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The Hope and Anchor, Islington - pub details

Hope and Anchor
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Address: 207 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 1RL [map] [gmap]

Tel: 0871 951 1000 (ref 87) - calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras

Nearest tube stations Highbury and Islington (0.2 miles), Canonbury (0.6 miles), Caledonian Road (0.8 miles)

Nearest train stations Highbury & Islington (0.2 miles), Essex Road (0.4 miles), Caledonian Road & Barnsbury (0.4 miles)

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> Current user rating: 6.1/10 (rated by 39 users)
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other pubs nearby:

Compton Arms, Islington (0.1 miles), Medicine Bar, Islington (0.1 miles), Four Sisters, Islington (0.1 miles), Library, Islington (0.1 miles), Library, Islington (0.1 miles) - see more nearby pubs


user reviews of the Hope and Anchor, Islington

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

5 most recent reviews of 34 shown - see all reviews

Loud music, quite a good atmosphere, but not the place to go for a chat. No real ale when I visited, just keg rubbish. They did have Green King and Old Speckled Hen, but both had run out.
nich52 - 31 Oct 2010 16:52
This legendary London music pub has been integral to the live music scene since the early 70’s when pub rock and then punk rock ruled supreme. Whilst today it still hosts many an upcoming band (Keane apparently played their first ever gig here) it doesn’t really have the same aura that it did during its peak years to the mid 80’s. Fortunately it doesn’t try to be anything trendy or pretentious and, given its rich musical heritage, they do not tend to dwell on its past glories in any great way. The pub sign is aptly depicted in “Never Mind The Bollocks” style lettering and there are a couple of Specials posters, a copy of Ian Dury’s New Boots LP and a few flyers for the current events but nothing over the top or touristy.

The main bar is split into a carpeted but fairly basic lounge area and a rough and ready bare floored section adjoining it. A flyer encrusted pillar separates the two. The “rough” end also houses a pinball machine and plasma TV and there are pool tables upstairs although I have never ventured further than the main bar and music venue in the basement. I was a bit surprised to find 2 Greene King ales (IPA and Speckled Hen) so it’s just as well spitting at gigs is no longer in fashion otherwise IPA sales would double overnight. Prices were surprisingly reasonable for the area.

The music venue is downstairs and any live music fan of a certain age should try and catch a gig here at least once n their lives. It is tiny with a virtually non-existent stage and trying to picture bands like the Pistols, the Stranglers and, er Dire Straits (yep, really), playing here gives you a real insight into those early days of punk. It is a few years since I have seen any bands here but from memory there was a small self contained bar in the music venue and some superb photos of some of the legendary bands playing there.

It is certainly not the best pub you will ever visit and is more of a place for reflection than worthy of going out of the way for (unless you plan to take in a gig) but it is a piece of London’s pub heritage and no-one can take that away from the place.
RogerB - 29 Oct 2009 15:42
This is a bit of a pit and the barman looked and acted like that strange bloke in the Mighty Boosh, not that this is a slur in any way. There is a pool table in a large room upstairs and a live music club downstairs that didn’t seem very good going by the fuzzy plasma screen showing the CCTV pictures of the bar.

There is a standard draught selection alongside Greene King IPA and Old Speckled Hen, but I opted for the Guinness which was passable.

I spotted a poster that said that Madness played here on the 7th April 1980 and I would have been very interested to see that, but unfortunately those times have long since past and I can see no reason for me to return here again.
Strongers - 12 Sep 2009 22:01
My first visit since the early eighties last night and unusually it's changed for the better. Us old punks will of course wax nostalgic about how wonderful the Hope was but let's face it now. It was a bit of a pit wasn't it? You were lucky if a band got through it's set without a power cut. And as for the Toilets - yeeuch.

The dingy basement dive feel remains and the PAs excellent. They're also proud of their history and have lots of memorabilia about so all good. If there's one thing London deserves it's good independently run small gig venues so more power to your elbow Hope and Anchor. Doubt i'd bother except for a gig though. The upstairs bar's average and a tad overpriced but hey, that's Upper Street for you isn't it?
realalesnob - 6 Jun 2009 18:40
Went in here for the first time in about 20 years, still pretty much the same I am pleased to say. Beer ok, funny atmosphere with a range of people, a proper pub!
JockStrap - 1 Feb 2009 16:13

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