If the vibe and offer of this newly opened De Beauvoir Town pub somehow remind you of Victoria Park's Hemingway pub, then you're picking up on the fact that the Hunter S. is the creation of Seven-Eighths, the same “collective of London-based hospitality professionals” behind said Vic Park boozer. As with the Hemingway, the Hunter S. is a local done up with just enough panache to draw folk from further afield and have them wishing they had something similar near their homes.
Big game taxidermy (and plenty of it too) along with late Victorian/early deco décor blend for a distinguished yet casual setting. For all the furry, horned creatures adorning the walls and its cumbersome-y centrepiece vintage crystal chandelier, the pub manages to exude an airy, unpretentious feel. The (gorgeously engraved copper) ceiling's just high enough. The plain Jane tables, chairs and open kitchen – a statement of down to earth practicality.
The much more contemporary, and especially pervy, accoutrements and lippy urinals in the men's room are possibly worth a visit on their own (word is the women's room is much more tame – sorry). Table service is helpful and friendly (our server Charlie was particularly pleasant). Bar service is to the point. The mostly Chicago and delta blues soundtrack during our visit added to the great-place-to-slum-awhile atmosphere too.
A preferable time to slum awhile at the Hunter S. would be during Sunday lunch, which is graciously served well into the evening hours. Tiger prawn carpaccio with spring onion, cress salad and chilli oil (£5.50) is a delightful starter. The Scotch egg with piccalilli and fresh green salad (£4.25) meets expectations. Sunday roast of Scottish beef fillet with all the trimmings (£16.50) isn't the greatest in London by any stretch but probably the best available nearby. It certainly does not offend, and all but the most finicky of diners would have their roast fix sorted and bellies satisfactorily filled.
However, as you might expect from a venue decorated with several stuffed dead animals, vegetarian options seem to have been an afterthought when the menu was created. The vegetarian roast (£12.50)? Meh. Desserts are yum (homemade custard!) and the cheeseboard a very smart way to finish a feast.
Liquor features prominently here, most noticeably rum, Scotch and bourbon. New world beers are well represented as well. Coopers Brewery Original Pale Ale? Yeah. Moosehead? A refreshing choice.
No fear and loathing here, unless you have a phobia of or you're strongly disgusted by the sight of lots and lots of taxidermy. The Hunter S. is located at 194 Southgate Road, N1 3HT.
Disclaimer: Londonist visited The Hunter S. upon invitation by the pub.