London's Cultural Guide

Why we love: #2, Hidden drinking dens

The area is full of secrets: why not try one of these three diverse haunts?

1. The speakeasy: Cosy Kettle

Cosy Kettle Deep in the basement of Somerstown Coffee House is the promise of cakes ‘n’ cocktails. The interior is a mish-mash of eclectic styles, colours and textures, from glass cabinets to reclaimed chairs, painted wood to soft furnishings. And the drinks menu boasts the usual range of libations, from French Martinis to Mojitos; prices hover upwards of £8. Plus it’s open pretty late – around 3am as long as it’s busy enough. Open five days a week from Tuesday to Saturday. 60 Chalton Street, NW1 1HS.

2. The gay bar: Central Station

Central StationLegendary amongst those in the know, this multi-roomed bar and club is one of the last vestiges of “old school” King’s Cross. Highly entertaining cabaret nights most nights upstairs (pictured), which are still packed out. So boys, abandon Grindr for a moment and meet a local face to face. Or perhaps in the dark downstairs – if you dare. 37 Wharfdale Rd, London N1 9SD

3. The music boozer: The Constitution

Singer Ronnie Gordon with Mick Eve
Singer Ronnie Gordon with Mick Eve
Perched between burgeoning King’s Cross and crazy Camden Town is this hoary boozer with vast waterside beer garden. It also boasts a deserved reputation for live music in the colourful graffitied cellar bar, surely one of the capital’s most intimate and authentic venues. Wednesdays are jazz, ska and reggae, Thursdays comedy and Mondays folk. The doors even open out onto the towpath. From free to £4 entry. 42 St. Pancras Way NW1 0QT

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