We realise this may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you're looking for something that's a little bit different you could do worse than pay a visit to Le Quecumbar. It's more wine bar than pub, but it's such a unique and rewarding experience we can't help but recommend it to you. Tucked away on Battersea High Street, this place offers a regular array of live music - primarily pre-war jazz of the Django Reinhardt variety - for which you'll have to pay a nominal cover charge but it's worth it. On entering, you'll find yourself in an exquisitely decorated bar, with plenty of tables dotted around the spacious interior, which needs to be seen to be fully believed: it's kind of Marlene Dietrich meets the Palm Court hotel, but in South London, if you can imagine that. The bar is amply stocked with a wide array of drinks: although Stella and Guinness make an appearance on tap, the emphasis is on bottled beers and the unsurprisingly wide range of wines. The food is a lot sturdier than you'll find in many a gastropub. Traditional French dishes are covered, with mussels and snails on offer, but you'll also find more substantial offerings available, and you won't leave hungry. This is not one of those hated big white plates, tiny wee portions place. Inhabited by some of the friendliest staff and punters we've had the pleasure of sharing bar space with, this one stands out a mile from the usual gastro-by-numbers and All Bar One clones that predominate in London.
Reviewed by pandabeer
19 Dec 2009