Hope & Anchor

Bars and pubs , Gastropubs Barnsbury
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(1 user review)
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Venue name: Hope & Anchor
Address: 207 Upper St
N1 1RL
Transport: Tube: Highbury & Islington
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Dianne H

A very unassuming little pub on Upper Street Islington which I completely strided past in my rush to find it.

Downstairs you will find a bustling atmosphere complete with cafeteria style long high tables and a few booth seating areas for those that don’t wish to mingle as much.

I was here on a Thursday recently where there was an eclectic mix of after work people grabbing a few bevvies.  The bar staff seemed rushed off their feet with one poor slightly inexperienced girl serving the masses while another guy served food.  However 15 minutes later I had two delicious Rosés in hand as we hotfooted it upstairs just in time for nabbing front row (unreserved) seats for the play.

The upstairs of the pub plays host to a 50 seat miniature theatre called The Hope which is currently performing the Greek tragedy Antigone.  We stepped over the all-female cast in a room you couldn’t swing a cat in, which made it all the more intimate.  Gripped from start to finish, there was singing, humour, hubris, powerful monologues and your standard injection of Greek drama that wouldn’t be out of place in a Geordie Shore episode.  I bet Sophocles hadn’t envisaged that comparison centuries ago!

Afterwards heading back down to the bar we were sat beside a couple who ordered and devoured an inventive plate of classic fish and chips, making me take a mental note to pop back in for food before any future shows.  The atmosphere was still lively with the cast downing their recent high, however it would have felt a lot more cosy if they had dimmed the lights and refrained from belting out an odd mix of rock/ metal background music.  All albeit not massively noticeable but the vibe could be made much cooler with a few tweaks.

All in all, a great little place which combines two of my favourite things...pubbing and theatre!