Duke's Brew & Que, London

Duke's & Que is a pub. It's a pub disguised as a restaurant and don't let their drool worthy menu fool you as it has done with many. I went here for dinner and after sampling a few of their meaty morsels and their well selected cocktail menu I can confirm that this place is worth visiting.

I like ribs. The vegetarian in me still winces when I pick up that meaty hunk of flesh attached to a bone all covered in sticky barbecue sauce.

Last night, I indulged my inner caveman at Duke's Brew & Que with beef ribs, pulled pork sliders, mac and cheese, fried pickles and okra and some of their BBQ beans. I washed this down with a margarita (unfortunately not frozen) and my dining partner with some of their beer from their extensive menu.

Duke's & Que is also a brewery, although they only make a small amount at a time. They have a huge selection of beers and tequilas though as well as a solid cocktail menu with a couple of classics on it. The food is hit and miss. I'll be honest, we ordered well. I rarely go for dinner somewhere new without scoping out the reviews online to see what I should order.

I'm glad I did so here. The beef ribs were not only tender but huge in side. I'm glad of it too, the cocktails were strong and I needed something to sock up the tequila. The fried okra was a little dry and the mac and cheese was oozing oil (not always a good thing). Even saying that I still think that they know what they're doing when it comes to food. The ribs were perfectly cooked and the pulled pock juicy in a sweet white bun.

I'm a huge fan of condiments and along with the usual suspects there was a homemade BBQ sauce that was tangy and spicy along with a horseradish and mustard homemade mixture that made my eyes water. It's certainly worth trying if you're a fan of wasabi!

So this is a cool part of town, well to be honest, it on the edge of the cool part and that means you'll get a mix of hipsters, media mummies and daddies with their offspring and few lost locals from the council estate across the road.

This use to be a locals pub and you can tell that it has had a somewhat smooth transition into a dining boozer. I insist you go, and eat meat, and drink beer...

Duke's & Que | 33 Downham Road, London, N1 5AA
020 3006 0795


Critical Mass London

I ride around London on my bike and in my head I'm thinking, "Cycling, F*#k yeah!"

I'm better than other Londoners because most days (when my bike isn't being stolen or if its not snowing) I cycle everywhere I go. Unfortunately, the rest of London doesn't always agree. Yes Addison Lee, I'm talking about you...

For those of you who live under a rock, Critical Mass is a monthly event in London, where "there are probably as many aims as there are participants". For many of the people involved, it's about reclaiming the road and after a brush with one very aggressive driver who was using his car as a weapon on Newington Green a few weeks ago, I'm all for owning a bit of road.
This is me, and my pink bike...

Last Friday was the 18th anniversary of Critical Mass London and I decided that it was about time that I went down to see what it was all about. I arrived at about 6pm to a mish-mash of wheels and feet under the Waterloo Bridge. As it was so close to the London Mayoral Elections, it had been hijacked by some cycling politicians but to be honest that was all part and parcel of the fun.

Just so you know, after the big protest from the war that Tony Blair led us nicely into a law was created stating that you could not organise a protest or the like without permission. As a result you'll find little information about Critical Mass or it's organisers online. If you go down there though, everyone is super friend. As it was the 18th anniversary there was cake and beer and biscuits being handed around along with pink balloons and party hats. It was all rather festive.

Just after 7pm we set off, what started out as less than a hundred, turned into what seemed to be thousands of cyclists, scooter-folk, skate boarders and more. What was most suprising is that so many of them were normal folk, and I certainly overheard conversations about working freelance and a few people moaning about Tesco value range. These were regular Londoners who had decided to reclaim the road and it was bloody fabulous. While cycling along, all the traffic stops for you and finally you feel some power.

I'd recommend this for any cyclist in London. Even if you don't cycle much, there were Boris bikes there along with the rest of us. You'll also meet other lovely people and it's totally free - what more could you ask for?

What? Critical Mass London
When? Every Last Friday of the Month, meet 6.15pm, ride begins 6.45pm
Where?  Meet under Waterloo Bridge, outside National Theatre on South Bank
Who? YOU