I wasn't going to mention The Jones Family Project - a new bar and restaurant opening this month on Great Eastern Street - as I attended a pre-opening party*: not necessarily the best indicator of food, service, or ambience of the place once open. The enthusiastic and polite staff, steak on a stick, and the surprisingly smart interior (yep, The Metro was right - the suits are coming to Shoreditch) changed my mind. I'll be back to try it properly, just keep the dates wrapped in bacon away from me.
Waiting for the party to start freed up some time for one of my favourite pastimes - sitting. Or more specifically, sitting in pubs. The Three Crowns and The Reliance - both crawling distance from Old Street Station - are two great pubs. The former - another smartly dressed venue - gives up more floor-space to food than it does to the bar, creating a cosy atmosphere when busy. There are plenty of seats though and if you can't get a table, you can perch on a stool at the window playing count the fixies and 'spot the red chinos' with the passing traffic on City Road.
As for The Reliance, I've treated it as a pre-dinner boozer far too often. It just has the look of a pub that pulls a good pint, but if you asked for some food they'd have to blow dust off the microwave. A glance at the chalk-board revealed an enticing menu though - I really should eat there soon.
*Disclaimer: drinks and nibbles at the pre-opening party were provided free-of-charge.