A couple of months ago, the people of Islington lost their Baring.
But luckily, it’s been replaced by something really quite special.
The Baring (2.0) is the first independent project from a pair who met working at one of the city’s finest gastropubs, The Bull & Last in Highgate. And they’ve not exactly hit snooze in the intervening decade: chef Rob Tecwyn has manned the pans at Michelin-starred Dabbous, Moro, Morito, and Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, while general manager Adam Symonds has been keeping busy running the floor at West London heavyweights Orasay and Six Portland Road. Now, they’ve reunited to open a gastropub of their own.
JW Howard Photo
You’ll find it on Baring Street, a residential crescent straddling the border between Hoxton and Islington. The interiors are beautifully smart; a stylish marriage of linen-coloured walls, forest green panelling and a cluster of refurbed, second-hand furniture in warm, polished woods.
Tecwyn and Symonds are running the place with ‘sustainability, provenance, and low environmental impact’ in mind. That informs much of the drinks menu here, which champions natural wines, London distilleries, keg and cask beer from British craft breweries, and Adam’s own particular penchant for ‘spontaneous fermentation beers’ (which google reveals to be what happens when ‘brewers pour the wort into a koelship.’ So there you go.) Basically, it’s beer that ferments using natural microbes in the air, rather than purposely added yeast, and people are getting pretty into it.
JW Howard Photo
But it would be a shame to come here just for a drink, because the food is exceptional.
Tecwyn’s past experience shines through in dishes like quail shish with pul biber chilli & garlic yoghurt; charred mackerel with salmorejo (a kind of thick Andalusian gazpacho); and salt marsh lamb rump with köfte and aubergine. The ricotta gnudi are fat, pillowy dumplings swimming in a vivid green pool of pea & broad bean purée, and showered in parmesan. Grilled chicken leg comes lavished with a punchy chimichurri, on a bed of delicately spiced bulgur. On Sundays, there are roasts (including whole chicken and beef chops to share); and it’s worth checking out the blackboard for the day’s lunchtime special, a snip at £12 (or £15 with a glass of house wine).
In short, locals can feel quietly smug that there’s now another jewel in Islington’s crown. And even if you’re not local, next time you’re up that way…
…it’s certainly worth bearing in mind.
NOTE: The Baring is open Tuesday – Sunday. You can find out more, and book a table, HERE.
The Baring | 55 Baring Street, London N1 3DS
Since you’re in the neighbourhood… take a look at the best things to do in Islington
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