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King Charles I, Kings Cross, N1

55 Northdown Street
N1 9BL

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about King Charles I

A pub I have attempted to visit on several occasions but always foundered by finding it closed. Hours are now regularised, generally opening at 12 from Monday to Saturday. I'm glad I got in, liked it a lot, a small single room with a curved walnut looking bar on the back wall, boarded floor, nicotine yellow ceiling and beams and a piano in one corner with an amp above plus a wall mounted guitar. Flyers suggest they have live music events. Antelope heads plus a pair of antlers over a fireplace, a musket sits above the door to the gents. Decent stained wood panelling and doors and various mirrors including a Guinness version give a timeless and traditional feel. Seating is at pews, benches and regular chairs, no pretentious nonsense in here, a top rate pub with a convivial atmosphere.

On 12th March 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1685 recommendations about 1662 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about King Charles I

Passed on many an occasion, I was under the impression that this was some sort of scummy Oirish-themed locals' pub. How wrong I was: it really is quite a charming little boozer with a very mixed and civilised crowd. Décor is eclectic with some bric-a-brac and taxidermy. There's a real fire, the pub is bare boarded and seating comes in the form of pews and traditional furniture and there are no TVs to attract the football hooligans (Halifax Town FC were on the prowl) who predate on local pubs, given their proximity to King's Cross and St. Pancras railway stations.
The ale front could be improved with Greene King's Abbot, Hanlon's Port Stout, a spare pump and XT3's IPA at a very reasonable £1.85 a half and very nice it was too.
On the downside, the pub was in the process of being rigged up for some sort of live music event. This is a tiny pub: if I want live music, I'll go to the 02 centre or Wembley, thank you very much; I don't want a pleasant and convivial atmosphere ruined by some beard with a Marshall amp, a fake Stratocaster and a tenuous grasp of the intro to Smoke on the Water.
On the plus side, I gather that the pub has a strict 'no children' policy, which is a blessing and one which more pubs should adopt. Bar billiards has also gone, giving drinkers more space.

On 23rd May 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 953 recommendations about 939 pubs]

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Steve C left this review about King Charles I

The King Charles I is a tiny little no frills boozer that has seen better days. During my Monday afternoon visit there was some background music playing off the jukebox and the handful of middle aged men present were glancing at BBC news that was muted, but subtitle, on a flat screen TV. Being quiet I was able to sit at the bar in this pub where there is more standing room than seating space. The opening times for this pub are midday except on Sundays when the doors do not open until 15:00.

Premium draught products were available from the bar that also supports four hand pumps. One of these was unused leaving Hanlon’s Nice Tackle, Truman’s Bold as Brass and Cottage Brewing Company’s Golden Ale as the cask options. Food is not available here.

I found the service to be very friendly and I would pop back in if passing, but this isn’t the sort of place I would take the wife.

On 12th October 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3586 recommendations about 3565 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about King Charles I

A dark wooden interior that's a bit rough round the edges but nothing wrong with that. 4 real ales served.

On 1st October 2015 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2692 recommendations about 2636 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about King Charles I

I thought this pub was going to be a bit of a mecca for some fellow alers, on our Saturday eve visit, only to find one solitary customer drinker lager. Four handpumps with three in use. I went for Cottage Brewery Rib Tickler, a non-descript beer.

On 30th July 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2975 recommendations about 2975 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about King Charles I

Smaller than it looks as you approach, with a plain façade at odds with the curiosities within. Once inside, you find a small, old-fashioned bar with dark wood panelling everywhere, sturdy wooden furniture and various oddities (including hunting trophies and tribal masks) on the walls. Other features of interest include a curious stained glass window and a bar billiards table. Some small tables out front. Friendly atmosphere. Usually has a good selection of beers from the four handpumps, with Pale and Altered States (£3.70) from Kent Brewery, Clarence & Frederick's Oat Milk Stout and a Coffee Porter available on this visit. Well worth seeking out if in the area.

On 21st February 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6000 recommendations about 6000 pubs]

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Danny O'Revey left this review about King Charles I

Very interesting pub near Kings Cross Station, dark inside with various curio wall coverings, like masks and animal heads.

Small inside it has wood benches and is different from a lot of other standard pub decors.

They were having trouble with the beer on my visit & the Bethnal Green bitter went followed by the London Fields, but when a decent pint did appear it was very nice & a chance to try the Brrodie's

On 4th July 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1276 recommendations about 1253 pubs]

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John Bonser left this review about King Charles I

Hidden away in a side street a few minutes walk away from the hustle and bustle of Kings Cross / St Pancras station is The King Charles 1st.

As we approach the pub, the dark painted exterior mistakenly leads you to assume it may be a gastro pub, but, you’ll be pleased to hear, it isn’t.

Rather smaller than you might anticipate from outside, it’s a bare boarded room with a small wooden curved bar counter directly in front of you as you enter. Boarded wood panelled walls give the place something of a rather woody ale house feel. Seating is mainly normal wooden tables and chairs with stools at the bar. A lit fire contributed towards a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

It’s decorated with a rather eclectic range of paraphernalia which give the pub a rather crowded and cluttered, but characterful and quirky air. On the walls are a series of African masks. Several stuffed animal heads look down on proceedings, including a ram’s head wearing a Tommy Cooper red fez. Note also the stained glass window featuring a blond haired cherub and an unusual enamelled sign advertising The Leu Family’s Family Iron.

Perhaps unusually, given the limited space, room is found for a bar billiards table just inside the door. Space is tight and, whilst sitting at the bar whilst a game was in progress, I got poked in the ribs several times from the end of the cue, so I took the hint and sat elsewhere. Despite several lamps over the table, the interior is rather dark and this effect is compounded by the dark blinds which, rather oddly, are pulled half down.

No food is served but a prominent old sign exhorts us to “bring your own food or order locally and have it delivered”. Oddly, given this, a blackboard lists what could be regarded as a wide selection of available wines.

The pub appears to attract students and the like. Based on my visit, homeward bound commuters using the nearby station do not frequent the pub in any significant numbers. Occasional folk music sessions are held and the Phil Grispo orchestra perform once a month.

4 beers were on – 3 from Brodies ( Porter, Bethnal Green Bitter and Shoreditch Sunshine ) – plus Caledonian Flying Scotsman, a beer that seems to be cropping up more frequently nowadays. Perhaps wisely, I gave the Porter ( ABV – 7.8% ) a miss, but the other 2 Brodie beers were in good form. The pub is listed in the CAMRA 2012 Good Beer Guide.

I’m putting this one down for an early revisit

On 29th February 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about King Charles I

This characterful little pub has a fantastic location down a quiet side street just a couple of minutes walk from Kings Cross station. The single room is decorated with all manner of unusual items including numerous antlers, horns and animal heads (some still bearing Christmas decorations) and a collection of African style masks. A bank note collection behind the bar, a row of pumpkins on the mantelpiece and a stained glass window with what looked to be an insert of Elvis in the middle (although I may well be wrong on that) all combine to create a rather quirky feel. In spite of all this, the place somehow retains quite a traditional feel, with dark wood floors and wall panels, a lit fireplace with large ornate mirror above and a good mix of seating. I spotted a large TV screen, although I can't imagine much sport gets shown here, as well as a juke box and a plentiful supply of board games.
The pub has ties with Brodie's Brewery and I was looking forward to sampling some of their beers, but unfortunately there were only two on during my Saturday evening visit, and both pretty strong ones at that - Hoxton Special IPA (6.6%) and Dalston Black (7%). The remaining hand pumps had Butcombe Bitter and Gold. I gave the Hoxton Special a try and thought it was a good, strong IPA. There was only one barman on duty, which was a bit of a surprise on a Saturday evening when the place was heaving, and he found himself having to run down to the cellar on several occasion, creating long queues at the bar, which, to his credit, he dealt with rather admirably.
As Quinno mentions, the place is probably best avoided outside peak times (especially if they only put one barman on), but it's now firmly installed as the first place I go when passing through King's Cross.

On 1st February 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2425 recommendations about 2425 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Old Boots left this review about King Charles I

A useful pub to know about being one of a very few good pubs in the Kings Cross area and being a good walking distance from St Pancras and Kings Cross stations. Far from the madding crowd but not too far. Definitely a quirky pub, if it used to be darker inside I'm surprised anyone could find the bar, mainly a younger clientele and the Brodies beers were excellent. My thanks to previous reviewers for pointing this one out.

On 3rd October 2011 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2258 recommendations about 2098 pubs]

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