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28 Leigh Street
If it weren't for the legs of Ibérico ham hanging in the window and the meat slicer on the counter, you might think the Norfolk Arms was just another jam-packed Bloomsbury boozer, with its tiled facade, ornate plastered ceilings and prim window boxes. Spanish influences hold sway in the kitchen, with a lengthy tapas menu delivering Padrón peppers, chorizo in cider and Serrano ham croquetas alongside international big-hitters including taramasalata, Scotch eggs with mustard and spare ribs with crackling. The more conventional daily menu also casts its net wide, moving from tiger prawns with guacamole via braised beef cheeks or free-range chicken breast stuffed with black pudding to salted caramel ice cream with toasted sesame seeds. Familiar draught beers are outshone by a sharp globetrotting wine list with plenty by the glass or carafe.
Best Private Rooms: <10
Best in Bloomsbury
Best London gastropubs
28 Leigh Street
020 7388 3937
King's Cross Station 334m
Russell Square Tube Station 351m
St. Pancras Youth Hostel 141m
The Place Theatre 235m
Mon-Sat 12N-3pm (Sat -4pm) 6-10.15pm Sun 12N-10.15pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
The food at the Norfolk Arms is excellent: fresh, inventive, unpretentious, reasonably priced and with a wide range of dining options, from snacks to huge meals. There's always a good selection of vegetarian and healthier options too. The puddings are fabulous. There's a good selection of wines and beers. The atmosphere is buzzy, often with University of London academics, workers from the various unions located nearby, and some students.
When the Norfolk Arms opened a few years ago, one of the best things about it was the service. The last two times I have been here, the service has been downright hostile: ordered items don't appear, plates are hurriedly slammed down in front of the wrong diner, things appear on the menu which never turned up at the table, and waiters and waitresses barge past customers as if they are in a hurry to be elsewhere. The Norfolk Arms is a really good take on the upmarket gastro-pub, but the management need to get the service right.
Food + drink: 1
Norfolk Arms showed my friend and I one of the worst service experiences I've been exposed to for a long time. The staff (more than two) were blatantly rude. They were clearly not aware that customers should be treated as customers, not unwelcome paying guests. My friend and I will never go back there as a result, despite that fact that one of our favourite restaurants just happens to be across the road and we hoped the Norfolk Arms would be a good place to go for a drink after dinner. Never again. I'm not prone to write reviews, in fact this is my first, but I thought this one was necessary.
The service was truly awful Our waiter was rude, unhelpful about the menu and clueless about wine. The noise in the pub was deafening – the worst I've ever encountered in a restaurant. The food was so-so. I would never go again or recommend it to anyone.
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