Medcalf // Islington // London

Exmouth Market is a great spot in Northeast London.  Cyclists and pedestrians share a space with a random group of shops and restaurants. During the day, people browse designer jewellery, second-hand books and vintage furniture.  At night, the bars and restaurants take-over.  One of them is a clear favourite; the Medcalf.

Split into two parts – a bar and a restaurant – you’ll find that they’re both worth a visit.

The bar has rustic wooden communal tables where you can relax with friends, or vintage couches for couples.  The bar is stocked with a good choice of wines by the glass.

The restaurant has a similar feel, serving good honest British classics.  The menu is seasonal and is proudly unpretentious.  You’ll find British oysters, Welsh rarebit, dressed Dorset crab, and guinea fowl with lentils.  However, what makes this place great is dishes like the rabbit leg cooked with lardons and mustard, served with rustic home-made mashed potatoes – and the bavette with the home-made horseradish sauce.  Quite appropriate dishes to have on the menu as the dining room is in former butcher’s shop.  It’s just as well the Medcalf is keeping-up tradition.

Waiting staff calmly goes about their business, which adds to the relaxing vibe of this restaurant and bar.

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