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44 Barnsbury Street
It may look gentrified, but The Drapers Arms is a lively place, with the ground-floor bar humming like a good ’un when the locals flock in. The Georgian building’s fine features have been left well alone, which makes for spaces of generous proportions and classic design. To drink, there are real ales at the bar and a wine list offering glass and carafe options. Head upstairs to the serene dining room to escape the hubbub (assuming it’s not booked for a private party). A patio garden provides another alternative in summer. The kitchen satisfies with its mix of modern comfort food, such as the house cheeseburger, but is equally happy knocking up duck breast with roasted black plums, or packing guinea fowl, bacon and mushrooms into a pie. To finish, gingerbread pudding competes with Neal’s Yard Dairy cheeses with crab apple jelly
(is it OK to have both?).
To celebrate the Year of the Woman, SquareMeal is running a series of interview profiles with top female chefs. Read here about Marianne Lumb’s colourful career as a private chef and the benefits of operating one of London’s smallest kitchens.
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44 Barnsbury Street
020 7619 0348
Caledonian Road & Barnsbury Tube Station 424m
Caledonian Road & Barnsbury Station 424m
Almeida Theatre 326m
King's Head Theatre 403m
Mon-Sat 12N-3pm (Sat -4pm) 6-10.30pm (Sat 7pm-) Sun 12N-8.30pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
Booked meal for 5 on a Sunday and the table was free when we arrived. The pub was packed and for good reason, the cooking was top level gastropub grub,wine priced sensibly and service friendly and efficient. Welcoming atmosphere on a cold winters evening. We shall return.
A gastropub is somewhere I would never go for a client lunch as a rule of thumb. But I went to Taste of London festival and loved the food we tried, so much in fact, my dad and I went back twice! So it was to my dismay that they are based round the back of Angel, an area I never get to, but providence intervened and put a client right there!
As they have a lovely garden out the back, completely walled in from traffic and a wonderful sun trap, it was too good an opportunity not to go. I can happily say that they lived up to the Taste of London showing.
The food is not overly complicated but the execution is lovely and packs a flavourful punch. My fried quail wasn't oily or overcooked, my client's sprats were juicy and fresh and my colleagues cow's curd & strawberry salad was summer on a plate. The main courses didn't disappoint and with unusual choices available - calves' liver, oxtail - provided a treat.
We sat for 5 hours slowly eating and drinking our way through the afternoon, with lovely unobstrusive but not elusive service. Thoroughly recommend it.
I was a little nervous after hearing some pretty poor reviews, but my second visit to the Draper's Arms was again excellent – lovely menu, the cod chowder I had was excellent and their bread was properly special. Really nice wine list with plenty of carafe options as well as bottles. The other half, who was being treated, was very happy with his duck and toulouse sausage bean cassoulet. Plus, the service and atmosphere was great, and it has to be one of the pretty pubs around. Overall, a winning evening.
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