Horatia

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Central London

Horatia isn't located in the nicest neck of the north London woods, about half way between Highbury & Islington and Holloway Road tube stations.

It's a party pub-club presided over by the people behind the notoriously hip and hedonistic Horse & Groom in Shoreditch. A few nautical Lord Nelsons have been retained from its former guise as a traditional corner pub, but the rest has been stripped back, painted matte black and given a bit of gothic glam.

The barren black hue is softened by real candelabras, low bordello-style lamps and low-slung Chesterfield sofas. Gilded frames hold portraits and plasma screens showing black-and-white flicks from yesteryear.

These are joined by some meaty looking, and indeed sounding, speakers that apparently came from The Cross club. The back of the venue boats a decent-sized dance-floor, stage and a DJ booth – off which some seriously ropey toilets can be found.

This is not a dining destination, more a place for drinking and dancing. Finger food such as pizza slices and Scotch eggs are sold, but there’s little else.

Cask ale connoisseurs will find no joy here with a litany of lacklustre lagers on offer and, it must be said, this is no place for a wine connoisseur either.

With a slick sound system and a 2am licence, it’s all about the music. The owners have a well justified reputation for sourcing some of London’s finest turntable talent, acts from up-and-coming record labels and emerging artists A midweek comedy night is also planned.

For a Saturday night, it was surprisingly sparse yet the crowd was a friendly, not overly cool, and mostly nudging 30. Overheard at the bar: ‘Never eat a Crunchie bar before bikram yoga.’

Venue name: Horatia
Contact:
Address: 98-102 Holloway Road
London
N7 8SE
Opening hours: 3-11pm Mon-Thur; 3pm-2am Fri; 3pm-2am Sat; 2pm-midnight Sun
Transport: Tube: Highbury & Islington tube/rail or Holloway Road tube
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Natalie W

This is one of my favourite pubs in London and such a good one to stumble across on Holloway Road, which doesn't have many decent ones to pick from! If you like craft beers you're in luck - plenty on tap and bottles, and regularly rotating too.

Food is from Borough Foods and the burgers are immense - value for money as they are huge, make sure you turn up early! Try to avoid it when Arsenal are playing though if you don't fancy the football crowd as it gets very very busy before and after.