THOROUGHLY MODERN MAN: Drake and Morgan, Kings Cross


Bar and restaurant group Drake & Morgan has launched its latest addition, the eponymous Drake and Morgan in the rather swish and streamlined Pancras Square development in Kings Cross. Having already visited Parlour Bar, one of eight sister sites to Drake and Morgan, we were excited to see what was in store for us. Needless to say we were not disappointed.

The most recent venture from Jillian Maclean’s innovative bar group, Drake and Morgan continues to build on the themes of high quality food and drink served impeccably in elegant and modern settings. The location is spread across two floors and features many areas, including a restaurant, two bars, a deli and lounge, a number of kitchen pods that can be booked for any meal of the day, as well as an outdoor terrace. The space itself has a minimalist design, with mirror and metal creating a sleek backdrop for your afternoon drinks or evening bite.

Drinks on offer are predictable in terms of the quality of products and expert handling from the bartenders at any of the bars over the two floors. Bar/drinks consultants Hops & Jigger are behind the menu, and we would advise you to focus especially on the cocktail list – our favourites include the mescal and ginger-based Doctor’s Orders, or the Lemongrass Collins with Ketel one and rice wine. The wine list is equally impressive, with all tastes and budgets covered.

For food, twists on classics fill the small plates section, with the tuna, sesame and ginger spoons, and the lobster mac & cheese (my personal menu Achilles heel) standing out among the savoury options. While we did not sample the larger plates when we investigated Drake and Morgan, the quality of the sirloin steak suggested good things for our inevitable return. Even the peppered goat cheese, watermelon, and almond combination won me over at second tasting, and I picked up several more of the little collaboration just to “make sure”.

Despite its slightly hidden-away location, Drake and Morgan is now well and truly confirmed on my Kings Cross map. With DJs on until late on the usual nights, it joins an emerging nightlife hub alongside Vinoteca and D&D London in the newly reopened German Gymnasium: Kings Cross naysayers, prepare to eat your words.

More information and book a table here.

Written by a Thoroughly Modern Man, James Bomford.

The Fable, Chancery Lane

The Fable is the newest restaurant from imaginative group Drake and Morgan; each establishment has its own distinctive character and theme but similar food, this new eatery follows suit. The design evokes the atmosphere of fairytales and fantasies with a focus on the Fables of Aesop, there are various indicators: piles of books surround a table, a flower shop occupies one entrance, the bathrooms are mirrored boudoirs. Each of the three floors provides a different vibe and guests can pick their table dependant on intention: a cocktail making class, a sit-down meal, a quick drink with friends. With the capacity to hold over 1000 guests at any time the space is also ideal for events.

We sat on the lowest floor, where the kitchen is based. It was not very relaxing, a bunch of rowdy business boys on one side, and a barrage of loud music from a booming speaker on the other side. Once the group had left and the music turned down, the ambience improved considerably.

Our waitress was perfectly sweet but a little clueless, drifting to and from our table looking bewildered, I found it distracting that she smelt quite strongly of cigarettes. It took a while for our starters to arrive but once they did mains came in quick succession after. The menu offers cuisine from around the globe: Asian inspired starters, steaks and burgers, pastas and salads, Mediterranean style sharing boards. I chose chicken satay skewers with peanut sauce and prawn crackers, the meat was tender and well marinated and the sauce had a satisfyingly spicy kick, though it was disappointingly served cold. My friend chose lobster and parmesan croquettes coated in a golden crunchy layer of breadcrumbs with a soft and tasty filling. Both were served with handfuls of rocket, I wondered if this was for colour or for taste?

Mains immediately replaced the clean starter plates… fillet steak was cooked perfectly for me with a nice chargrilled edge and a good flavour. The chips were sadly just out of a bag and were rather uninteresting, peppercorn sauce was little more than cream with a hint of pepper flavouring despite containing whole peppercorns. The crab and crayfish linguine looked delicious, and my friend was delighted to find chunky pieces of crayfish amongst the strands of pasta. Again both dishes were presented with a helping of rocket, it was becoming a bit of a trend!

For dessert we opted for the selection of mini pudding shots, all exceptionally sweet but tasty. I favoured the knickerbocker glory with whole cherries and honeycomb, though the white chocolate crème brulee was yummy too. Our round of fresh mint tea was completely forgotten about, and after waiting for half an hour we headed home.

I had such high hopes for this new fairytale venue, and though parts of the décor are whimsical and captivating, the atmosphere and menu lack charm and character.

More information here:

The Anthologist, Bank

The Drake and Morgan restaurants have universal appeal… funky but relaxed vibe, reasonably priced, good food and great cocktails. Located around the city, they are the ideal hangout for city workers after a long day in the office. The Anthologist was a sea of black suits when we went along on a Thursday night. The venue is bright with pretty décor; a large standing area is filled with groups enjoying a drink and perhaps sharing food, the restaurant area is more civilised allowing couples and friends to enjoy a comfortable sit down meal.

First things first, a cocktail – the Anthologist has a very special secret bar downstairs for guests in the know. The Blind Pig is a hidden gem, a cosy cool bar serving up awesome drinks, ideal for a pre-dinner aperitif. Entry is strict and it is well worth making a booking. We sat at the bar, brilliantly positioned to chat to the bartender about his London cocktail recommendations. We tried the Mary Pickford (El Dorado 3 Rum, pineapple, grenadine and maraschino) and the Corpse Reviver #2 (Tanqueray London dry gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, lemon and a drop of Absinthe). Priced at 8 or 9 pounds, these prohibition classics are affordable and of the highest quality. Both drinks were expertly mixed in front of us and presented beautifully in misted cold glasses. The Mary Pickford is a light sweet concoction, refreshing and very easy to drink. The Corpse Reviver is a stronger cocktail, a lovely combination of flavours with a kick from the Absinthe.

I could have stayed in the Blind Pig all night, but the wafts of culinary delights beckoned us to go upstairs and try the food. The Anthologist, like the other D&M eateries, offers a varied choice of main meals, tapas style snacks, salads and sharing boards. I would usually opt for a three course selection, here we decided to order a range of smaller and larger plates to share casually as one big feasting course. The food arrived promptly: numerous plates, bowls and boards of tantalising grub, it was tricky to fit it all on the table and I didn’t know where to start.

For the main event we chose the Borough Market Flatbread with Brindisa Chorizo, piquillo peppers, rocket and sunblush tomatoes. This was a huge pizza like doughy base loaded with rich chorizo and vibrant peppers and tomatoes, absolutely delicious and ideal for picking at while we gossiped. My friend adored the crispy Tempura squid with ginger and citrus mayo and I loved the indulgent and tasty Rosemary and parmesan chips and the ultra fresh and crunchy rocket salad which provided some peppery green.

Craving another cocktail, I chose a wonderfully floral marigold martini, an original, sweet drink made with Bols Genever shaken with earl grey tea syrup, fresh lemon, edible gold and adorned with wildflowers. It looked like a gorgeous spring garden. I was less impressed with the skinny pornstar cocktail, a vodka based drink which was just far too sweet and needed diluting with ice.

Requiring only a mouthful of something sweet, we had the trio of pudding shots between us. Chocolate brownie, crème brulee & knickerbocker glory were each served in dinky little cocktail glasses… the crème brulee was the clear winner of the three, extra creamy and full of flavour.

From the deserted and silent street outside, I didn’t expect this venue to be so fun, colourful and entertaining once in the front door. After experiencing the friendly service and atmosphere at Anthologist I can see why this restaurant has become a regular for so many local city workers.

More information here: