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Thursday, 25 March 2010

Pepito, King's Cross





















To some, sherry is useful only as a liquid cosh, a couple of schooners guaranteed to knock nattering Nana out whenever a bit of peace is required. With Pepito, London’s first dedicated sherry bar, Hispanophile, Richard Bigg, aims to convert sceptics to Jerez’s finest. Located opposite his King’s Cross pile Camino, in an outbuilding no bigger than a garden shed, it’s a joint venture with über-brand Tio Pepe. Bare brick, trad floor tiles, barrels as tables and a dark butch bar overhung with hulking jamons, this is no bullfight poster and souvenir sombrero pastiche. Lob in a few leathery peasants who honk of Ducados, bung Paco de Lucía on the gramophone and this might be a backstreet bodega in Andalucia circa General Franco. Fine Iberian cheeses and tapas such as jellied duck liver pâté or pickled white asparagus are suggested as ideal partners to individual quaffs. Bigg bigs up the wisdom of the Enomatic dispense system in maintaining his babies in perfect nick. Its decision not to work tonight merely underlines the authentic Spanish vibe: ‘mañana’, maybe? Prices at Mr Bigg’s little gem are universally affordable and for philistines that believe sherry is only for trifles, the quasi-religious experience derived from sipping González Byass Apóstoles, a 30 year-old palo cortado, could provide their epiphany.
Varnishers Yard, Regent Quarter, N1 7841 7331http://www.camino.uk.com/pepito