A short step from Regent’s Park and Fitzrovia, this fine old pub retains plenty of classic Victorian features – grand wooden panelling, lofty leaded windows – as a backdrop to its modern metropolitan-gastropub identity. By contrast, a highlight of the menu is the long tapas list, which includes both excellent versions of Spanish favourites (creamy serrano ham croquettes, roasted peppers) and more pan-Mediterranean options, such as sweet potato and raisin couscous or bright, refreshing salads.
Ingredients are consistently outstanding, and the range so broad that picking and choosing takes time. The shorter yet still imaginative Modern European main menu is also served in the bar, though to relax over a meal it’s best to get a table in the cosy upstairs dining room, with original fireplace. Dishes on the regularly changing list neatly avoid established gastropub routines, as in black pudding ravioli with a piquillo pepper sauce, or another Spanish-based option, baked hake with clams.
Drink is also a draw, with a wine list that’s short enough to be easily readable but still presents plenty of ably selected quality labels at below-average prices, along with a good mix of cocktails and beers (cask and others).