Food & Drink

Hard Shakes and Proper Burgers

On a cold night in December with plenty of Christmas Cheer about, an evening with colleagues at Byron Kings Road was a welcome invitation.

Stepping into a sleeker and more pleasing environment than what you would expect for a burger place, we were welcomed by Lauren and her stellar team who pandered to our every need.

For starters, there were plentiful nachos embedded with salsa, guacamole and sour cream and drizzled with delicious melted cheddar. A sumptuous compliment to the prosecco and impressive selection of bottled beer, which includes Camden (who make a special brew exclusively for Byron), The Kernel, SKA, and my favorite – Sierra Nevada,

The selection of ‘proper’ hamburgers satisfied all of our persnickety dietary requirements. The veggies were treated to, I was told, the best veggie burgers in London. You can choose between a mushroom or a bean patty; both are excellent. The carnivores and California burger snobs at the table were impressed with the quality of the meat and fresh ingredients. Those with a fiery tongue were treated to the excellent chili burger, while those with less adventuresome taste buds were enticed by the classic burger with a grand selection of cheeses including bleu, Monterey Jack, Emmenthal, cheddar or Freddar(™). Yum.

Oh and the sides: both the sweet potato or regular fries, with and without melted cheese and bacon were to die for. The mac and cheese and wedge lettuce were worthy substitutes as well, but the real star of the table was the courgette fries which are an absolute must and disappeared very quickly.

To finish off the evening ‘proper’, we imbibed in the lushest cocktail innovation since piña coladas were discovered. Indeed, I’m talking about the Hard Shake. Being unaware of such an amalgamation, I was delighted to discover that it mixed my two favourite libations: real milk shakes and top shelf whiskey. Wow! An exceptional concomitant to some white chocolate cheesecake or chocolate brownie. I could barely choose….

Overall this was a fabulous and unexpected evening. Not your traditional Christmas ‘dinner’ but oh so wonderful for sure.

Food & Drink

The Pikey

Situated next to the famous Samuel French Theatre Bookshop, one would expect to run into a playwright or two at The Pikey. In fact, when this place was The Coach & Horses, as it had been since the 1920s, one could expect to see William Holden sipping gin with William Faulkner or insert name of any cocktail loving Hollywood legend from the dawn of the silver screen. Now the C&H has been reborn as The Pikey. The original 20s-era bar has been lovingly restored with two additional rooms retrofitted as a contemporary UK-style gastropub.

The new front room greets you with it’s tiled floor, dark wood booths and open kitchen with white-hatted chefs preparing steaks, fish and fowl. And the kitchen is open until 1:30am! It’s the perfect meeting place for lunch and dinner.

To the right is the original room which preserves the bar and classic atmosphere of the old Coach and Horses, a favorite watering hole of Alfred Hitchcock among others. Whether you accompany your Fish and Chips with absinthe, one of over 25 single malt scotches, or just a tall can of Red Speckled Hen, you can disappear into the luxurious red booths and slip into the past, while being watched over by garden gnomes, a skylight and the Union Jack.

A dark wood corridor takes you to the back room, a private event space from Sun-Thurs that accommodates 40-50 guests. The entire venue (all three rooms) can be rented out to host up to 150 Dramatis personæ. The new owners are the same folks who gave us Bar Lubitsh and The Roger Room, so you know that every detail has been expertly rendered, and the overall experience will never disappoint. If you’re looking for a proper London Pub in the heart of Tinseltown, The Pikey will surely exceed your expectations.