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Talbot, Kingsland

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user reviews of the Talbot, Kingsland

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

Came in here on Saturday night for dinner.

Positives: The girl serving us was very pleasant and helpful. The two ales on (Landlord and Doombar) were in good nick. The food I had was very tasty.

Negatives: Meal prices were very high. £12-£16 for a main and £6-£7 for a dessert in a pub is excessive. Portion sizes could have been bigger too. Music was also very loud so we struggled to hear one another at times, even sat to the side of the bar away from everyone crammed in the main area.

The prices would stop me from rushing back but with few decent pubs in the area, this place will never struggle for customers.
DuchyBoy - 20 Feb 2012 09:36
I had to add my comment because I am a local and this is my favourite pub, so I felt its low score here was rather unfair (and maybe reflecting previous owners more than the current ones).

In comparison with the other De Beauvoir pubs this one is a bit more relaxed, and a slightly older crowd (still some trendies, but friendly ones and lots of older locals too - and yes, as some previous owners have said, their dogs are welcome! I met a lovely Basset Hound and her owner here when we were still considering moving to the area, and it was definitely a plus in our decision on where to move to). You can actually get to the bar and order a drink even on a Friday or Saturday night without being ignored while various young people in hats/with beards get served before you, which for us 30-somethings and older is a boon. It's decorated in a really nice cosy but unfussy way. There are always seats upstairs if downstairs is full, and in summer you can usually find an outside table, either on the street, in the back garden (for food), or the first floor terrace.

It's got a very chilled atmosphere, the owners and staff are really friendly, and it's always busy enough to have a buzz but usually not too crowded. At the weekends there is music (sometimes a DJ) but it's fairly low-fi and you can still hear yourself talk and think.

The food is generally very good. I agree it is a bit hit and miss, particularly on the portion sizes (although I haven't had any small portions the last 2-3 times I've been, so maybe they are working on this) - I have had some stuff that is really excellent and some stuff that is just "fine". If you're hungry have a look at what other people are ordering or ask the staff and they will help! The Sunday roasts are very good (and big!), and the Bloody Marys/Virgin Marys are also a great weekend treat.
LightTripper - 21 Jul 2011 14:02
Having known this pub a while I never was a frequent visitor. Finding the atmosphere pretentious, and the high prices I was never fond of the pub. Recently though I found out the pub was changing hands. I ventured back to see how the new owners were fairing.

The pub looked much the same, but cleaner. You could see odd job were being preformed in the decor but nothing substantial. The smaller outdoor deck up stairs had been cleaned off, and the back garden area seemed much brighter and water-blasted. There were also a couple of customers dog's around, something that the past owners never allowed. The whole atmosphere had changed. More of a respect for customers, which in turn makes you respect them back.

The food was a tradition pub menu, nothing to fancy, good hearty seasonal food.

Well recommended from my end.
givemebeerplease - 19 Aug 2010 16:46
Just down from the house made famous by the Mole Man of Mortimer Road, some previous reviewers might have hoped one of his tunnels would lay waste to the foundations of this unapologetic, borderline-poncey gastro affair, but I actually appreciated its cosiness on a Good Friday De Beauvoir town pub crawl. Four plump, herby sausages atop mash and a pint of Harvey's and it's hard to be unhappy.
BoehmBawerk - 14 Apr 2009 22:03
a nice pub, with nice and helpful staff, however what a disappointment as to the size of food on a plate! for £13+ I got a main of fish accompanied by roasted butternut squash, all the size of a starter. Hoping to treat myself on a Sunday I walked away feeling hungrier than before. It tasted great but left me feeling ripped off and very much disappointed.
So overall a no-go, will not be returning here.

The girl serving us was very friendly and helpful - she took pity and agreed to smuggle us some bread form the kitchen.

But still what a joke. I am yet to find a pub in London that does not treat its customers as walking piles of cash, especially these hard days.

Can anyone recommend?
raspberryface - 8 Apr 2009 12:55
I understand that this pub may have bad reviews previously, however in the last few months, i believe there has been a change in management. I come in here regularly for a sunday roast and the waitresses are really friendly and efficient. The place has a really great atmosphere , live dj's which play a selection of great music and the food is really delicious aswell.
I would definately recommend this pub as its great to chill out and enjoy the atmosphere.
I urge you to visit!
Cindy_Raphael - 25 Jan 2009 00:39

I live in the neighborhood and was initially very happy to find such a chilled, cozy pub. The first two visits for quick pints were ok enough. Then, having some friends over from abroad on a cold winter day, I raved about this great little pub next to my place and we all went over for some food.
The place was pretty empty, as it normally is. We sat on one of the couches and decided to have some fries to manage our hunger while we waited for some other friends to arrive.
To my surprise, even though fries were on the menu as side dishes, we were refused them as snacks. “If we serve fries that’s all that people will have and we will be paying our chef for nothing”, said the sarcastic and rude waiter. Well, I thought, this is supposed to be a pretty grown up pub, and not a teenager hang out den where people will drink tap water all night. Also, I found it extremely irresponsible to deny your customers finger food to help soak up the alcohol of a night out on the pub. I told this to the waiter, who just muttered something under his breath and left.
I resigned myself to a bowl of olives, the only thing other than crisps and peanuts available to us besides the dinner menu.
Once our friends arrived, we decided to stay in our couch and eat there, instead of moving to one of the tables. Note that the place was empty, with loads of couches on offer.
When I asked the waiter for the menu, he told me that I could only have the menu (a printed sheet of paper) if we sat on the table. On the couch, I had to get up and read the menu written on a board across the bar. I was so shocked by such stupidity (and hungry) that we all just moved to the restaurant table (5 steps from where we were sitting).
The food was bland and disappointing (all of it, but especially the roasts and what was supposed to be horseradish cream but was only double cream), and the waiter kept looking at us with sarcasm.
It is a shame, such a nice place, but such crazy unreasonable rules and rude staff. Not coming back.

juliapap - 24 Jan 2009 12:42
I've lived 50 yds from the Talbot for 6 years - used to be a deserted local except on footie nights. The makeover was OK for a bit - now I couldn't agree more with the other comments - loud, uncomfortable and pricey, mainly annoying and inconsiderate 20-early 30s. It has my favourite beer though - Harveys - and amazingly is in the current Good Beer Guide. Sadly, the beer quality doesn't warrant it.

But one important point - it is successful and it's infinitely better than turning it into flats.
eastender - 26 Apr 2007 19:46
Went last night and actually thought the bar staff were really chatty and friendly so not sure what the others are talking about.
Hip - 1 Apr 2007 09:34
If you like coked-up wannabies and self-obsessed barstaff then this place is just the ticket. If not, then go to The Wellington or the newly refurbished Scolts Head
Zenith - 26 Mar 2007 19:08
Lack of imagination, formulaic decor, rip-off food and rude staff; unless you too are a 30-something lawyer seeking quick tricks for convincing yourself that you're urbane and still youthful, this place is best avoided.
willda5 - 17 Mar 2007 22:35
Great Music, good food, friendly staff (people often forget you have to be friendly to people to make them be friendly back)Hot red-head just started working there too-bonus.
anonymous - 13 Feb 2007 16:04
Same feel as all the other Islington gastros I've been in; pleasant enough but beer an afterthought and nowhere to sit. I can't believe what gets in the Good Beer Guide in London when I know what gets left out in Yorkshire, Essex etc
mtaylor40 - 8 Jan 2007 23:13
Increasingly dated 'cool' pub. Has some nice features such as big windows and real fires. Food is good and reaonable value for money. Clientele are a little try-hard but nice enough.
BeersMitLiam - 5 Dec 2006 01:01
It's OK - nice enough pub, shame about the regulars who can be faintly annoying. Hence it didn't become our local although we live close-ish by. I'd go to the Northgate instead if you're near Southgate Road. No cocktails in the Northgate, but better food and wine list.
Catten - 28 Oct 2006 18:36
Looks just like my kind of pub. And it's fine for an evening drink, good wine list, the terrace is nice. The food is ok, but considering they do a gastro pub and blackboard the menu - it's formulaic and done by numbers. They can't do anything even slightly different from what's on the menu 'because we're just a pub' (like having something from the vege mezze instead of something in the tapas plate). There's one particular woman who works there (assume she's the manager) who has some 'training issues' where talking to the public is concerned. Got to the Wellington on Balls Pond Road instead, or the Northgate.
Fitzlou - 16 Jun 2005 15:24
This is a Nazi pub - the kind that loves those Ra Ras that make small glass of dry white last all night and despises those regulars who spend lots of money on beer. Example... last night (which has enraged me so much I feel compeled to register and post). After a hard week's work me and 2 mates felt we deserved a beer. So one became 6 and rather embarassingly I made the ulltimate faux pah of nodding off in the arm chair (it'd been a hard week!). Having bleeded us dry the manageress clearly decided that we were lowering the property value and kicked us out. No "wakey wakey mate sorry you can't sleep there" just "Get out!". When we asked why she promtly barred us. Her reason was that we were rude (??). At no point were we obnoxious. We weren't even that drunk. I was tired. Simple as that. We left without fuss in the hope that she'd realise just how out of order she'd actually been.

My friends and I have been regulars at the Talbot for over 2 years. We've brought very good business to the place and eaten their ridiculaously over-priced food on many occasions. Unfortunately the staff turnaround is so high that they don't even know who their regulars are and so therefore feel it necessary to treat people like shit by default.

If anyone knows a good honest local pub, that values its customers (or at least knows who they are) please let me know.

Cheers
bluestates - 28 May 2005 12:46
Very pleasant indeed, bit upmarket but that's the Islington (De Beauvoir) periphery for ya. At least you won't get any townies in. TIP: Great Vietnamese kitchen just moments away on Englefield Road.
danrkelly - 7 Apr 2005 16:34
Nice pub, great local hangout. Major downside is that they are not dog friendly, if they were I would visit a lot more.
Fortunately for those of us with k9's there's always the Northgate down the road!
MF - 16 Nov 2004 12:27
Really love this bar. Very nice relaxed atmosphere, good selection of drinks and a laid back atmosphere.

Bit off the beaten track but worth it.
anonymous - 8 Oct 2004 14:25
recently opened a nice beer garden at the back, and a terrace upstairs -- lovely on summer nights if the kids across the road would just TURN DOWN THEIR BLOODY EURO-HOUSE for half an hour.
darrell - 3 Oct 2004 14:16
Huge windows to help observe the world outside while sipping some good wine.
anonymous - 16 Sep 2004 13:52
Extremely good wine list. Friendly, attentive staff who seem to care about the place. Popular with media types, writers, boozers, fashionistas, souls bored with Hoxton, librarians, all-round good cockney types and humans who just like to chill out with a book and a paper. The Talbot with serve you all!
Shay. - 10 Sep 2004 12:26
Great pub, great food especially at the weekend! Great staff (all of whom very nice looking)! Chilled atmosphere accompanied by good beers and good wines.
India - 29 Apr 2004 20:36
Recently done up from a sticky carpeted local, it's a mixture between gastropub and lounge bar, with exposed brick walls, carefully random sofas and a short cocktail list. DJ decks sit in the corner, but I've never been there when in action.

Does good, food especially the Sunday brunch.
Sarah Herbert - 25 Mar 2004 10:25

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