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.
This traditional boozer on Hart Street, close to Fenchurch Street, looks like it's fighting a one-pub battle against the City, its characterful sliver of a facade squeezed but resolute between two modern buildings. The decor inside sticks to the outside's traditional look. True to the feel of the place, it's mostly about the booze, with beer a particular focus. Expect a regularly changing list of cask ales, with more by the bottle. A short wine list includes bottles from France, Chile, Italy, Australia, South Africa and Argentina, with most available by the glass. The main food menu draws influence from across the globe too, with dishes ranging from Welsh rarebit and ham, egg and chips to shredded duck wraps, vegetable spring rolls and chilli con carne. A range of burgers do brisk business, with beef alongside lamb, cajun chicken, cod and a veggie option made with chickpeas, mixed beans, aubergine and couscous.
Venue says: “Come and try our new menu with a fantastic two main courses for £20 offer! Available Monday to Wednesday lunchtimes.”