Despite the scaffolding that will be in situ for a whole twelve months, while historic pub the Somers Town Coffee House is restored to former glory after July’s fire, it still boasts a west-facing terrace out front, one of the few in the area that soaks up the rays from lunchtime to sunset.
The building dates back to 1927, although the original pub, located a little further south down the street, was built in the 18th century, a popular haunt of foreign visitors, with coffee served in “Parisian style”.
Fast forward to 2018 and the dark-panelled interior is spacious enough to find a table – they host supper clubs upstairs with all manner of secret rooms – and there’s even a dimly-lit speakeasy called the Cosy Kettle downstairs. There are real ale handpulls, cider and the bigger name craft beers too on keg – although the choice isn’t as exciting as, say, the Euston Tap.We pop by on a breezy but sunny Thursday lunchtime (the day before the awful fire, in fact). At lunch there are sandwiches, fish and chips, ribs, veggie and meat-based burgers, but their USP is what they call ‘British tapas’, around twenty small plates of varying cuisines, all apparently waving a Union Jack flag.
The menu advises two to three dishes per person (at £4-£6); we settle on six between two. They make an admirable companion to a mellow bottle of pale pink Provence (£21).
While the terrace is undoubtedly the best place to soak up rays in Euston, at points it’s so hot we actually need to change tables: maybe worth investing in some parasols, guys? And despite being the only customers eating, service is leisurely, although staff are fairly matey, which at least makes up for it.
If you want the terrace to yourself, eat after 2pm on a weekday; by 4pm it’s full with office workers. And if it’s too windy out front, try the back garden.
Main image: Stephen Emms