In a nutshell…
A right royal boozer with more trimmings than one of its own Sunday roasts: gigs, film screenings, comedy, DJs and, obviously, loads of lovely liquids.
Where is it?
The only way is Essex Road in Islington, tucked in among cute side streets and bars. It’s a ten-minute saunter from Highbury & Islington or, to paraphrase Robbie Williams, travelling from Angel instead is better (only five minutes on foot).
What’s the vibe?
Downstairs you’ve got sofas to kick back on and some gorgeous antique features (get a load of those antler chandeliers). Upstairs you’ll find some cracking framed Victorian adverts that kookily combine high culture with seaside-postcard humour.
What makes it a great venue?
There’s something especially social and dynamic about this place, its open layout making it an ace space for a natter and a chatter. It’s also an all-rounder of a venue, able to pull off films one night and house music the next without doing either half-heartedly. The Sunday Social, for example, is packed full of entertainment, with bloody Marys, board games and bluegrass bands all served up on a platter of top-notch Organised Fun. There’s also a private, 15-capacity karaoke room that’s reasonably priced on Fridays and Saturdays, and gratis on Mondays and Sundays, allowing you to start or end a week wailing as much Adele as your mates can take.
What’s the booze situation?
With this being a fairly large pub, there’s more than you can shake a swizzle stick at. Knowledgeable staff will help you out with some of the swankier spirits on offer (the Wild Turkey bourbon and vanilla-spiced rums are fab) and you can grab yourself a cocktail for less than a tenner. Happy days!
The Old Queen's Head is located at 44 Essex Rd, N1 8LN.