Wedged between Archway and Kentish Town, leafy Tufnell Park plays host to Simon Pegg’s laidback surreal stoner comedy ‘Spaced’. No surprise then, really, that the area is home to several cosy boozers, whatever the season or weather. If you’re on the lookout a place to warm up before a gig at the Forum, look no further than these four joints: you won’t find a £5 pint of Carling in sight.
Whether you live around the corner or on the other side of the world, you will instantly feel at home here with the smiley service and what could quite possibly be the nicest pub toilets in town. Come for the north London-renowned Sunday lunches and Guinness-infused dark chocolate brownies, stay to get involved in the cider festivals, jazz nights and ever-diverse cultural calendar including bread-making and life-drawing classes. Just don’t snort out some chateauneuf-du-pape over one of the lovely leather sofas gathered around the fireplace. 33 Dartmouth Park Hill, NW5 1HU.
Is there anything that the Tufnell Park Tavern can’t provide? Aside from being a Pokémon Go Gym (yes, they still exist), it boasts a coffee shop, a wine bar that puts on a Wednesday Wine Club, a wood-fired pizza oven, as well as a spacious beer garden and convivial seating area around the pub fire. You might even rub shoulders with local celebrities Jezza Corbyn, Damian Lewis, Bill Nighy and the TPT bar cat. The Monday pub quiz starts at 8pm, drawing a sizeable crowd with its accessibility and eye-catching prizes. 162 Tufnell Park Rd, N7 0EE.
Down Fortess Road on the way to Kentish Town, this Camra North London Pub of Year 2008 winner (one of three in the past decade mentioned in this article) provides stiff competition on the gastropub front with stand-out dishes featuring pan-fried plaice and marinated bavette steak. The natural light of the conservatory and traditional interior that harks back to Victorian times can be enjoyed year-round, but make sure you don’t miss out on one of London’s most intimate beer gardens. Savvy regulars make a note of getting in early on a summer day to reserve their spot with a glass of one of the independent ales on tap. 101 Fortess Rd, NW5 1AG.
Sticklers may contest The Pineapple’s inclusion given its NW5 postcode, but at a mere 6 mins walk from Tufnell Park station down a picturesque side street, it would be a shame not to include a local stalwart saved from developers by a local campaign. You’ve probably guessed it by now, it’s another gastropub (Thai fare this time) with an atmospheric beer garden. Can these other pubs boast a cheese night, though? It’s BYOC (or pay a few quid for some house cheese) on Thursday nights with complimentary bread and grapes. Yes, you are expected to buy wine. Don’t limit yourself to Thursdays, though, as you’ll miss out on a cracking Monday quiz, regular tap takeovers (including a recent unfiltered vegan range) and occasional improv theatre. 51 Leverton St, NW5 2NX.