After decades of being a hub for travellers, King's Cross is becoming a destination in its own right. Case in point: the number of bars and pubs in the area. Bar Pepito it an Andalucían sherry bar and VOC is modelled on a seventeenth-century punch house.
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Venue says: “Don’t miss our truly iconic pop up bar and garden, in partnership with Belvedere Vodka, at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel until May 26.”
To sit in, or to sit out? Inside, Sir George Gilbert Scott’s lofty interior; outside, you have a nearly ceiling-level view of St Pancras International station.
Venue says: “New small plates introductory offers: two dishes £9, three dishes £12 and set menu £20 - Nibbles, two dishes, dessert & drink.”
From Fluid Movement, which brought us Purl and the Worship Street Whistling Shop, VOC occupies a smallish, cosy space in one of north London’s most restaurant-intensive precincts.
In Clerkenwell, this place would almost go unnoticed. Here, amid a Legoland of housing estates and shops catering chiefly to custom from the Indian subcontinent, it’s practically miraculous. Comprising a simply furnished room of stripped wood and tables occupied by after-work regulars, this corner pub enjoys considerable local status for being a smart but unpretentious spot for a decent pint, a natter and a Sunday roast. Früli, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Erdinger, Amstel, London Pride and Staropramen pour from the beer taps lining the long bar counter, staffed by friendly foreigners. Festival tables outside offer extra seating on sunnier days. Standard gastropub fare is well put together and fairly priced.
Polo Bar Kensington
A neat bar within the four-star Rydges hotel in Kensington, just a short walk from the V&A, Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. The modest space is decorated with dark wood and wine-red crushed velvet seating. A big screen telly shows all the major sporting events, which can be paired with a pint of Boddingtons, Stella, Guinness or Becks – all of which are on tap – or a snack from the bar. There's also an open fire to watch if the sport doesn't take your fancy.
Venue says: “For only £12. British beef burger or fish and chips with a pulled pint of Stella. Monday-Sunday from 6pm-9.30pm.”