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.
Meantime Brewing Company Brewery Tours
Where residential London meets industrial in North Greenwich sits a giant grey structure that is the Meantime Brewery. Named after Greenwich's most famous feature (time itself), this brewery is the largest to open in the capital since the 1930s. Every weeknight and weekend members of the public can venture inside on various behind-the-scenes tours with tutored tastings. Visitors can hop on the classic tour, or arrange a bespoke private tour (groups of 10-28). You can also sign up for beer appreciation workshops (£90) at the brewery, which you can take over the course of a day or a few evenings.