Dram & Smoke are a pop up dining company who have put on a few events around London already, and I was lucky enough to be invited by my lovely mate B to come with her to their winter version, being held in a nice-sized space – a former tanning warehouse apparently – not far from London Bridge.

With a name like that, you’d be right in thinking there’s a Scottish flavour to it all, and on their website they advertise ‘Scran, bevvy, and general flumgummerie’, which made me feel right at home immediately. After being greeted with a warming (whisky-based) hot toddy, the bar offered several different cocktails. I tried the Flower of Scotland, with more whisky (a brand called the Naked Grouse; not sure if he was a cousin of Famous), ginger beer, elderflower and lime, which was not too sweet but very refreshing.

The room was packed – I think they must have had over 100 covers – and we were sat at a table for 10, most of whom were couples, and most of whom were friendly and chatty, though one pair looked as though they’d rolled straight out of bed and spent most of the evening with their tongues down each other’s throats. As if they were 15. Which they weren’t.

Ignoring them entirely, we focused on the food. The menu sounded exciting, and the starter was ‘duck donut with Irn Bru and chilli jam’ – all very a la mode of course, and the sweet/savoury flavour combo worked well, the dusting of cinnamon and a slight sprinkling of sugar enhancing the rich taste of the duck, which was tender and whatever word we’re using instead of moist these days.

That was followed by something like a cross between a rough pate and one of those fancy ‘soils’ that I’ve never actually tried but was always a bit intrigued by. Smoked mushroom was mixed with chunks of Dunsyre blue cheese in a cute little kilner jar, topped with a handful of leaves, and served with some quite tough toast and dishes of pickled veg. The taste was deep and earthy, which the veg cut through nicely.

After that was a little shot of lobster broth; this was more like a creamy bisque, warming and hearty, but thankfully not too cloying or rich. We both could have had a huge bowlful. But we did have to leave room for the main event, after all. The serving staff each bore a huge rack of roast pork to the tables, for us to carve ourselves, which looked mighty impressive. This was accompanied by a huge platter of mixed vegetables and other goodness – a kale-like cabbage, parsnips, chestnuts, black pudding and chopped up, chargrilled plums, and a bucket o’ crackling (their words, not mine). The pork was delicious; not dry at all, firm and meaty, while the sides were tasty, particularly the black pudding, which was insane, and made me wonder why I don’t have it more often (apart from the fact it’s largely clotted pigs’ blood, of course). I smothered it in a good, if thinnish, gravy.

Alas we couldn’t stay for dessert, but it sounded epic: whisky bread and butter pudding with malted milk custard. I’m not sure I’d have had room, to be honest. We washed it down with a bottle of Malbec, and had we paid for the experience (£40 including the welcome cocktail) I would have thought it was good value. I’ll be looking out for their next venture for sure.

Atmosphere: 8/10

Food: 8/10

Value for money: 7/10