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The Rosemary Branch, De Beauvoir Town, N1

2 Shepperton Road
N1 3DT

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

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Tris C left this review about The Rosemary Branch

A return visit, my first being around six years ago. This is a historic pub dating in some form from the late 16th century and giving its name to the adjacent bridge. It was later a Victorian music hall where the likes of Marie Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin performed.
Unchanged, and well described below. A boarded floor, conventional furniture with what may be a more formal dining area to the rear, knick-knacks such as stuffed animals and the huge airborne model aircraft. Tie-back black swag curtains and beneath the windows are settles; unfortunately there are ugly sauce bottles on the tables. There are structural columns with ornate capitals, mirrors and an attractive mirrored bar back. Jukebox music was muted, no active TVs were spotted and the crowd was mixed.
Ales: Fuller's London Pride and Red Fox and Hammerton's N1 which was much welcomed and at £2.25 is about right for this increasingly gentrified area.
Unfortunately the service was very slapdash though this pub is a far cry from the depressing Baring around the corner.
Definitely worth a detour if in the area, a wider ale choice and improved service would up my score by a point or two.

On 19th October 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 952 recommendations about 938 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Rosemary Branch

A large attractive pub with a single L-shaped boarded room with a smaller semi-separated area to the rear beyond the bar which has several mirrors and fairy lights. Above the bar and here and there are stuffed fish and small mammals including a squirrel and either a stoat or a mink, not sure which. A large clock, which incidentally doesn't work, hangs over the bar and two large models of WWII fighter aircraft hang from the ceiling. Additionally there are a couple of statuettes of whom I don't know, an upright piano and a mock up theatrical dressing table complete with a bulb fringed mirror, there is a working theatre upstairs. Various theatre productions were advertised on posters and leaflets, alongside a stack of London Drinkers.
Décor apart from the larger articles mentioned featured posters from events long ago, The Hoxton Pony Race and the Islington Vauxhall Balloon Ascent by one Mrs Graham. Apparently the area to the rear of the pub was once a large public space called Islington Vauxhall. A picture of the balloon is incorporated in the external gable of the pub.
Fuller's beers dominate but I am fairly certain that this isn't a tied house, in fact a window advert shows Adnam's beers, although the only offering from Southwold was reverse clipped on Saturday. Beers on were Fuller's London Pride, Seafarers, Brit Hop (new to me) and Spring Sprinter (also new) plus Doom Bar. A sign on the bar said "cash only" which is fine by me as it avoids the pub annoyance of getting drinks on a card. Food served but no menus were out at 4:30pm.
Not a bad spot and a couple of less usual Fuller's beers but if this is a free house I'd rather see something a bit more unusual as well.

On 7th April 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1685 recommendations about 1662 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about Rosemary Branch

An impressive-looking backstreet corner boozer (Georgian) with plenty of character inside and out. The exterior has been lovingly looked after and the gold painted ‘Rosemary Branch Tavern’ signage high up along the cornicing looks great. An L-shaped interior, with a dog leg off to the right which holds an extra, quieter, drinking room that was eagerly snapped-up by the shed-dwellers out crawling. Plenty of items of interest; two large-scale models of what I thought was a Junkers and more certainly a Spitfire hung from the ceiling and a large projecting clock above the bar. A real fire and heavy drape curtains gave the place a more homely feel than many of the other pubs sampled on the long days crawl. An upright piano was being played (with some level of skill) by a local which added an extra notch to the already fine atmosphere. Six pumps sported four ales, three Fullers and Butcombe. My Fullers Red Fox came out well enough. I’m unsure whether this actually a Fullers outlet or not but that line-up looks suspicious (the website has no Fullers contact so I maybe they just order beer from them). There is also a theatre located on the first floor, though I didn’t explore that far. I really liked this one and would have happily stayed had there not been the rigours of a crawl. I’d certainly do this one again; a little extra imagination on the ale front would have topped this visit off nicely.

On 25th February 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3969 recommendations about 3957 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about Rosemary Branch

This Georgian corner pub tucked away just off Rosemary Gardens in N1 turned out to be a bit of a ‘Brucey bonus’ on our crawl through N1, as I didn’t have great expectations on reading previous reviews.
I think we caught it right as it was fairly lively on this late Saturday afternoon and one of the locals knocking out renditions of Pink Floyd anthems on the ‘joanna’ added to the ambience. And after some lively discussion we also concluded that the large model of the indeterminate German 2nd World War aircraft hanging from the ceiling between the two rooms was probably meant to be a Junkers Ju88. It was good to discover that the pub supports a studio theatre upstairs and I do hope that the thespians that utilise it are more accomplished than the prop makers appear to be.
Also couldn’t work out if this is a Fullers tied house or they just take their beers. But three were available on the two banks of three hand pumps including the seasonal Jack Frost and Seafarers , but I went for the additional Butcombe Bitter which was kept well enough.
Not a destination pub by any means but would not be concerned to utilise again when next in the area.

On 25th February 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1698 recommendations about 1647 pubs]

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E TA left this review about Rosemary Branch

This Georgian Fullers pub apparently has a 57-seat theatre on the first floor, though I didn't venture upstairs to check. There was a piano for public use in the single, large ground-floor bar however, and it was certainly being used to mangle a few tunes when we visited. There were 4 ales on draft, all Fullers. I had a pint of Bengal Lancer which was in good condition but not the best I've had. Pub was a bit gimmicky, rather than traditional. A public apology goes to the person whose rice crackers I inadvertently stole – saw them on the bar in a dish and thought they were for general consumption. Restaurant food is also available. This is an irritation of all Fullers pubs these days – overpriced snacks in unhygienic bowls which promote misunderstanding as to ownership. Good for inclusion on a crawl.

On 20th February 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2481 recommendations about 2459 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about Rosemary Branch

A lively corner street boozer on my Saturday late afternoon visit,not a spit and saw dust place by any stretch of the imagination,but it did have a lived in appeal,maybe the furnishings have worn in a little since Steve,s review from 2010.The beer is Fullers so not a place I would head for, for the beer alone,my Bengal Lancer was fine though, if a little sweet for my taste, £2.05 for a half.The pub came alive though when a young beardy type started tinkling the ivories with some off the cuff tunes,the atmosphere was good,the pub gets marked up for this,not the beer range.You could have a good evening here if you like Fullers beer,unfortunately I'm not keen.

On 11th February 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1308 recommendations about 1295 pubs]

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Alan Winfield left this review about Rosemary Branch

The Rosemary Branch is a corner pub that has been given the done down treatment making the pub look like it has'nt been done up in years.
I thought this was a Fullers tied house but there were no signs saying this outside,i had a drink of Gales HSB and this was very nice there were about three other real ales on the bar London Pride and a Fullers seasonal beer.
The pub had bare boards and i did'nt really like this pub that much.

On 6th February 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]

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Steve C left this review about Rosemary Branch

The first thing that I noticed on my approach to this pub was the red neon sign in the window that says ‘bar, restaurant, theatre’. I gleaned that the theatre is upstairs and I was well aware of standing in the bar, but I missed the restaurant, unless it is also upstairs because the small area at the back with mirrors all around the walls surely cannot be classed as a restaurant. The food looked pretty good and was nearing restaurant prices with a sandwich costing £5, but then this is Islington and probably no more expensive than the gastro pubs in the surrounding area. This isn’t a typical gastro pub though as it is a little quirky and disjointed giving some character which many food orientated pubs lack. One of the gripes that I had was with the layout as it wasn’t that busy and there wasn’t any free seating other than perching on the edge of someone else’s table, maybe I should be more sociable! There are no TVs in here, but there are lots of board games available for a £10 deposit and someone with good taste was present as a few Hendrix songs were playing via the jukebox. Being a little topical as it’s the 70th anniversary of the blitz I will mention the German plane hanging from the ceiling that looks like an old prop, maybe from the theatre upstairs. It’s not the most intricate piece of modelling, but I reckon that it is meant to be a Junkers 88 which was one of the aircraft responsible for the ruthless bombing campaign across London during World War 2.

There was a good selection of real ale available in the form of Seafarers, Pride, HSB, Summer Ale, Adnams and Butcombe. There was also a selection of premium lagers and the Guinness was spot on, but I found the service to be a little offhand and I’m not a fan of bar staff eating there dinner at the bar whilst intermittently serving people with a ‘my dinner is getting cold’ look in their eye.

Some picnic tables can be found on the path outside and during the evening the adjacent side road becomes available for more outside drinking space as the gated premises at the back gets locked up.

I prefer a more traditional pub to these purposely rough round the edges book strewn irregularly shaped pubs with a leaning towards food and I like to feel welcomed by the staff so I cannot see myself returning in any great hurry.

On 15th September 2010 - rating: 5
[User has posted 3568 recommendations about 3547 pubs]