Surprisingly, there are two sides to the Barbican. The China House has recently been renamed the Miller and Carter, given a polish up and looks really nice inside. The food is as good as always (recommend everything!), but the draw for me has always been the view across Sutton Harbour from outside on the balcony that runs the length of the building.
From the corner of the balcony you get a cracking view of the harbour and as its a working port for the local trawlers, lots of activity with arrivals and departures. For a city Centre pub, its surprising mellow and quiet most of the time, probably something the new owners are trying to change. In the meantime, its a great place to drink coffee and while away the afternoon.
The National Aquarium is 100 yards away (as the bridge is still broken, you’ll have to go this way anyway) and the Barbican is roughly the same distance in the other direction. Lots of parking on site, Oh and the Vue Cinema is nearby too.