of the group from the next cocktail making concoction. I ended up leaving most of my dish, but I was actually surprised at how tasty it was, and  that they had used sun-dried tomatoes in with the salad. I have never thought to put sun-dried tomatoes and fish together before, but can honestly say that I will be doing this in the future! – A revelation!

Next up was everyone’s favourite, the pornstar martini! I never realised how much of this and how much of that goes in to making these delicious drinks, let alone how much sugary liquid…. As we were watching the demonstration, Matt warned to make sure we held both sides of the glass and the shaker, or we would end up ‘pornstaring ourselves’. As if meant to be, he let go of his glass and pornstared himself! Without laughing at anyones misfortune, this was excellent! Dinner and a show!


We started making the pornstars, and quickly became very sticky from everything that we were putting in – I was finding a new gratitude for cocktail bar staff at this point! It was then time to shake, shake, shake, shake and more shake shake shake until we managed to get the ‘perfect creamy white head’ on top of our drink – all sorts of remarks were made at this point, but as this is a new blog, I don’t want to risk being deleted already by sharing these crude comments (they were excellent though). Anyway, I am not destined to be a cocktail maker it seems as my pornstar martini was awful and definitely didn’t have a creamy head!


Next up was pudding! I order the brownie bites and these were warm, gooey and everything that you want from a brownie. There could have been a whole strawberry included on the dish though, rather than the smallest slithers…


After pudding, we were taken to our table. The table itself was gorgeous as designed to look like it was in a bird cage – 10/10 for design here! After we sat down, we were brought a sparkly pornstar martini tree with 9 cocktails on! However, by this point, I was feeling super bloated with all the food and sugary alcohol swimming around, that more sugary cocktails wasn’t the best idea – it didmake a great Instagram story though!

After we had finished our tree (we are such troopers), we were brought Jagerbombs followed by a bottle of Ciroc and various mixers! – The night was still young!

The VIP experience was pretty amazing, and we felt thoroughly spoilt. Thank you S&L.

I would recommend the cocktail making 100%, however, maybe not with a 3 course meal! The pornstar martini tree is also a must have! As is buying bottles and mixers – I think you would save a lot doing this as a group rather than going back and forth to the bar.

The food was average but tasty and what you would expect of a bar. It was nicely presented, and were served in really decent portion sizes. There is something on the menu for everyone, so there isn’t an excuse not to try here.

The cocktail masterclass will be a great start to a night out, at £25pp, with 2 hours of cocktail making, shot drinking, laughing and having a good time. A bargain if you think about it really!

Is Bedford going up in the world? – It just may be…

L x


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