Swimmer at the Grafton Arms

  • Bars and pubs
45 Love It
© Ming Tang Evans

A large front terrace enveloped by branded umbrellas gives way to a classic, high-ceilinged pub, with one end dedicated to an open kitchen manned by a commendably grizzled southern Italian.

Rump steak with chips is all well and good, but most customers are here for what the sign over the counter advertises as ‘handpumped cellar-cooled real ales’. The likes of Butcombe Bitter and London Pride are complemented by Litovel, Leffe and Früli, with bottles of Duvel and Corona chilling in the fridge behind.

Comfortably sparse, the interior features a fireplace surrounded by gilt-framed mirrors and swimming memorabilia: photographs of Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Crabbe and the White City pool of 1908 (the first time the Olympic sport wasn’t held in open waters).

Venue name: Swimmer at the Grafton Arms
Address: 13 Eburne Road
N7 6AR
Opening hours: Open 5-11pm Mon-Fri; noon-11pm Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Food served 6-9pm Mon-Fri; noon-3pm, 6-9pm Sat; 1-5pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Holloway Road tube, or Finsbury Park tube/rail then bus 29, 253
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Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:14
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
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Alan G

Great pub; friendly staff, good (free) juke box, good (not free) food and range of ales and lagers. Nice ambiance and everything that a pub should be.

Paul F

Wonderful pub with great staff and the food is excellent all freshly cooked with a varying menu!

Peter K

Fabulous. John and Leila and their staff really know how to run a pub. Good range of beers and wines, great ambiance. Excellent food. This is what a good local pub should be like.

Andy C

No question an absolute gem hidden in the quiet backstreets of the madness of Holloway, great Belgium beers food is fabulous and the staff are great..check it out.

Ashleigh A
moderatorStaff Writer

Friendly landlady, cheap food, good booze and a really fun pub quiz. Holloway could not want for anything more from this gem of a local.

Fin O'Brien


Love this pub. The pew seats aren't that comfortable if they had cushions it would be a 5. Have only eaten once and it was good. The atmosphere is nice and the beer selection is not bad.


Probably the best pub I've been to in London. The food is excellent and the burgers are especially phenomenal! Reasonably priced too. Well done!


This is a great pub. Lovely hamburgers (incl veggie ones, and on Mondays they do a whole hamburger menu), great fried goats cheese and an extensive wine list. Super helpful staff. Cosy and the volume is never so high that you can't carry out a conversation. And they have a jukebox. Friendly staff.


Too many pubs wanting my money to put up with poor food and lousy riude staff at this one.


5* sunday lunch roast sirloin fresh veg lush and a fine pint of london pride