Keeping it Simple in London

What better way to spend the evening after a long week at work than by keeping things simple and meeting up with my other half for a nice meal and a few drinks. Being in London there are thousands of restaurants and pubs to choose from so it’s always great to go and explore some new places and see what exists.

First Stop: The Albany

So last night I thought I’d try out somewhere new by visiting The Albany on Great Portland Street (find it here).

The Albany Great Portland Street
The Albany Great Portland Street

The pub is just around the corner from where I work so it’s a really convenient watering hole yet with so many other pubs in the area i’d just not found the time to head over to The Albany yet. Going to the pub at 5.30pm on a Friday night was as expected, bustling with activity and post-work drinkers unwinding after a long week. The atmosphere was great and right down my street with what I like from a pub. Some great real ales on tap, plenty of character and a friendly and welcoming bar service. We only stayed in the pub for one drink (I opted for a pretty good London Pale Ale) and didn’t grab any food but based on this short experience it was certainly somewhere where I’ll be heading back to very soon!

Second Stop: Pizza Express

From The Albany we headed over the road to Pizza Express where I’d been previously and had great service. With it being my birthday on Tuesday next week I’d received a voucher from Pizza Express for a free bottle of Prosecco which was a great surprise! At £22 that was certainly something to be thankful for so really made the most of the drink!

Prosecco at Pizza Express
Prosecco at Pizza Express

I opted for a (rather hot) Etna pizza on the Romana base drizzled in a generous coating of garlic oil. Perfect. The Romana base is always the favourite option for me as a thin and crispy pizza just feels far more authentically Italian to me. 3 glasses of Prosecco later I went with the Banoffee Pie for dessert. This is always a a bit hit and miss as, similarly to toffee fudge cake it can sometimes be a bit much on the sweet front. That said, the dessert was excellent and rounded off the meal really well.

Of all pizza chains I do find that Pizza Express is the best one for both the great family friendly atmosphere their restaurants create and also the excellent standard of food. I’ve never had a bad meal at Pizza Express and always left with a positive feeling!

To round off the evening we decided to venture North from Pizza Express along Albany Street to the Queens Head & Artichoke…

Final Stop: Queens Head & Artichoke

I’d been to the Queens Head & Artichoke previously (find it here) and had a good experience so thought it would be a nice place to end the night with a last drink. By this point of the evening the Prosecco had really taken its toll so we only stopped for the one!

Queens Head & Artichoke
Queens Head & Artichoke

The pub is a lot smaller and more intimate than The Albany so it’s a nice place to go for quiet conversation with friends without having to shout across tables or push to the bar.  I finished the night here with a San Miguel (great choice, I know) and after an hour we made our way 10 minutes down the road back to Euston.

Often in London you don’t need to go and find an expensive restaurant or a quirky cocktail bar. We had a great night out in 2 local pubs and at a pizza chain and even £50 lighter, had a great night.

I’ll be making a return visit to all of these places in the near future for sure. Just be careful to avoid the shit pubs in the area (see my post here) as there are plenty of those around London!

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