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BITE user comments - jacobross1

Comments by jacobross1

The Blackfriar, Blackfriars

Astonishing interior and exterior, somewhat ruined by the tacky pub chain paraphernalia. Good selection of real ale, and people (drunk City boys alongside some more underdressed people). If you want a quiet drink where you can chat on a Friday evening, then look somewhere else, as the music is pretty loud (and repetitive - last time there was about 20 minutes of music on loop). That said, it is definitely worth a visit.

21 Feb 2010 13:03

The Rook and Gaskill, York

Although I find the overuse/missuse of the word "literally" to be mildly annoying, here I think it is justifiable to say that this is literally one of the best pubs ever. Out of the few pubs I've been to with more than 10 handpumps, this is one that actually tends to keeps them all stocked up at any one time, and with a varying selection of pretty faultless ales. I can probably say that in my many visits, I have never had a bad pint; compare that with pint after pint of nice, but fairly average-tasting beer that tends to be a main feature of drinking in many places. The pub itself is a bit quirky, with tiles on the floors, and a minimal (but by no means soulless) feel. The place usually has a laid-back but buzzing atmosphere on weekday and weekend evenings alike.

Every so often, a beer festival comes along and all of a sudden, their wide ale selection becomes bewildering (literally, if you opt for a 10% heavyweight). If real ale isn't your thing, then they have a fairly good selection of continental lagers and beers, both standard and a little unusual. OK, so the staff can be a little on the surly side, and their excellent and reasonably-priced food menu no longer is in operation (as far as my last visit would suggest), but this is still a great place to drink.

20 Feb 2010 20:20

The George IV, Kentish Town

It was quite a pleasant surprise to see this beautiful-looking pub on my walk to work for the first time. After a month or two I plucked up the courage to go in (being in a location split between residential streets, estates and industrial yards I didn't know what sort of welcome to expect!), and was glad that I had. The interior was unusual, with posters of artwork against the otherwise traditional backdrop, and little electric lamps on every table. I was a little disappointed that there was no ale, so I opted for a premium lager, and sat amongst the ivy jungle that covers the outside.

Being such a little gem of a pub, I naturally approved and eventually persuaded some friends to go there, and everyone seemed to like it. The barmaid that always seems to be there when I go in is very competent, remembering what drinks you've had, etc. It is definitely worth putting in a bit of effort to convince people (and when they start walking past the industrial estates on the way, they may need some fairly strong persuading) to opt for this pub, rather than the overpriced gastro-tinged nonsense that otherwise dominates Kentish Town Road. It is a 5-minute (briskish) walk off the main road, and definitely worth seeking out. I personally recommend "blackmailing" people to visit, with the promise of a trip to Kentish Town City Farm up the road.

20 Feb 2010 19:23

The Swimmer at The Grafton Arms, Holloway

Quite a nice pub on a residential street, with a nice traditional feel (although I thought it was perhaps a little dark on one or two of my recent visits). Some nice local area history things on the wall, and indeed a stuffed otter. Nice real ale and a good jukebox. The food is your (now) fairly typical gastro-type fair, and it looked perhaps a tad on the expensive side, although I haven't actually sampled it. Atmosphere is fairly lively with a mixture of ages, although predominately a younger crowd. It's worth a visit, and I can see myself returning fairly often.

14 Feb 2010 20:27

The Tollington, Holloway

Been here a few times, and as one of our local pubs, I have built up a bit of affection for the place. The minimal, modern interior isn't what I normally go for, and as a result it certainly loses a bit on character. That said, the manager and staff always seem friendly, welcoming and competent. Fortunately I haven't been here when there is a game on at the nearby Arsenal stadium, but I've seen it pretty rammed on match days. Otherwise it's good for a relatively quiet drink in the evening.

Beer selection is pretty reasonable with 2 or 3 real ales on, and the usual Kronenbourg et al. The Thai food was very tasty, although I think requesting it a bit hotter than normal was a bit foolish in hindsight.

14 Feb 2010 20:07

The Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park

An interesting find tucked away from the busy Stroud Green Road. The ivy round the front and traditional interior make it pretty enticing, and there's a large back room. It is definitely worth checking out the beer garden/roof terrace, which goes on forever over several levels - "like MC Escher going mad with some decking" as my friend commented. Perhaps there is a slight element of smugness, as one reviewer put it, but it's more than made up for by the charm of the place. The beer selection, as others have alluded, is not brilliant, but not a problem. Possibly the best pub in the Finsbury Park.

14 Feb 2010 19:51

The Pembury Tavern, Hackney

Excellent place; any pub that makes its own pork scratchings and has a ludicrous number of real ales available gets my vote. There's also a fairly good selection of standard and continental lagers and beers. Interesting building and interior, plus a bar billiards table complete with instructions, if you fancy something a bit different to the usual game of pool. I haven't eaten there but the menu looks good, even offering some vegan options. One of my favourite pubs in London!

14 Feb 2010 19:39

The Chapel Bar, Islington

Very probably the worst bar I've ever been to. DJ playing rubbish music and telling the girls to "get their t*ts out", incompetent bar staff and extortionate prices. A sweaty meat market of immense proportions.

14 Feb 2010 19:31

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