Although the chains have railroaded some corners of N1, the area still packs plenty of classic boozers. Try the Old Red Lion for something a bit cultured (the pub also acts as a theatre), or get picky over your pints courtesy of Island Queen's gargantuan range of specials. Think we've missed a great pub in Islington? Let us know in the comment box below.
A wholly unscientific survey suggests that more than half the pubs in De Beauvoir Town and nearby London Fields now have ambitions and/or pretensions towards gastropub status; even the boozy Prince George, a holdout for years, has succumbed and installed a kitchen. Demand in the area doesn’t always meet supply, especially during the week.
Less than a year ago I reviewed this pub, a pleasantly refurbed spot among Georgian townhouses away from the rabble of Upper Street. Already, it’s under new ownership, spruced up yet again – and has become even more appealing. Looks-wise, it’s not a world apart from the 2011 version: the beautiful original island back-bar with the ’60s ‘Watney Red Barrel’ signage remains, and the smart back garden remains a draw in warm weather.
A charming pub with a lovely atmosphere, but in many ways, it’s coasting. The set-up is appealing, the two small cream-painted rooms hung with interesting pictures and maps (notably Stephen Walter’s depiction of London as an island), and packed with wooden tables, chairs and benches.
No prizes for guessing why this cocktail bar at the Sanderson hotel is so called: it's 80ft in length, so we reckon it earns its tag. It's open to hotel guests and visitors, and you can take drinks to the good-looking courtyard should all the bar stools be taken. It's mostly about the cocktails. The list includes a tropical caipiroska (Belvedere vodka, Passoa, passion fruit, lime and mango), a sucette (Belvedere raspberry vodka, strawberry and passion fruit) and a Sanderson, made with Beefeater gin, lychee juice, melon liqueur, lime and Aperol. Champagne from well-known houses also features. A small selection of bar bites also features, ranging from crispy calamari, spiced chicken wings and smoked salmon scotch eggs to burgers, club sandwiches, a triple-cheese toastie and a salt beef bap.
Venue says: “Join us in the fine art of 'Aperitivo'. Sanderson is collaborating with Italicus to bring fresh summery cocktails & 'dolce vita' to Long Bar”