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What the politicians’ favourite restaurants say about them

by News Room
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Did you know Keir Starmer loves the Pineapple in Kentish Town (51 Leverton Street, NW5, thepineapplepubnw5.com)? No? Don’t you read? I should probably also tell you his dad was a toolmaker, given he barely mentions that either. The Labour leader — and, unless every pollster in the country is off their nut, the next Prime Minister — has long praised this backstreet, Daphne-blue boozer. He tweets from it, he’s dubbed it his Church, I half suspect he’s moonlighting on the side as its PR. Still, while MPs do from time-to-time namecheck places they’ve walked past once as a salt-of-the-earth play, at least Starmer actually drinks here, coming in after most Arsenal games. “He’s part of the furniture now,” a barman told the Standard last month. And, to his credit, the Pineapple is a solid choice, and not just because it’s within stumbling distance of where he lives. It’s a proper dark-wood, etched-mirror pub, one for the community — there are pub quizzes, happy hours, a decent beer garden (plus conservatory, for when the rain breaks), and fairly-priced pints (under £6). There’s indistinct Thai on offer, at about a tenner a curry. It is, then, a perfect local, one without bells and whistles. What is this telling us about Starmer? That he’s a middle-of-the-road, decent sort, reliable but absent of any fireworks? No, of course not. You just happen to know that already. All this says is that he knows what makes a decent boozer. See also: his other favourites, the Grafton in Kentish Town (20 Prince of Wales Road, NW5 3LG, thegraftonnw5.co.uk) and the Landseer Arms in Holloway (37 Landseer Road, N19 4JU, landseerarms.com).

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