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.