With its peacock blues, burnished art-deco brass, glazed Victorian tiles, recycled teak parquet and cosy-up, blue leather booths, the convivial cellar at Hawksmoor is a beauty to behold. Bag a high stool at the zinc bar for similarly handsome mixology. Live-wire staff know their stuff, and individual members decide each month's ‘Desert Island drinks' – their list of personal favourites from Hawksmoor's vast cocktail anthology. Nuclear banana daiquiri, the puritan (a dry martini based on Plymouth gin and orange bitters) and Monk Antrim's Manila julep are just three suggestions worth revisiting, should the appeal of classics such as tobacco old fashioned ever wane. Meanwhile, Hawksmoor's magnificently meaty burger with beef-dripping chips, hot dogs, lobster rolls, curious Canadian poutine (fries, gravy and curd cheese), jalapeño coleslaw and short-rib nuggets make this the tastiest dive on the Spitalfields strip.
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