To confuse things even further the premises also boasts a hairdressers called Rebel Pin Up which occupies half of the floor space. As, unfortunately, I am much more in need of a bar than a coiffeur, my Barnet having deserted me many years ago, I took a seat with a pint of craft beer until I was ready to eat. This also gave me a chance to come to terms with the room, which seems to fulfil a number of functions. There was obviously the bar, specialising in ales and cocktails, a DJ desk and space for live bands. There wasn’t a stage as such but the barman told me that there was live music on from 3.00pm and that it was nothing too heavy, just a laid back repertoire suited to a Friday afternoon/evening. Next to the music mixing desk was a selection of vinyl albums priced at £2.00 each and next to them was a turntable and a set of headphones so that the wares could be sampled before purchase. It reminded me of Valances record shop in the 1960s. The few other customers seemed to be taking advantage of the free wifi and power points as laptops were much in evidence.
Having finished my beer, not the crossword however, I went to the bar to order lunch. The menu is divided into small plates and sharing platters. The good thing about the sharing menu is that you can have a smaller version for one person at £4.50. I decided to take advantage of this and had the meat option. I also ordered a house salad (£3.95) and a 250ml glass of Manon Tempranillo for £6.50. I would like to assure you at this juncture that I was driving neither motor vehicle nor seafaring craft. An advantage of the bar is that it is within an anchor’s throw from the bus station. The meat platter was a board bearing samples of four sliced meats; lonzino, chorizo, fiocco and pancetta,which came with two small jars of pickles and several slices of lightly toasted sourdough bread drizzled with olive oil. There was also butter if you prefer the full fat version. Each of the meats was succulent and moist and the pickles seemed to be home made; one was based on shredded beetroot and the other a variation on a piccalilli. The whole melange was really very good. The salad was mixed leaves of rocket, baby spinach and what appeared to be red chard. There was a liberal helping of sun-dried tomatoes and a sprinkling of sesame and pumpkin seeds. The dressing was oil and vinegar and again it was freshly made and delicious.
I am happy to recommend this place as not only was the food and drink good, but also the atmosphere, music and the staff were all just as appealing. It was a great venue to while away an hour and a half on a rainy Friday. A huge bonus is that I get sea sick and so it is brilliant to be able to go to a yacht club with no fear of being invited onto anyone’s boat so that they can show it off. That Roman Abramovich can be a real bore at times.