Canonbury

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Highbury

A Young's pub in Islington with an enormous beer garden.

Canonbury remains a sliver of Georgian good taste between the madness of Upper Street and the dirtiness of Dalston. Few of us will ever get to live here.

Yet George Orwell dwelt in the neighbourhood when it was more down at heel, and made the local Compton Arms famous by using it as a model for an idealised London pub (the Moon Under Water) in a famous essay of 1946.

Just round the corner is the Canonbury Tavern, recently reopened by Young’s. You know what to expect of a Young’s pub. They’re often in locations where you’re pleased to find a grand pub, and usually decorated in inoffensive greys. Here they serve pub grub and, in the dining room, more ambitious dishes.

If you’re used to Kernel and Weird Beard, you may find Young’s beer timid by comparison. The Canonbury also sells a couple from Camden Town brewery.

And it has other draws. It’s huge, a series of elegant rectilinear rooms, and the rear garden is equally enormous. Orwell might not have considered the Canonbury his perfect pub, but it’s a solid success.

Venue name: Canonbury
Contact:
Address: 21 Canonbury Place
London
N1 2NS
Transport: Tube: Highbury & Islington; Rail: Highbury & Islington

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

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Ashleigh Arnott
1 of 1 found helpful
Staff Writer

Islington sure ain't short of great boozers, so while I will never complain about more drinking options within walking distance of my front door I wasn't expecting to be so immediately won over by this newly-refurbed Young's pub. The place is absolutely massive, with a dedicated area for those wanting to treat a gastropub like a restaurant, meaning that drinkers have also got plenty of places to perch. The beer selection is fine – lots of Young's brews on, obviously, but also Meantime, Camden Hells and a few other unexpected ones. Staff were cheerful and helpful. But the real draw here is the mammoth garden. I'm pretty sure there are more seats in that garden than there are in my office. It's also very well furnished with trees and related shady greenery. Basically a lovely place to spend a warm evening, which is especially welcome in Islington because none of us can afford a garden.

Andrew S

Absolutely terrible experience at the canonbury this Saturday lunch time. When you go to the bar and ask for a menu you get handed two, quite good looking menus. One of which says you can order at the bar. When you try and order at the bar you get told it's not possible and sent outside to order from the station in the garden. When you have queued for this station you get told you can't order the restaurant food outside, unless you have a restaurant table outside (of which there are 4) these tables were all full but we got one right next to them (2 metres max) yet we still can't order the 'restaurant menu' as they can't carry it an extra 2 metres.

The chef that was in control on the outside grill pass was just having a go at the poor girl in control of the till in front of the whole queue to order food. Very unprofessional and putting a member of staff who clearly is doing the best she can under more pressure.

The restaurant has been completely empty inside the whole afternoon so they have been serving just 4 tables outside with the full restaurant menu... Everyone else has to eat from the grill menu which is limited to 5 items, no starter and no deserts. there are at least 200 seats outside and I think this is pretty unacceptable.

After two hours of waiting outside, hoping to bag a table we can eat the full menu from, my girlfriend gets told they can't make any accommodations for anyone at the moment.

30 minutes later we go back to ask again and they inform us the kitchen is now shut until 6pm.

Absolute shambles from a lovely pub with an amazing beer garden. Such a shame. They should have opened a few weeks later and got there procedures in place.

Not a happy customer.