For those looking for the latest place in London that is undergoing a stylish revamp, you should check out Kentish Town. For a long time, it has been the neglected step-child of north London, lacking the cool of Camden and disregarded by its northern neighbour of Highgate. But in the past couple of years, it has had a series of revamps with former public toilets turned into cocktail bars and other swish joints joining the high street.
Another Kentish Town fixture that has had a refurbishment is the Vine, which lies in between the Heath and the high street. It is a versatile venue, hosting comedy and travelling gin bars in its numerous rooms. For those looking to add old-timey games to their evening out, the pub also boasts a shuffleboard.
The food has also had a revamp and is well suited for those either looking for a small bite to eat or a substantial meal. My companion and I started off taking advantage of the small plates that are available for sharing. We picked out pulled pork tostadas, miso-glazed chicken and devilled whitebait and calamari. All three were exquisitely prepared, very light and the ideal way to start a meal.
For the main course, I went for the bavette steak, which came with brisket croquette & gravy, chimichurri and fries. My companion plumped for the cheese burger, that was accompanied with Gouda and blueberry BBQ. The steak was magnificent, full of flavour and complemented by the accompanying gravy. My companion was also effusive about the burger, even though it proved too much for him to manage.
When it came to dessert, my companion could not manage to stretch himself to choose anything. As for myself, I ventured for the salted caramel tart, which came with clotted cream ice cream. This was a sumptuous way to finish the meal, very indulgent and very rich.
There are a variety of reasons to pop into the Vine. It is an establishment that boasts a warm atmosphere, great food and a place to find out what happens in a game of shuffleboard.
86 Highgate Road