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Florence Tavern, Islington

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user reviews of the Florence Tavern, Islington

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

This pub has been beautifully refurbed and is warm and friendly place to sink a few with your friends. Fab staff and and really resonably priced drinks. Recommended it to all my friends and I'll be back again this weekend!
fussy_gal - 1 Nov 2012 15:22
Excellent turnaround from a rather dreary pub into somewhere one could spend all evening. Hands-on management and staff who really care about the customer experience and are trying (and succeeding) in ditching the bad reputation of the previous tenants. It's a pleasure to find a proper pub without music or Sky Sports blaring out of every corner; where the emphasis is on conversation.
bart.mccoigh - 29 Oct 2012 14:03
Really nice atmosphere and beers. Great improvement.
missfifty - 9 Oct 2012 15:46
New guy running this pub not a moment too soon. Really made a change - great beer, no rubbish, still cool.
HoHoHo - 1 Oct 2012 19:50
Avoid at all costs. We booked our wedding reception in the function room, only to not have any replies to emails/answers on the phone. We made the journey to London to check that everything was ok, but there were new 'owners' in and there was no record of our booking. Or the money we'd put down as a deposit. The new 'owners' told us they could still honour our booking and showed us to the function room. (I've used inverted comma's here as it was, and still is a property owned and ran by Punch Taverns, they've merely replaced the duty manager). We went to look again at the function room to find there was no furniture, no bar, no flooring and no light fittings, but apparently it was ours if we wanted it, and the new gaffer was a brilliant interior designer and was going to fix it up. It was a shithole. We were then later informed that actually, it wouldn't be ready by the time we got married (4 weeks away), and we'd best look elsewhere. And that we couldn't have our money back, despite having a receipt, as it was the previous owners debt, not theirs. So here we are, 4 weeks from our big day, £400 down, invites sent with incorrect details, no reception venue and owners/a brewery that don't give a shit. THIS PLACE IS TOXIC. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE.
Thegirlwhelan - 24 Sep 2012 13:36
AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE. I booked a surprise birthday party for 60 people in this pub for Monday 2 July. The pub did not open, leaving me with a completely ruined night. They do not respond to emails and they never answer the phone. I've just spotted the comment about it being populated "by geezers with heavy colds" and I can confirm that that when the pub did eventually open up (we'd relocated but had to post people nearby to redirect latecomers) that very dodgy looking geezers were going rapidly going in and out the back of the pub. Just sayin'. STAY AWAY FROM THIS.
smithtuck - 4 Jul 2012 12:49
went here on friday night ,what can i say full of geezers all with very bad "colds" there must be a bug goind around islingtons pubs .new managers same attitude as every other pub in the area,take the money and dont care about the nice customers.saw a sign here once that said it was the only pub left in islington you are having a giraffe.
beerman44 - 27 Jan 2012 08:03
Met some friends here after it has recently re-opened. Good selection of beers and wines at decent prices for the area. Nice atmosphere, clean and friendly staff.
Going back to try the Sunday roast, nuff said.
ddr - 9 Oct 2011 12:58
Last week i went to the florence with a few friends, having it just reopened. When we first arrived we were greeted warmly by the staff and the warmth from the venue itself. The drinks are reasonably priced and there were a wide variety of choices. They also serve food which is all organic and freshly made and i can honestly say its DELICIOUS!!! Situated not far from the tube station. I would definitely recommend this to all my friends and all of those who like a friendly and welcoming place.
Dima - 7 Oct 2011 12:35
Taken over by new management recently. Really nice, friendly atmosphere and very friendly staff. Lots of old, comfy sofas to lounge around on and had wi-fi too. A modern refurbishment that's retained the traditional boozer vibe. Got given some free food the night we went as the chef was testing out the new menu. Venison sausages were v.nice. Had some decent quality beers and ales on tap and a great wine selection. Prices were average for the Islington area which keeps the undesirables out I suppose. The smoking area was out the front unfortunately but we were told there is a terrace refurb going to happen very soon. Will be going again definitely.
ant303 - 30 Sep 2011 18:40
At least this one has decent beer. Seemed a friendlier place than the others around there as well.
rainlight - 31 Jan 2011 17:55
Very relaxed pub. Pleased to see a rugby pub in Islington. Enjoyed the Brains.

I have yet to see Louis Le Prince in concert, mind.

That might alter my view of the Landlord!
Coughie - 30 Nov 2010 22:33
Twenty yards or so off Upper St and tucked in behind a petrol station the Florence lacks the pretentiousness of many of the pubs and bars on the main drag itself. A sign on the wall outside bills it as "a proper pub" and it does indeed fit that description.

I wouldn't describe it as a "Sky Sports hell hole" like the previous reviewer but it does have a rugby angle as evidenced by some of the memorabilia on the walls. I found it a relaxing and pleasant place for a pint. It also has a dart board which always marks a pub up in my estimation.

It did let itself down on the ale side a bit with 2 out of 3 clips turned round and only Pride on offer. I stuck to the premium lager.

Other than that I can well recommend the Florence - much more relaxing place to drink than many of its nearby rivals.
murgatroyd - 1 Nov 2010 08:29
What has happened to this place??? Now a sky sports hell hole by the looks of it! Put one foot through the door and turned around.
shand83 - 16 Oct 2010 13:10
This place is just off the main drag meaning that the drunken masses that crawl along Upper Street don’t venture in here so a decent pint can be had without being jostled and bored to death by braying imbeciles.

Adnams, Bass and Pride were all available during my visit alongside a standard draught selection and San Miguel. Thankfully the staff must have changed since the review from October last year as I found the barmaid to be extremely friendly and she poured a good pint.

The décor is a bit bland, but there are a couple of plasma and the pub shows Sky Sports.

My only couple of complaints would be that the background music sounded like someone had turned on a portable radio in the far corner of the pub and there were a few too many fruit flies buzzing around my pint for my liking.

This place is advertised outside as a proper pub and I would agree that it is and I would go back again if in the area.
Strongers - 10 Sep 2009 22:42
Was in the other night and it was fantastic, warm, freindly - really nice Scottish girl behind the bar. Busy but not overly so and everyone seemed happy.
celt7 - 23 Jan 2009 13:42
The Florence Tavern was largely empty with two other people looking nervous behind their food. The bar maid wore a dirty yellow and black track suit and her manner match her clothing. She spent most of her time rattling glasses behind the bar and when we tried to get her attention to pay the bill she completely ignored us. When we went over to the bar she was rude and abusive and tried to provoke an argument. We won't be going back their.
jasminerose - 15 Oct 2008 15:06
Bottles of house wine are £6.95 at happy hour, but red is far nicer than the white...but good value. Thai food is ok, if a little greasy. Bar staff are young and range from being fine, to seemingly disinterested in working at all. The ladies toilets are awful, and the general toilet smell in the entire pub last week was enough to make us turn on our heels and leave - smoking in pubs was at least good for masking other smells!
orangecounty - 4 May 2008 16:45
One of the nicer pubs in Islington. Lovely old Georgian building. Very relaxed in the day and then very lively (a bit too rammed actually - but always fast, friendly service) in the evenings. Often gets overlooked because of its location just off Upper Street behind the petrol station.
Greshon - 8 Feb 2008 18:08
I drink in this pub regularily as it has the perfect combination of atmosphere yet it still great for a quiet drink. The sunday roast is always excellent which is why it is usually full of people on a sunday! The refurb managed to keep the traditional pub feel to the place which is great. Overall a great pub can't think of a bad thing to say about it!
eddie87 - 21 Dec 2007 02:24
A load of us from work used to visit this pub on a regular basis until the horrible refurbishment which took the whole life out of the place and ruined a really good venue for watching the football. Traditional pub my behind.

What that area needs is a really top place for watching the football. It's really lacking at the moment and this used to be the place.
youngterrence - 13 Oct 2007 00:57
AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL - Don't go here for food..
We went there on Sunday for a longed-for Sunday Roast. They looked amazing on other peoples tables so we were really looking forward to its arrival. We waited and waited - for an hour before two of the six meals turned up. But noone brought us cutlery, and when I asked for some only 2 sets were brought (for 6 of us!). By the time the cutlery arrived my meal was cold so I asked for it to be reheated (adding another 15 mins onto my wait!)
All the people who ordered lamb were given beef and when queried the very agressive and rude chef protested that having been a butcher for 9 years he know what lamb was - he'd run out of beef so we all had thinly sliced lamb. No apology or pre-warning that we couldn't have the beef some of us had ordered; you get what you're given apparenly... and this turned out to be a soggy, cold chewy (but misleadingly well presented) apology for food.
We were so devastated but so starving we had to eat some of it.
I wish I had asked for my money back now.
anonymous - 1 Oct 2007 18:16
I only visit week lunchtimes but I like the general appearance and the Thai food. Staff are friendly although some of the customers can be gits. Fresh feel to the refurbishmnt but it still looks like an old fashioned pub, good stuff.
secretdrinker - 28 Jun 2007 13:53
Used to go here, but now the "new Florence" is the Jorene Celeste around the corner. Sorry Charlie, but get better beers than Carlsberg and we'll be back...
DC1 - 13 Jun 2007 10:38
A decent if not stunning pub - sadly more and more of a rarity in Islington. Being just back from Upper Street will hoepfully save it from All Bar One/Foxtons/Nandos/Jigsaw hell...
whatbill - 19 Feb 2007 18:01
Embarrassed to say that having lived in the surrounding area for 14 years have only just visited this one. Me and mates really impressed, barmaids were really helpful and smiled (a rarity in a lot of places nowadays). Had a nice atmosphere and was really busy (Wednesday night about 10pm) ... we were just so pleased to find a normal bar in the vicinity of Upper Street which is gettign worse by the day.
celt7 - 10 Dec 2006 12:08
Unreal, Azza's back from travelling. Cool dude, can't miss him with his dreds. Overall nice pub with descent food. Does anyone know where James went. He is sorely missed.
anonymous - 23 Oct 2006 15:49
went in the other day and it was great, i think there is a new manager as the bar actually were very pleasant and wanted to serve me, i will visit again!
terry1234 - 29 Sep 2006 20:20
Have visited the Florence twice in two weeks and it was almost like two completely different pubs. The first time, the bar staff were professional and friendly, the beer was well kept and I excitedly thought I'd found a new local. The second, on Bank Holiday Sunday, was a total disappointment: not only did they close without warning at 10 o'clock, the barman was incapable of serving a single drink properly. They promote Bloody Marys as a Sunday special so I thought I'd give it a go - it took 15 minutes for the poor guy to make one Bloody Mary and two glasses of wine. When it finally arrived, it was completely undrinkable. Shame - I really wanted to like this place.
anonymous - 1 May 2006 03:41
I like this place - the food is great and it's a good compromise between pub and poncey bar.

I particularly like the twinkly lights...but then I am a girl.
katep - 26 Apr 2006 15:49
In here for the first time and thought it was great - we popped in for one after a walk up Upper Street (nice evening) and ended up staying for five. Barman mark and the rest of the staff are great, a bit of live music from the man himself didn't go down badly at all (a bit of banjo, he'll be on the piano next week). Nice music, lovely comfy leather armchairs. I was drinking Guinness which was good, though noted they had Adnams and Bass on hand pump. A distinct lack of premium fancy beers in contrast to most pubs of this style though I doubt that will bother most people.

Does Thai food apparently, which seems a bit retro but sure its nice.

A great place for a Sunday night.
anonymous - 3 Apr 2006 08:34
I thjought the new thai menu was amazing, and the feel of the place was really good. It managed to cross the divide between a homely local and a cool bar. Spent my time in the upstairs bar watching the football on the big screen munching prawn crackers that actually tasted of prawns not sawdust.
JohnWallace - 15 Sep 2005 22:10
This place has been refurbished by the same people who own the Bailey near Highbury Corner. It suffers some of the same problems, being neither pubby enough for the sort who like to lean against the bar with a pint of Guinness, nor bar-y enough for a romantic evening with your beloved. However if you want something a little quieter and more upmarket than the usual Upper Street dross then you could do worse than the Florence. The pizzas are good value and ideal to share over a few pints. A more enterprising roster of ales and a good cocktail list might make the place more of a ‘destination’, and so start to build up a bit of atmosphere, which is sadly lacking at present. And we don’t need the TV to be on all the time, nor the rather lame quiz night on Mondays.
barstool - 26 May 2005 20:06
Nice looking pub but on the night I went was subjected to the worst ever music I had ever heard - Wet wet wet's 'sweet little mystery' and Dire strait's 'walk of life' being typical of their playlist, which for some reason was on a laptop which needed a faded crustie in a bobble hat to operate it.Easily one of the worst nights of my life.
hoodoo - 20 Mar 2005 12:11
very good pub, excellent roasts on a sunday, different to all the usual rubbish on upper street.
anonymous - 5 Mar 2005 09:00
Sympathetically refurbished recently by new lanlord has given this pub a new lease of life. Friendly staff make the relaxed atmosphere even nore pleasurable
RoscoePColtrane - 1 Jan 2005 20:57
despite having only one proper ale, this pub is really on the up. The manager, who insisted I try some of home made meat balls, is very friendly despite having a very trendy islington haircut.
martin webb - 30 Nov 2004 02:06
The last 10 or so comments are clearly from the new management. However, I have been there and it is a transformation. A massive improvement in every department but...still no decent beer - the taps are there but the beer is always "off".
beer - 26 Nov 2004 16:00
Stumble across this place last sunday and had a roast dinner, excellnt food and a reasonable price, barmaids were pretty tasty too!!
Keith - 30 Oct 2004 13:19
I have to say I am not local to these parts but was told about this pub by a mate who works just off Upper Street. The staff are friendly the food is good and the general ambience of the place is excellent. A real oldy worldy pub slap bang in the middle of theme bar heaven.It really is worth making this pub your local (even if you do live miles away)
Darren - 22 Oct 2004 14:45
it seems there is still some life in the old girl !!! Very good pub!
wendy - 22 Oct 2004 13:50
Visited The Florence this weekend and was totally blown away!!! What a brillant pub.
Abi - 21 Oct 2004 16:20
The Florence has just been re-furbished and it is now fantastic. It looks great, the atmosphere is convivial, the staff are friendly and welcoming, the pizzas are tasty, oh and the beer's not bad!
kate johnson - 21 Oct 2004 11:02
The Florence is definately worth a visit. The staff are friendly and attentive, the atmosphere inviting yet laid back.... The Sunday Roasts - let's just say they hit the spot!
Blair - 21 Oct 2004 09:12
With reference to the previous comment from "ck", they've done it! It appears someone with a bit of cash HAS come along and given us a real little gem. Rolled in there on it's opening night to be greeted by friendly staff, great decor and a wicked ambience. Not in my usual stomping ground but will go out of my way to pay another visit.
girlnic - 21 Oct 2004 08:52
What a fantastic pub I had a brilliant time. Gone is the old decor and lack of ales it has transformed into a welcoming, friendly updated old style pub without the beer stained carpet. The food is fantastic and I even went back for the sunday roast which was out of this world. I am so pleased that someone has taken this rundown place and turned it into a haven for a good old night out.
Tina - 20 Oct 2004 17:21
I recently went to the opening of this pub last week and was amazed to see how much it had changed and for the better. The food was fantastic a great choice of pizzas/lasagne and even dough balls and the decor was great and very welcoming. This is certainly a pub that I will visit again and again.
Laura - 20 Oct 2004 17:19
Well, at last someone has put their hand in their pocket and turned this pub into a little gem! I stumbled into this place not so long ago to be greated by friendly staff, good strongbow, Tuaca (the worlds best drink) and treated myself to a pizza - all highly recommended!
Pops - 20 Oct 2004 09:51
I have recently visited this pub and have discovered it has had some serious work done. It was fantastic!! I was told about it by a friend who works on upper street and i think i have found a really fantastic modern traditional PUB in the heart of BAR land. The food was top too!!
Thumbs up - 20 Oct 2004 07:24
I was in this pub at the start of the year and everything about it was quite forgettable. Literally so. All I can remember is there was no ales, and the strongbow I had was horrible.
travis - 14 Oct 2004 10:23
Yes indeedy, I wholeheartedly endorse the previous comment. From the carpet, which feels like walking on a waterbed to the glassy eyed, slack jawed, toothless mongers who inhabit the place. It must be avoided at all costs!!!
BIGBOABY - 9 Jul 2004 11:29
Hidden away just off Upper Street this pub will have alot to offer (the location is terrific) when someone with a bit of cash buys it, tastefully refurbishes it (binning all the tat hung on the wall) and installs some cask ales. Currently it's as tasteless, charmless and forgettable as the cooking lager people drink in there.
ck - 23 Dec 2003 12:54

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