18 September 2017

Living it large at The Lighterman

It's fun to win, isn't it? When my bezzie and I tagged each other on an Instagram post to win a meal and cocktails at this rather fancy gastropub near Kings Cross, we never actually thought we'd win. But we did, and the excuse of free food and booze came at the perfect time.

The Lighterman is fairly new, situated just by Regent's Canal, about a five minute walk from King's Cross. Whilst it's tempting to linger and watch the boats glide across the water, food (and drink) is calling...

Thanks to Google setting up shop, and Granary and Pancras Square offering loads of foodie and retail options (& Other Stories is opening in the coming months, just sayin'), Kings Cross is becoming increasingly popular and buzzing in a way it wasn't a few years ago.

By the time I arrived at 6.30, The Lighterman was busy with thirsty-Thursday-ers.

You can't really tell in the photos due to the foliage and angles, but trust me, it was.

From the outside it doesn't look like a pub, but the space inside is modern, airy and comfortable, with pub classics as well as tasty sharers and, of course, plenty of cocktail and fizz options.

We started with Frosé - serious kudos to the person who thought to freeze rosé and throw in more alcohol in. The Lighterman's offering packs a particular punch, with Fontainebleau Rosé, Belsazar Vermouth, strawberry, basil & peppercorn.

And then we got in the starters...

Burrata, heritage tomatoes, artichokes, confit lemon & toasted seeds for me...

Spicy English sausage, smoked mozzarella & red onion on spelt flatbread for my friend. Yes, she had a pizza to start (!)

Burrata and heritage toms are just so good, aren't they? And the artichoke really worked with it, kind of vinegary but not overpowering. I'd have happily passed on the seeds, though.

The pizza was devoured, so I can only assume it was equally tasty.

Time for a Summertime Spritz, courtesy of All that jazz-mine: Bombay Sapphire Gin, jasmine, Crème de Pêche and tonic.

And my main, an underwhelming (sorry) steak - served medium, as advised by the waitress, who said that medium well was what they'd consider 'well done'. However, it was a lot pinker than I would have preferred. Overall it was oooookay, and a good-sized portion.

I was drooling over my friend's beef burger with onion ring and sweet garlic mayo...


We ordered a pre-dessert aperitif, AKA The Axis 9 Belsazar white, Limoncello, Yuzu sake, lemon tonic. Needless to say, very lemon-y, whilst zingy and fresh and more-ish.

I made a big mistake on dessert, thinking I needed something light after a heavy main.

I should have gone for the brownie, or the pannacotta... - shoulda woulda coulda - but I went for the Honey and Thyme roasted plum, with fresh honeycomb, granola and ricotta. It just didn't hit the spot, and it looked pretty.

My friend yet again hit the jackpot with her sticky toffee, which smelt fan-bloody-tastic.

Finished off with a touch of fizz.

Belsazar Rosé, Crème de Mure, lemon & Prosecco, otherwise known as The King's Spritz. I didn't really get the lemon, but the fizz was the perfect way to end our celebratory meal.

The Lighterman will no doubt become more popular as people realise that King's Cross is a lot more hoppin' than before - and it deserves to. Go with your gut when it comes to food (I was second guessing too much) and dip (plunge) into their cocktail menu - you won't be disappointed.

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