July 26 2014 Latest news:

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 28°C

min temp: 17°C

Five-day forecast

An award-winning bar was raided by the police after it emerged that it was serving an illegal whale skin cocktail.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The Nightjar in City Road, Hoxton, recently named third best bar in the world by magazine Drinks International, was stormed by the Metropolitan Police Wildlife Unit on December 3 following a tip off.

The bar, which also won the prestigious Class Award for the Best New Bar in 2011 and features on Time Out’s 101 best things to do in London, was offering a drink called Moby Dick on its menu which contained a “whale skin infusion” derived from a strip of dried whale skin soaked in whisky.

The ingredient was purchased by an employee of the bar in a supermarket in Japan last year.

Sale of whale meat and other products is banned in Europe, except under strict conditions in Greenland and Denmark.

Director of Nightjar Edmund Weil said: “Before the police visit, we were not aware that the use of this ingredient was unlawful.

“We unwisely assumed that since it was obtained lawfully in its country of origin, we were not contravening any laws.

“In hindsight having this cocktail on our menu – regardless of the legal framework around such products or the quantity used – was a grave error in judgment. We would therefore like to apologise wholeheartedly to anybody who may have been offended by it.

“We genuinely feel ashamed about our lack of due diligence around this and our insensitivity to public opinion.”

The bar was co-founded by Mr Weil, a former teacher, with university friend Roisin Stimpson, and quickly established itself as one of London’s top nightlife spots. It features a decadent Art-Deco inspired interior, with a drinks list that contains several esoteric ingredients such as desalinated deep ocean water, ostrich egg Advocaat, absinthe smoke, and dry ice.

Spokesman for the Met Police said:” We received an allegation in October 2012 that whale skin was being sold at a premise in City Road. One item from the premises was seized. This has been sent for analysis.”

No arrests have been made at the Nightjar, and the cocktail has been removed from the menu.

The management said that they will donate all proceeds from the drink’s sales to a whale conservation charity.

Share this article

0 comments

   Local advertisers

More News articles

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Islington Gazette on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Islington businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Islington Gazette, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE

Celebrity / Showbiz See all

Drake has cancelled his Wireless London performance (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for ESPN)

Fans devastated after Drake cancels Wireless London festival

Rapper Drake has pulled out of his headline appearances at this weekend’s Wireless Festival in London, leaving fans devastated.

Read full story »