The scene The Junction Tavern has what gillet-wearing estate agents call ‘kerb appeal’. In less twatish words, this towering 18th-century Kentish Town institution looks like the kind of pub you want to go into.

Split by a central bar into a dining and drinking area, it enjoys a reputation for awesome food, great beer and a warm atmosphere. Entering from the tepid spring night air it’s not hard to see why.

At 9pm on a Friday the queue for a dining table is reassuringly long. Luckily we’re not here to eat. The split-level conservatory provides a relaxed setting and the heated garden swathed in fairy lights is pleasant even as the night gets nippy.

The grub It wouldn’t be right to call The Junction a gastro-pub, with its menu worlds away from the standard rustic burger, posh bangers and embellished mash formula – it’s a restaurant and pub in one building. The food is great, but restaurant prices, with the likes of breaded pig’s cheeks with celeriac or sea bream with salsa verde. 

Behind the bar Among the usual assortment of continental lagers, there’s five ale pumps. The Twickenham Sundancer is a pale ale with a distinctive hoppy finish.

Bill please Mains from £14; starters from £5.50; pints from £3.50; wine from £4/ £15.50 per glass/ bottle.

Verdict It’s sometimes hard to make a quality restaurant and buzzy pub work as one, but somehow The Junction Tavern has managed it with aplomb. 

%TNT Magazine% stars 4

101 Fortress Rd, NW5 1AG  
Tube | Tufnell Park/Kentish Town