I don’t make the train journey to Kings Cross anything like I used to have to, so I really appreciate a more leisurely exploration of ever-changing WC1.
My pre-journey drink always used to be the Chinese tea in Chop Chop Noodles across the road, as Craft Islington and the Queen’s Head were a few minutes too far. Twenty years ago it would have been the Duke of York, so you can see how much things have improved.
Simon Everitt has found me a great place for a quick pint one minute from the railway station. If it wasn’t for only opening in December I’d be surprised I hadn’t read more about it elsewhere.
The Scottish Stores looks gorgeous from the outside, and draws you in with its multi-roomed loveliness and sense of pub rather than craft bar. Craft Clapham had a similar feel, but the Scot (?) has blokes in sheepskin coats to prove its authenticity.
I visited last month and it was interesting, a decent Ripple served in a jug that did it no favours. Possibly the rugby on the telly and a lack of seating slightly offset a marvellous building of Sam Smiths finest quality.
This week it clicked, mainly due to the quality of the young barman. Asked to identify the fastest seller he immediately pointed to the Hammerton N1, and was happy to serve it in a proper nonic. I’ll let the price tag (£4.40) go for the moment, it was great (NBSS 4).
The Scot has a really good mix of custom, and it feels as much a meeting point as a pre-departure point. You could have a proper session here, as long as the scotch eggs hadn’t sold and you’d brought enough cash.
Already one of London’s best pubs, and the pictures on its own Twitter site are very wonderful.