Category Archives: Pubs and Restaurants

Jimmy Cannon: Jazz at the Megaro Bar
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‘The Best of British Song with Jimmy Cannon’

Every Thursday Night: Starting October 5th

Come down to Megaro Bar and listen to one of the UK’s best singers in the intimate surroundings of our hidden gem in the heart of King’s Cross, from 8pm every Thursday night.

Jimmy Cannon is one of the finest Jazz singers in the UK and explores the repertoire of the ‘Great British Songbook’: the songs associated with British composers and singers from the golden age of songwriting, covering the jazz and folk standards you love.

The evening is in association with Drambuie, with special cocktails available at £6.00

KING’S CROSS TO WESTMINSTER: RESTAURANTS AND BARS [MAP]
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Welcome to part 2 of our Westminster area guide. For this installation we’re satiating your hunger after your day exploring Westminster with our round up of where to eat and drink in the area. Whatever world cuisine you are craving, or indeed if you simply need to quench your thirst with a pint of finest ale or an artisan coffee, fear not. The restaurants in Westminster have it covered.

For our guide to how to get from our King’s Cross hotel to Westminster, head to our guide to King’s Cross to Westminster: things to do and getting there.

Map of Westminster restaurants and bars

Map of Westminster restaurants and bars

Restaurants

Bank Westminster

Best for outdoor eating

Set in a conservatory, eating at Bank is a light and airy experience whatever the weather and, on sunny days, it’s possible to dine outside in the pretty courtyard. With a menu that incorporates the best of world cuisine, there’s something for everyone here from juicy steaks to succulent Thai fish cakes and a jaunty wine list with plenty of champagnes to tempt any lovers of bubbles.

Pricing: Starters from £5 – £11, main courses from £11 – £30

For local options for outdoor dining ideas, head to our guide to the best London beer gardens and al fresco dining venues to soak up the summer.

Osteria Dell’Angolo

Best for fine dining

Foodies in the know have Osteria dell’Angelo flagged as a go-to destination for unpretentious but finely honed cuisine from Italy. Friendly service plus a bar area that screams ‘relax’ this is an ideal setting for enjoying a chilled out dinner with stacks of quintessentially Italian charm. Booking is recommended.

Pricing: Starters £7.50 – £11, mains £10 – £14

Osteria Dell’Angolo website

The Cinnamon Club

Best for atmosphere 

A huge old Westminster library may seem a bit ‘out there’ setting for a bang on trend contemporary Indian restaurant, but believe us, it really works. While you don’t necessarily need to flash the cash, if you do fancy pushing the boat out this is most definitely the place to do so as exquisitely crafted, inventive dishes come as standard here. To avoid disappointment, do try and book in advance.

The Cinnamon Club is a great option for vegetarians, but if you’d prefer something closer to home head to our guide to best vegetarian restaurants in King’s Cross.

Pricing: Starters £9-£24, mains £16-£34

Cinnamon Club website

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#TheView @Sky Loft

Best for the view

Sitting proudly at the top of one of London’s most distinctive landmarks, Millbank Tower, The View provides . . .well . . a really good view. British through and through, this is a great place to enjoy a 360degree view of London while enjoying a selection of the finest food our nation has to offer. If you simply want to drink in the view – while drinking, your palate will be amply sated in the attached Sky Bar and glam cocktail lounge.

Pricing £41 and over

Sky Loft website

Lupita

Best if you’re starving

Lupita’s menu is packed full of Mexican favourites presented with a twist. Generous portions and staff who can’t seem to do enough for you combine to make this jaunty restaurant a very happy place to re-fuel. Lupita is a great option if you’re staying at Megaro in one of our Family Rooms with kids, just like the tastiest family-friendly restaurants in King’s Cross your kids will love.

Pricing: Starters £3.95 – £7.95, mains from £5.95 – £16.00

Lupita website

Pubs

Gordon’s Wine Bar

Best for character

One of the most popular pubs in Westminster, Gordon’s has been quenching the collective thirst of Londoners for more than 120 years, and it’s really not hard to see the source of its enduring appeal. Candlelit and characterful, with a decent wine list and scrummy retro-influenced lunch menu, you will feel as though you have stepped into London’s sepia tinted past. In a good way.

Gordon’s Wine Bar website

St. Stephen’s Tavern

Best for beer lovers

Fantastically characterful, St. Stephen’s Tavern stands within a hop, a skip and a jump of Big Ben, just across from the majestic Houses of Parliament. Rub shoulders with politicians and craft ale lovers alike in this, one of the stand-out bars in Westminster. St. Stephen’s stocks a good range of Badger beers alongside a well-designed food menu with an emphasis on seasonal, fabulously fresh produce. Lush.

For more great London boozer options, head to our guide to 4 excellent pubs near King’s Cross worth their hops

St. Stephen’s Tavern website

The Speaker 

Best for Cosiness

This is a no nonsense proper English pub that is snugly positioned in the beating heart of Westminster. Settle down in here with a pint of finest real ale and you might find it rather hard to leave. Never mind.

Book direct and save 15% on your stay at Megaro hotel kings cross

Coffee shops

The Flat Cap Coffee 

Best for coffee on the go

The Flat Cap coffee company has built up an ardent fan base of coffee lovers and rightly so. This is some of the best coffee in London, served alongside a range of freshly baked snacks. Caffeine craving? Sorted.

TomTom Coffee House 

Best for Artisan Coffee

Stop by the TomTom coffee house at any time of day and you will receive a warm welcome and, more importantly, a delicious cup of artisan coffee. Egg-based breakfasts are available alongside a menu of tempting snacks, and you can also swing by for a relaxing drink as night falls. Boxes: Ticked.

Looking for a caffeine fix on our doorstop? Try out these King’s Cross coffee shops for size.

HOW TO THROW THE ULTIMATE LONDON HEN DO
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Hen parties of the world: Unite! King’s Cross is ideally located for some of the best hen (and stag) party-friendly attractions in the Capital.

For some great hen party ideas in London, our guests staying in our King’s Cross b&b at The Californianeed look no further.

Day 1: Bowled over at All Star Lanes

Once you’ve settled into your comfortable accommodation, you’ll be itching to get your London hen do started. Head straight to the very hen-party friendly All Star Lanes, a coolly retro, boutique bowling alley located in trendy Shoreditch.

Here you can bowl on one of the four lanes followed by a delicious dinner in a cosy booth. You can even showcase your singing talents in one of the two karaoke booths; choose form ‘country’ or ‘western’.

If you’re feeling decadent, or are staying at our King’s Cross b&b as part of a group booking, All Star Lanes also offer two private lanes upstairs for a proper party. Wash it all down with some of the best cocktails in London from the glitzy surroundings of the oh-so-glam bar.

Remember to book in advance to make sure you get a spot for bowling and karaoke or you might end up waiting a while on the night.

All Star Lanes can be found at 95 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL. Hop on the Northern Line for 2 stops from King’s Cross St. Pancras to Old Street and from there it’s a 15 minute walk to Brick Lane.

Read more: The groups guide to King’s Cross

All Star Lanes website

Daytime Day 2: Party tricks at Drink Shop Do

After a good night sleep in one of the California’s legendarily comfortable beds, it’s time to get back out on the road and continue your London hen weekend. Don’t miss this chance to experience thoroughly nostalgic charms of Drink Shop Do.

A varied selection of dance and craft-based events are held at this quirky cafe, offering the chance for some good old girly bonding. Super popular with hens, you’ll find it modestly tucked away in what was once a Victorian bathhouse in the heart of King’s Cross.

Visit in the daytime and you’ll be greeted by a sweet selection of tasty treats and the opportunity to take part in some sweetly innocent (but highly competitive!) games, like moulding a specific celebrity out of Play Doh, or playing a hyped-up dance version of children’s party favourite Pass the Parcel. A tailored afternoon tea hen party in London can be booked online.

Fun (and mayhem!) come as standard.

Drink Shop Do is a tiny 5 minute walk from us at The California London at 9 Caledonian Rd, London, N1 9DX.

Read more: King’s Cross Map: things to do and local amenities

Drink Shop Do website

Daytime Day 2, Part 2: Party pampering at Akasha Spa

After all that activity, you may feel like a little lie down, and where better to indulge yourselves than in one of London’s finest spas, the Akasha Spa in the Hotel Café Royal.

Though it’s located just seconds from the somewhat frenetic Piccadilly Circus, as soon as you cross the threshold of this luxurious spa, you’ll feel as though you’ve crossed a Rubicon into a parallel universe. A calm one. That smells amazing.

This is a seriously luxurious place, all wood panelling and marble. The piece de resistance is the wonderful swimming pool, bordered by a jacuzzi, hamman and sauna. Start your preparations for your big Saturday night out with one of the fab beauty treatments on offer, or just relax on a recliner by the pool and people watch. A few hours in this oasis of tranquillity and you will surely be the living embodiment of Zen.

Akasha Spa is within the Hotel Café Royal and is based at 8-10 Air Street, London W1B 5AB.  We’d recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment.

Book direct and save 15% at The California King's Cross b&b

Daytime Day 2, Part 2: The adrenaline junkie alternative

However, if your particular gang of hens party is more get-up-and-go than lie-down-and-relax, don’t despair. Ideal for energetic types, Bunker 51 is the very definition of active.

Set in a James Bond worthy ex- cold war military bunker near the O2 in Greenwich, your mission, (should you choose to accept it etc. etc.) is to save the planet from the swarming undead via the medium of paintballing, whilst kitted out in some fetching anti-zombie combat gear. Simple.

The first stage of your battle with the apocalypse is the journey to Greenwich from King’s Cross, although it sounds more of a challenge than it is. The journey should only take you half an hour if you take the Northern Line to London Bridge then hop on the Jubilee Line to North Greenwich.

If you’re a large group of apocalypse survivors, you’ll need to book your place facing the undead in advance.

Read more: The California guide to London pop-ups

Bunker 51 website

Evening Day 2: Bouncing out

Once you’ve finished beautifying/Zombie slaying (delete as appropriate) you’ll find that, as most clubs in London town don’t really get going until late, the ideal place to start your evening warm up is at Bounce, a super hip ping-pong bar in Shoreditch.

Boasting no less than seventeen tables plus a private (bookable) room, this is the ideal setting to showcase your ping pong skills within a to-die-for luxe setting, aided by the thoughtful additions of moreish cocktails and delicious pizza. What more could you want?

Note: while moreish cocktails and delicious pizza won’t necessarily improve your game, they will make you much happier if you are losing.

Bounce website

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Evening Day 2, Part 2: Dancing until dawn at XOYO

Still got room for more?

There’s really only one place to head to once you’re all played out, and that’s to Shoreditch’s coolest nightspot, XOYO.

London’s party lovers congregate here at weekends to sample the best Producers and DJ’s the Capital has to offer. Dance long into the night over the venue’s two large hip and happening floors.

Read more: The California insider guide to…unusual bars in London

XOYO website

Day 3: Bottomless brunch at Bourne & Hollingsworth

While you may find it hard to drag yourself out of bed on Sunday morning, the siren call of a bottomless brunch at the Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings is hard to ignore.

And, if you feel the need for a ‘hair of the dog’, the bottomless Bloody Marys and Bellinis (served from giant pitchers on the bar) will be most welcome, plus the food is spot-on, whether you crave a sneaky fry-up or a more sedate and awfully healthy bowl of porridge (unlikely but you never know).

There’s a great atmosphere here on a Sunday morning, and you’ll find yourself sharing the large and airy space with other slightly hungover hen and stag parties. That’s our kind of solidarity.

Read more: Where to find the tastiest King’s Cross brunch

Bourne & Hollingsworth website