THE SCENE Once the mainstay of neighbouring City University students, the Queen Boadicea has received a makeover (and a name change) from first-time landlords Marc Dalla Riva and Matt Rix. The battered leather sofas have been thrown out, with trendy wooden benches and stools drafted in, and the gloomy, huntsman’s- lodge feel has been lightened with pale creams and beiges. The northern lads – Dalla Riva a chef, Rix an events guru formerly of Leeds’ legendary The Cockpit – have also freshened things up with a deli counter and British gins and ales. 

The grub The B&T (as it will no doubt become known) has a small mains menu that comprises an eclectic mix of standard pub fare (burger, lamb hotpot) and the more exotic (Sri Lankan chicken curry) . But it’s the deli counter that will no doubt delight peckish drinkers – the black pudding and quail Scotch egg is a stroke of genius, while cold rabbit pie with celeriac remoulade is in a league of its own when it comes to booze-absorbent snacking.   

Behind the bar Strong British ales with a light finish, perfect for summer include Courage Directors (originally brewed exclusively for the directors of the brewery). The gin selection ranges from the likes of Beefeater to the lesser-known Sipsmith. 

Bill please Ales from £3.80, gins from £3. Food form £8.50.

verdict Trendy without being tryhard, it’s a new era for the Queen B. Laura Chubb 

292-294 St John Street, EC1V 4PA 
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