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The Bull, Islington, N1

100 Upper Street
N1
N1 0NP

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Pub Type

Castle (Mitchells & Butlers)

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 Bull

A staple watering hole of my youth, this is a late Georgian pub originally called the Old Pied Bull. As mentioned below, this place is a fairly predictable Islington pub conversion. Predictably walls are either bare brick or part panelled painted pale grey, adorned with theatre flyers. There's some unattractive industrial ductwork and a metal helical stair leads upwards; naturally the floor is bare boarded. Furniture is fairly conventional and there are some high butchers' block tables.
Ales: Sharp's Doom Bar, Purity's Ubu and Acorn Brewery's Barnsley Gold at £2.20 a half and good.
I'd give this place a 5 if it were more of a pub, but otherwise there's no reason to avoid it.

On 22nd October 2016 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1001 recommendations about 986 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


john mcgraw left this review about The Bull

Another "if you have seen one you have seen them all" Islington pubs. Bare floors,bare tables and vastly inflated prices. There were 3 real ales on with nothing to write home about. The interior has been grahically discribed earlier.

On 10th August 2014 - rating: 3
[User has posted 2044 recommendations about 2025 pubs]


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hondo . left this review about The Bull

Interior as described below 4 real ales and food served.

On 19th March 2014 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2761 recommendations about 2703 pubs]


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Pub SignMan left this review about The Bull

Located on Islington's busy Upper Street, close to Islington Green and a short stroll from Angel tube station, the Bull is a reasonably pleasant pub from the Mitchell and Butler group. The most striking thing upon entering was the pretentious, hipster crowd that seemed to be filling the front bar, but having filtered them from my field of vision, I was able to appreciate a smart room with dark floorboards, half panelled walls and a dark wood servery running down the left hand wall. A couple of awkwardly positioned support pillars break up the area in front of the bar, but also make it difficult to manoeuvre around this space, and it took a bit of jostling to get into a position to see what beers were on. A spiral staircase in the front corner also blocks the natural path from front door to bar and I dread to think how difficult it would be to get served when the place is packed. Opposite the bar, quite a few small tables run along the front windows and down the right hand side of the pub. The décor and general ambiance screamed 'gastro-pub' when I first walked in, but I didn't spot anyone eating on my early evening time visit, so perhaps other customers don't view it that way. A posh pub-grub menu is available and a fixed price menu offered two courses for a tenner or three for £13, which seems quite good value. In the rear left corner, past the end of the bar, the room extends into a small, almost snug-like space with a single U shaped banquette serving four or five small tables with the help of some wide low stools. The area was being marketed as the 'Six Nations Lounge', with rugby bunting, posters etc... and a big TV for the viewing pleasure of the small number of people who would be able to squeeze in on match days. This area was quite cosy in the evening, but a large skylight would make it much lighter in daylight hours. The aforementioned spiral staircase leads up to a nice upper seating area that affords decent views down into the main bar below.
Just two ales were on the go when I arrived - Redemption Urban Dusk (£3.85) and Shepherd Neame Whitstable Bay - with Brakspear Oxford Gold and Sharp's Doom Bar both 'Coming Soon'. The Urban Dusk was, to my mind, a little past its best and I didn't enjoy it half as much as I have in the past.
This is a pretty solid pub that served me well as a stop-gap as I made my way from Angel to the Taproom further along Upper Street. There's nothing here that London pub goers haven't seen before, but the place was clean, the staff were efficient and the customers had stupid beards and jumpers. Two out of three can't be too bad.

On 5th March 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2546 recommendations about 2546 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Roger Button left this review about The Bull

Built in 1830, the Bull spent much of its life as the Old Pied Bull before going through a sucession of name changes via the Walter Raleigh and the Finnock & Firkin before reverting to a cropped version of its traditional name. Today the Bull is a smartish slightly trendy place that compliments Islington’s fairly chic and stylish eat/drink establishments.

The first thing that I noticed was how cramped the interior is, especially around the bar area where an awkward pillar and some badly positioned tables making access to bar a bit of an ordeal. To the rear of the pub is a dining area that was well populated on my visit and a spiral starcase leads to an upstairs lounge bar but this was closed for private function so I wasn’t able to get much of a peek other than to note that the uupper bar wraps around the edges forming a sort of atrium from where you can gaze down to the ground floor..

The beer choices were reasonable enough with 4 ales (Sharps Doom Bar, Adnams Broadside, Brakspear Oxford Gold and Moor Revival) plus several top end lagers and craft beers. The food was more restaurant than pub grub with prices between £9-16. A different menu is published daily but I would imagine they are all along similar lines.

Whilst it is perhaps abit too trendy for my liking, there are far more pretentious pubs in the aera and I wouldn’t have any qualms popping in when next in the area.

On 4th November 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1238 recommendations about 1232 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Steve of N21 left this review about The Bull

Decided to wander into the Bull for a beer when I noticed they had Leeds Brewery Best Bitter on, and I actually found it quite a pleasant pub. From the outside I was expecting the usual bland Islington modernist makeover but it’s a decent mix of modern and traditional decor, with a wooden floor and half panelled walls, collection of traditional tables & chairs and some old sofas.
It’s a bit of an odd shape but is larger than it looks from the outside, and is lighter inside than expected having the benefit of big windows and a skylight area to the back. Then there is a nice lounge type area upstairs accessed by a spiral staircase, which has additional comfy seating and block style wooden tables, and a big mirror above the bar.
As well as the Leeds Best there were three other handpumps dispensing the usual offerings of Doombar, Pride and TT Landlord.
I liked this place and will visit again when next in the vicinity.

On 18th July 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1712 recommendations about 1661 pubs]


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Chris 87 left this review about The Bull

Wandered into this friendly, fashionable modern pub on a sunday afternoon and was greeted by a reasonable selection; Pride, Landlord, Black Sheep & Leeds Best, priced around the £3 mark. The latter two were in good nick. The place has a mixture of traditional tables & chairs plus some old sofas which presumably cost a small fortune from some uber-trendy Islington antique shop. As befits the location a young 'n' trendy crowd but a pleasant place to escape the hubbub of Upper Street.

On 19th April 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 179 recommendations about 179 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Steve C left this review about The Bull

This is a very popular pub that was serving up a selection of premium lagers alongside Pride, Landlord and Doom Bar on my visit. I thought that the music was at a good level and there was a very chilled out atmosphere. There was no available seating in the bar area downstairs, but fortunately I was able to find a table up the spiral staircase and was able to enjoy my well kept Pride.

I will visit here again when next in the area.

On 12th September 2009 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3592 recommendations about 3571 pubs]