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The Alma, N1

59 Newington Green Road
N1 4QU
Phone: 02036207516

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about The Alma

It would seem that this pub has been reinvented since the last reviews - as mentioned, the pub came close to closing a few years ago but was saved with intervention from among others, local MP Jeremy Corbyn!
There's an attractive central bar and is unsurprisingly much as you'd expect for a pub that is occupied by impossibly young well-spoken locals: a bare boarded floor, conventional furniture with a mix of stools and chairs, spherical lanterns and candles in bottles on tables.
However, that's where clichés end as the pub is festooned with film memorabilia - the walls are literally covered with film posters and the like; a large statue of the Blues Brothers looks out over proceedings and pub security comes courtesy of a storm trooper from Star Wars - a quiz was in full flow but was so simple that I couldn't believe the look of bafflement on the faces or participants. There's food of course but it looks mid-end rather than gastro, especially given that you can eat wherever you like rather than being confined to a specific dining area.
Ales: Hmmm...four pumps, two unused and two with reversed clips, one for Fuller's London Pride. I opted for a half of the Lagunitas IPA which was a painful £2.80 a half but tasted quite nice.
This pub's quite good fun if you're in the mood but with just two ales, both off and otherwise sky-high prices, the Force is not strong with this one.

On 2nd October 2017 - rating: 5
[User has posted 999 recommendations about 984 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about The Alma

Decent enough pub, well summed up by Rex below,very busy on my Saturday evening visit,my pint of Twickenham Red Head was in fine fettle,wouldn't go overboard about this pub but worth a look if nearby.

On 1st June 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1356 recommendations about 1342 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Alma

This pub has had something of a chequered past of late, with a previous tenant “replaced” by the pubco for some reason. But nonetheless, the current tenants seem to be making a good effort to make this an interesting and welcoming pub. It now doesn't seem so food-orientated as reported by previous reviewers; on Saturday lunchtime a "brunch" menu was advertised on single sheets on the tables, including a full English for £8.50. Hardly gastropub fare. Nor did I see any tables laid for diners. There are film posters all over the place, including a wall at the back on the right by the sofas plastered with hundreds of overlaid posters. There were also large posters of Hollywood icons with, perhaps unsurprisingly, Marilyn Monroe being well represented. They have live music on Saturdays and I also saw quiz nights being advertised. It’s bare-boarded like all pubs around here, and is furnished with plain wooden tables and chairs. No tall tables in evidence though. The film theme is also represented in the seating, with a “Hitchcock” director’s chair at one of the tables. Other décor is the humorous quotes by the likes of W C Fields painted on the beams. Perhaps the most striking feature of this pub is the pair of large curved lattice glazed windows either side of the main entrance. Free wi-fi is advertised.

The barmaid here was extremely friendly and engaging, and seemed very happy in her work. As it was a hot day she thoughtfully brought to our, and the only other table occupied, a jug of iced water with a wedge of lime in it. Unfortunately our jug went unconsumed as in our case all available capacity for the intake of liquid had been allocated to beer consumption, but it was a nice gesture nonetheless. Another nice gesture was her asking if we preferred a jug or straight glass. There were just the three ales on – Doom Bar; Hackney American Pale Ale; and Redemption Pale Ale. With the 20p CAMRA discount on pints of real ale, our pints of Redemption Pale Ale came down to £3.60. Old Rosie and Thatcher Heritage draught ciders were also available.

This is an interesting and welcoming pub – at least it was when we visited on Saturday afternoon. Definitely more pub than gastro now. This is another pub that I would be happy to re-visit.

On 23rd June 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Alma

Whilst most of Islington’s pubs are busy converting themselves to fit the current craft beer trend, The Alma has remained resolutely in the gastro pub camp. A bare boarded U shaped pub, which wraps around the centrally positioned servery, the emphasis is clearly on food, with one half of the pub set up for formal dining whilst the other side also has formal table and chair arrangements with candles on each table. There are some sofas and larger tables at the front of the pub and I think I noticed more sofas towards the rear right hand corner under an impressive moulded ceiling, but in the main, the place felt a bit too food orientated to be able to relax over a pint or two. The walls are mostly painted in a deep shade of red and have a few art prints hanging from them, whilst a stag’s head can be found mounted on the front wall above some nice, curved front window bays. Lounge style music was playing quietly in the background, but to no-one in particular, as there were only a couple of other customers in at a time that saw all of the other pubs I frequented that evening packed out.
There were four hand pumps in operation, offering local ales Redemption Trinity and London Fields Love Not War, as well as Weston’s Old Rosie and Thatcher’s Heritage Cider. A sign noted a 20p discount off a pint for card carrying CAMRA members. I gave the Trinity a go, but found myself with a hazy pint which I should, in hindsight, have probably returned. I didn’t get a look at the menu, but I did take note of some of the bar snacks available which included some tempting homemade pork scratchings.
Whilst I didn’t really warm to this pub as a drinker, I did at least get the impression that it would be a decent place to go to for a bite to eat. The barmaid was very friendly and seemed to have a good rapport with the few locals who were in and had I had a better quality pint, I may have felt more inclined to consider a return visit. As things stand though, I’d give this a miss in favour of the Snooty Fox or Hops and Glory, which are both a short walk away.

On 10th March 2013 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2545 recommendations about 2545 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about The Alma

This place is the epitome of Islington gastro pubs with burgundy walls and all the tables up either side of the island bar set for dining. The narrow corridor at the rear of the bar that connects either side of the pub even has a piano in situ and the large thick wooden tables by the front windows were full of well heeled thirty something woman enjoying a girly night out. The only men in attendance were sitting with their other halves having a meal and sharing a bottle of vino. There are a couple of hand pumps on the bar which were drawing Deuchars and Flowers Original during my visit on Wednesday evening last week and there is a very limited draught selection. The Guinness was good and served by a friendly enough guy on duty, but I’d have preferred a proper glass rather than the long Peroni one that I received, maybe I’m being picky but I bet they wouldn’t serve up the roast chicken breast, puy lentils with roasted red pepper, wilted spinach and harrisa salsa in a soup bowl because they couldn’t be bothered to reach for a plate. Whilst I’m moaning I’ll also mention the music that I found very depressing, but I suppose it was only there as background noise to disguise the sound of fork on plate.

Some café style seating can be found on the path at the front of the pub and an advertised secluded garden can be found at the rear, but I did not check it out on this visit.

This place is fine for a night out with the misses, but I’d avoid if out just for a pint or an entertaining evening with the lads.

Also, be warned that this place doesn’t open until 17:00 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but there is an hour extension until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

On 30th September 2010 - rating: 4
[User has posted 3587 recommendations about 3566 pubs]