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Foxglove, Barnsbury, N1

209-211 Liverpool Road
N1
N1 1LX
Phone: 02076075519

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Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Tris C left this review about Foxglove

Recently reopened after the short-lived Cured which replaced the short-lived Hop & Berry which was formerly the Barnsbury after having been Hourican's, before it was the Windsor Castle, rebuilt in 1937 by Charrington's but having existed here in some form since at least the mid-19th century.
Not a great deal seems to have changed since the last incarnation with either pale grey or dark green walls with the central field panelled bar with its metal top, above which are a few glass and steel hanging gantry receptacles containing steins and Tyrolean mountain hats; the white tiled bar back seems to have been retained from the earlier incarnation.
The floor is bare boarded and there's some attractive original 50%- or 75%-height wood panelling. Overall it works quite well, though the interior is lacking in décor and the metal trunking to the overhead lamps is something of an eyesore. The furniture too is none too dainty, being rather industrial. There is table football, so that the attendant children can generate annoyance. A secondary room of sorts exists to the rear, though I doubt it's for dining as I don't think the pub does food. There is also a log burning stove which is something, but an open fire is so much more appealing. Nevertheless, the pub is obviously determined to capitalise on its presence as there was a large pile of logs, the very friendly barman proudly showing off his wood.
Beer choice seems to revolve around so-called 'craft' keg, with the whole 10-tap selection offered on a pin board with brewer, name, ABV (up to in excess of 6%) and price. A large bottle and can selection can be found in a chiller cabinet, or 'fridge' as it's traditionally called. There's clearly much in the way of rotation as the walls are increasingly bedecked with former pump clips. There were though three real ales on offer (sometimes four) from East London Brewing on this visit: Vienna Pale, Cowcatcher and Pale Ale, all at a fairly reasonable (for the area) £4.50 a pint and in great condition.
If you include the craft selection in addition to real ale, this place has a beer selection which is almost a match for the nearby CBC, has competitive prices and is certainly worth a visit. It could however have a curfew on the noisy kids or exclude them altogether which would improve things.

On 13th October 2019 - rating: 5
[User has posted 998 recommendations about 983 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Tris C left this review about Cured

This pub's interior hasn't changed much from the previous incarnation and belies the rather industrial fascia. Internally, it's bare boarded with part natural wood panelling to the walls (possibly original), along with a simple white and pale green colour scheme and a central bar, above which are suspended glass and tubular steel receptacles; the bar is metal topped, to the right of which, is a tiled area with hanging charcuterie. Apparently this 'bar' specialises in Italian food, but I couldn't see a menu anywhere; perhaps they are available by request, as just two people were eating on our 8.45 pm visit.
Industrial too are the metal-topped square tables, around which are some canteen-style tubular steel and plywood chairs; comfort wasn't part of this project's fit-out brief then. Overall, it's all hard surfaces, minimalist, sparse with certainly no décor. Music was a little too loud as were the screaming children, running around underfoot. With all the hard surfaces, the net result wasn't at all pleasant, especially given the prices.
No real ale, just keg versions of Fuller's London Pride and Montana Red along with Hammerton's N1 (Hammerton's Brewery is just around the corner) at £2.70 a half!
For all its faults, I preferred the Hop & Berry. This was a bleak experience so I don't envisage a return visit.

On 17th July 2017 - rating: 2
[User has posted 998 recommendations about 983 pubs]


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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Hop & Berry

Unusual frontage, with a few wooden benches under an awning. Inside, the former Barnsbury has been refreshed following its change of name with a limited makeover but the layout seems little changed. The 'U'-shaped bar has fairly sparse decor and plain furniture, and the lounge area at one end is a bit lighter and more modern in appearance. However, my initial disappointment in seeing just one clip (for Redemption Trinity) on the four handpumps on the front of the counter was made up when I saw the list of 12 craft keg beers from taps on each side of the bar-back. Better still, they were doing a promotion whereby you could get a free pint via the Crowdit app, and I duly enjoyed a Belleville Calif-Oregon Amber - result!

On 20th March 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6199 recommendations about 6199 pubs]


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Rex Rattus left this review about The Barnsbury

There were six handpumps on the bar, although only three were in use. The three on were: Darkstar Hophead, something called Croesco Pale Ale which the handwritten pump clip tells us its ABV is 4.2%, and Yeovil Brewery Lynx Wildcat (£3.90 a pint) which turned out to be a rich (and definitely not boring) brown bitter in excellent condition. There was a "try before you buy" sign, but unfortunately there weren't many to try. I didn't see a menu, but it's the sort of place that would do food.

This is a simple one-room bar, with some banquette seating at the front and at the sides, plus some normal tables and chairs. So far, so good. I don't normally mention wallpaper, but here they some featuring hot air balloons, in a sort of P Fogg or Terry Gilliam way. Certain features suggest a traditional pub - the apparently ancient bar counter, and the stone splash area around it, but it's not particularly traditional now of course. Things like having little herb bushes on the tables is an unusual thing for a pub, but certainly not traditional. The TV was showing a World Cup match of course.

For a pub that stresses its commitment to real ale three handpumps not in use, leaving just three on, is not impressive. Nonetheless it's a decent enough pub, and certainly worth a visit if you're in the area.

On 1st July 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]


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john gray left this review about The Barnsbury

Found this to a tired dull old style pub.Few customers on my visit.Lots of seating to the front.Nice clean toilets.Small screen showing football.Three decent real ales were on Salopian -Darwins and Hopstuff -Fusilier were my choice.

On 10th May 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 940 recommendations about 927 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Pub SignMan left this review about The Barnsbury

This is a fairly simple upmarket pub, a ten minute or so walk north of Angel tube station. The place has a rather bland, characterless feel to it at first, with bare floorboards, pastel coloured walls and some unattractive scrubbed tables and chairs filling the U shaped front room. The walls have been decorated with a few old beer adverts (Noakes and Co, Butler and Co, etc...) and a pump clip collection, whilst chandeliers made from up turned wine glasses hang around the servery area. Some shelves display an odd assortment of unrelated objects such as a car horn, bugle, globe, scales and a model of a routemaster bus, none of which really helps the overall effect. Music played throughout my stay and there was a TV near the entrance showing Manchester City’s exit from the Europa League. A second room to the rear was set up more formally and I imagine this is where most people would sit in order to eat, although I didn’t see any food coming out during my stay. The rear wall has large windows, which I suspect might look out over a beer garden, but I couldn’t tell in the dark. Either way, there are a few benches out the front if you fancy a pint outside.
There is a large structural pillar at one corner of the bar counter and in front of it there is a display cabinet full of beer bottles, although it wasn’t clear if these were available behind the bar or just put there for show. The ale choice was easy to establish, with four hand pumps in the centre of the counter dispensing Truman’s No 8 (£3.40), Skinner’s Cornish Knocker, Brodies Old Street Pale and Otley O4. I gave the Truman’s a try and thought it was in decent enough shape, if not the tastiest pint I’ve ever had. CAMRA members can take advantage of a generous discount by producing their membership card. A board in one corner of the room explained that the pub had served 180 different ales since August 2010.
I did warm slightly towards the interior after a while and thought it would be a good choice of pub to take friends who aren’t regular pub visitors to. The beer would be the biggest inducement for me to return and on that front, this place puts up a strong challenge to the Charles Lamb for best ale house in this part of town.

On 12th April 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2545 recommendations about 2545 pubs]


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Steve C left this review about The Barnsbury

There are four covered picnic tables outside the front of this pub and a walk through the entrance takes one to a bar that supports around nine hand pumps, most of which were unused during my visit a couple of Saturdays ago. The ones that were on were drawing Tribute, Elgoods Golden Newt, Harvest Pale and Stormstay Premium ale which is probably a good enough selection for most beer hounds. I didn’t spot any signs advertising sport, but there was a plasma screen that was switched off. There were also a few board games that can be borrowed from the bar. Some more seating can be found out the back of the pub in a small enclosed decked garden. This place seems to be very food orientated and all of the seating at the rear of the pub was set for Saturday evening dining.

I thought that it was pretty good in here, especially for a food led pub and I would return.

On 14th October 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3586 recommendations about 3565 pubs]