A fresh take on wining and dining
Eating out and raising a glass: it’s all going to be a bit different in 2021. Summum picks out the latest trends.
Hurray, it’s 2021! Time for new inspiration and a fresh start. Begin by looking after yourself. Moving more is an obvious one, and drinking less alcohol and conscious eating are logical points for improvement. All of the changes over the past year have made us more aware of our surroundings. Standing in a crowded pub or squashed into a diner feels like a distant memory. Nowadays, we prefer to sit at outdoor cafés, we eat at more spacious places, we’ve got gardening down to a fine art and we make higher demands on takeaways. We’ve rediscovered nature, where we find calm, space and air. All of these things will continue into 2021. Outdoors is the new indoors. Eating directly from the farm has become popular again. Alcohol-free cocktail bars are popping up. The catering industry is full of creative ideas, from nostalgic experiences to refreshing collaborations.
You can give your body a good boost by going to the gym again and walking outdoors in spring. Drinking less also gives your body the respite it needs. A trend emerged a few years ago in the USA, particularly among millennials: the Sober Curious Movement. Supporters of this trend consciously reduce their alcohol consumption, and that calls for appropriate products.
The European market is also flooded with alcohol-free alternatives to popular drinks. Aqueous malt beers have made way for 0% IPA, white beer and dark ale. The rise of non-alcoholic alternatives to spirits also makes the often oversweet mocktails superfluous. In recent years, trendy, non -alcoholic cocktail bars
have opened in New York to meet the desire to celebrate without having the foggy head the morning after. The beautiful speakeasy Raised by Wolves in San Diego dedicates an entire menu page to non-alcoholic cocktails and the alcohol-free New York Listen Bar has evolved from a pop-up into a permanent site. Mixing sober variants of classic cocktails is taken very seriously by professional bartenders. There are also alcohol-free alternatives for consumption at home, such as botanical distillates of British Seedlip and non-alcoholic variants of famous cocktails such as Curious Elixirs' negroni and margarita. The Amsterdam gin house Damrak has already brought its VirGin onto the market. Detoxification: good plan, but let’s keep it fun.
After a year of cooking at home, there’s even more focus on good, fresh food. You can buy fresh vegetables at the supermarket, but nothing beats your own home-grown carrots or beetroot. You can grow oyster mushrooms on coffee grounds using a special grow kit, there are grow kits for shoots and herbs and you can even buy a pop-up greenhouse. If adopting an animal or fruit tree doesn’t really appeal to you (you can also visit the farms, to make it a little less abstract), you can also order a food parcel directly from the farmer. That way, you get delicious, creamy avocados, fresh eggs or sweet, juicy mangos delivered to your home - and you don’t even have to name your adopted chicken or cow.
Another trend is biophilia. This phenomenon responds to the human need to be in contact with nature by bringing it indoors, for example by placing a tree or plant walls inside the home. Some architects go a step further this by extending the concept: light, air, greenery and water form the space, so that inside becomes outside. In Vietnam, some architects are setting the trend, as we have seen in the design of the Atlas Hotel, where both the exterior and the interior feel like a lush garden. Ho Chi Min City has the Binh House and Hanoi has the An' Garden Café. For something closer to home, you could go to Hotel Jakarta in Amsterdam, which has an overwhelming subtropical garden in its lobby, or Gare Maritime in Brussels where you think you’re in a former railway station, only among plants and trees. It feels airy, spacious and healthy, and it responds to an increased focus on hygiene, space and sustainability. This concept may disappear along with the old-fashioned hotel breakfast or the Chinese buffet, but you can still enjoy it for the time being.
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