Kings Cross probably isn’t the first part of town that springs to mind if someone suggests trying a specialist sherry bar. But cut through the swathes of grey-faced commuters, avoid the burger joints and overpriced-coffee franchises, and you’ll find
Bar Pepito in the recently developed Regent Quarter. Tucked away in a little patio opposite its parent and inspiration, Spanish restaurant Camino, Bar Pepito is as authentic as it gets this side of the Pyrenees.
After escaping Pentonville Road, the first thing you notice is the welcome tranquility proffered by this smart open-air development. Nestled in one corner, Bar Pepito looks welcoming and unpretentious. Stepping through the door and brushing the
typical velvet curtains, the first thing that hits you is the heady combination of the flow of Jerez’s (the home of sherry) finest, excellent imported meats and cheese and the excited buzz of people genuinely interested in learning more about sherry and how
to appreciate it.
From the Moorish-style floor tiles to the Andalusian feria (festival) posters adorning the walls, there’s a lot of attention to detail here. Sherry barrel tops have been sawn off and turned into tables to complement the theme, whilst wine and sherry bottles
are stored behind wrought iron cages along the end wall. A well-stocked bar is accented by strangely enticing legs of cured hams hanging within reach of the thirsty customer. The same customer will probably be fascinated by one of London’s first
enomatic wine and sherry systems. Basically this is a vending machine which allows you to choose and buy exquisite wine and sherry by the glass. So, with the aid of a top-up card you can create your own Andalusian degustation menu.
Although small and cosy – this venue was originally Camino’s storeroom – the space has been very well exploited and the large windows and high ceiling may give some respite to what could become a very Mediterranean evening – at least temperature-wise.
A trip to Bar Pepito certainly puts a smile on everyone’s face, and with warmer weather even showing signs of breaking out across N1, you will soon be reminiscing about past summers in Spain, and can even look forward to enjoying the outside space
– which a few hardy smokers are already appreciating.
A fine selection of cured meats (Ibericos) and cheese (quesos) have been selected to provide the perfect accompaniment to your tipple and they even recommend which sherry should be paired with each plate of food. Plates start from as little as £2.75
for cuajada con miel (light curd cheese with honey from the Basque Country) to £15.75 for the jamon iberico pata negra (black pig Iberico ham). Further choice is provided by a list of small plates which includes Gordal olives (£2.25), duck liver pate
(£4.50) and carpaccio of venison with Jerusalem artichokes (£6.25).
As you’d expect for a specialist sherry bar, connoisseurs will be in their element but it’s also accessible to the adventurous novice, too. A good introduction is the middle of the road Tio Pepe (£3.50 for 100ml), but you’ll soon be ready to explore the rest
of the menu. A dry Fino, such as the classic Manzanilla ‘La Gitana’ Bodegas Hidalgo (£4.50), is recommended, before moving on to a slightly sweeter Oloroso. Finally you may want to devour a robust blue cheese with a couple of really sweet Olorosos
from the Palomino grape.
The Last Word
Ideal for an aperitivo or a couple of high-end sharpeners before dinner or night out, Bar Pepito may be small in size but it is huge in terms of bringing an authentic taste of Spain to the capital.