Browns Bar & Brasserie

Great pub grub in a modern, sleek setting

Where? 82-84 St. Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4 AA

Best for? After-work drinks and snack-attacks. Nestled neatly on the bustling St. Martin’s Lane in Covent Garden, just a ten-second stroll from Leicester Square tube station, this is the perfect spot to meet up with friends and natter away over a cocktail or two in nice but not-too-posh surroundings.

It boasts a West End postcode – is it a bar for city-slickers? Yes, there were some ‘suits’ there, but this well-placed bar appeals to all types of customers, including the odd soap star – we sat next to Mo from EastEnders, who was enjoying a relaxed bite to eat with a pal.

What’s on the menu After a recent re-jigging, it offers upmarket pub grub ranging from Pan Seared Black Pearl Scallops to old-favourite Pan Fried Button Mushrooms, given a kick with a brandy-cream sauce, to start, which my boyfriend and I shared (both nice, but the scallops won by a mile). The mains feature such classics as Steak, Mushroom and Guinness Pie, Rack of Lamb, and a Browns Bacon Cheeseburger (which looked fab when it whizzed past our table), as well as slightly more unusual dishes, like Guinea Fowl and Calves Liver and Bacon, for the more adventurous. There’s something on there for everyone, vegetarians and meat-lovers alike.

Drinks? Browns offers an extensive cocktail list, a healthy, affordable selection of Italian, Australian, French and Spanish red and white wines as well as a busy beer menu. So, whether you fancy a cooling, chilled beer (we washed our dinner down with a couple of refreshing Peroni’s), or a Champagne cocktail, you’ll be well catered for.

A sweet aftertaste? Desserts are typical pub fare, which was A-ok with us. We managed to fit in the delicious Sticky Toffee Pudding and the gooey Profiteroles, drizzled in warm Belgian sauce. With prices ranging from £5 to £20, and a buzzing atmosphere in a modern setting, we left with a good taste in our mouths, but, be warned: its central location means it gets very busy, which makes service less personal and, sometimes, less speedy.

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