Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Give a Toffee

Despite being tucked away somewhere between Clerkenwell and Islington, The Blacksmith & The Toffeemaker - on the nether end of St John Street - has made quite the impression on pub-loving folk. Much has been said about its natty d├ęcor (70s winking wallpaper, distressed modern light fittings, shiny tiles), down to earth grub and plentiful supplies of gin including Sipsmith (obvs), Hayman’s and Martin  Miller’s.

I cycled my way from Great Portland Street during the great rains of early July, thus arriving sodden to the core and relentlessly miserable. If it'd been any other night, in any other pub, with any other manager, I would probably have remained this way. But mulishness is futile when someone cheerfully deposits a whiskey sour 'to warm you up' in manner of a grown-up Mary Poppins;  and casually admits to serving more than one variety of scotch egg.

Those beautiful scotches came from the deli counter which sits of the end of a rather lovely bar. The first an amply-sized golden orb surrounded by peppery pink mince - revealing an oozing sunshine centre. The second a dainty quail's egg cousin adorned with a luxurious black pudding coat. Along with the eggs came a classic pork pie thick with meat and crust, plus a densely rich potted duck. The deli items even came with their own perfectly-matched pal - the eggs a cheerfully crunchy piccalilli, the pie a punchy mustard and the potted duck with salty chunks of pickled gherkin.  

Having so enthusiastically attacked the starters, it was impossible to give the amply-sized main courses the same attention. (already so full we'd been forced to stop drinking to save what little room we had). The mouthfuls of rabbit pie (again from the hot section of the deli counter) that I managed were abundant in tender morsels of pink meat and buttery puffs of pastry; and the side of celeriac remoulade as pleasing an accompaniment I've encountered in a while. 

Desserts and further endeavors behind the bar were utterly impossible after such an extensive pastry/meat binge (I could barely stay upright on my cycle home). But I fully intend to go back soon, sans bike, for a responsible dinner of gin and cake...  

The Blacksmith & The Toffeemaker
292-294 St John Street,


  1. Hi,

    Stumbled upon your blog today and so glad I did. Love the look of those oozy scotch eggs!

    I work for, a new travel review website and would love to convert this post and invite you to join us. Do you have an email where I could send you some more information?

    Ella x

  2. Hi Ella,

    Thanks for the interest!