Swimmer at the Grafton Arms

Bars and pubs Holloway
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Swimmer at the Grafton Arms
© 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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