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Pub Of The Month - November 2021 with rpadam on the Pub Forum

Shaftesbury Tavern, Hornsey Rise, N19

534 Hornsey Road
N19 3QN
Phone: 02072727950

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about Shaftesbury Tavern

A first in here the other night, seven days after Mr. Fastard’s visit, so unsurprisingly little had changed apart from sunset time.
Founded by at least the mid-19th century and rebuilt in 1897, the Shaftesbury Tavern is situated on Hornsey Lane on the hill up to Crouch End and Highgate. It’s part of the small Remarkable Pubs chain which seems to run their outlets to a consistently high standard, going by experience of their other outlets. A large corner building with much pink and black granite cladding, fluted pilasters with gilded capitals, some wrought iron finery along with recessed lobby entrances, traditional projecting lanterns and guillotine outer doors. There are large picture windows – some etched - and a partially covered and heated front patio; there may also be a rear garden too.
Internally it’s a grand pub too though there’s an open kitchen. There are some dark wood partitions with more etched glass, an attractive bar back with mirrors and ornate cornice with some gilding and gilded finials. Industrial lamps with metal shades were suspended above the bar, but otherwise much illumination came from brass picture lights over period prints to the walls. The floor is modern bare boarded but is untreated, wearing in nicely and there’s some black and white chequerboard tiling. Furniture is solid and traditional. There’s a very large drawing room to the rear with an upright piano, coal fire (sadly mock) and some studded sofas along with conventional tables and chairs with a few booths comprised of settles. On high, is a very impressive large oval lantern – perhaps this was once above a billiard table? It would also appear that this is no longer the dining room as there was a quiz going on and people were eating informally where they wanted. I stuck my head in the room to see what the noise was and the cheery American quizmaster was - of all things - singing the questions. We watched for a couple of minutes and rather wished we’d joined in as it appeared to be quite the most quirky and entertaining of all quizzes I’ve seen – everyone seemed to be having an enjoyable time.
It would also seem that this is no longer a gastropub either – food was mainly Thai (no smells this week) with some fish ‘n’ chips and pies thrown in, eaten wherever you like; one customer was eating his food at the bar whilst chatting to the barman. There are stools to the bar and a brass footrail. Also available were some broadsheet newspapers and board games. Further entertainment was to be had in the form of muted Röyksopp playing over the gramophone. The client base seems to be mixed too with a few children (with parents), some more Americans and a couple of pugilists from the Islington Boxing Club over the road.
Ales: 360° Brewing Co’s APA, Fuller’s London Pride and Hammerton’s N1 which was on top form though at £4.50 a pint is quite steep.
This is a very appealing pub inside and out with much attractive finery – clearly the owners have resisted the temptation to give it an overly contemporary makeover. I’d be happy to make a journey here for an evening out and hope to do so again soon.

On 22nd February 2018 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1316 recommendations about 1295 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Bucking Fastard left this review about Shaftesbury Tavern

A fine Victoria street corner pub,quite grand and with some exterior benches behind black railings for good weather use.The interior is L shaped with an open kitchen on one side,a small raised section in one corner and a very impressive back room with a large sky light ,a fine fireplace and seating booths.This area can be hired.The etched glass windows,detailed bar back and internal wood panelling add to the authentic feel.
The food is Thai with additional options of burgers and pie & mash,while the juke box has some music standards which enhanced the atmosphere.On Saturdays after 7pm,vinyl is played all evening.Although food smells waft around the interior,they aren't intrusive and there is a mixed customer base with some drinkers and family diners.The Tuesday quiz hints at a community feel and the service was friendly.
There are 4 handpumps drawing on my visit London Pride,Hammerton N1 and a very good 360 Degrees APA ,while the fourth pump was drawing Rosie Pig cider.There is a list of 12 kegs dotted about the bar but I didn't inspect the list.
It's in the GBG and fully deserves it's entry and I would happily return when next in this neck of the woods.

On 19th February 2018 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2202 recommendations about 2202 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about Shaftesbury Tavern

This place had several real ales on, but as this was our eighth pub of the day a measure of "fatigue" had set in and I failed to note them. We arrived in the fairly evening, and it was fairly busy with most people in there to have a meal. It had been largely made over, but was able to some of the original Victorian tiling in the corridor on the right. The bar counter and bar back look to be original, possibly Victorian, features as well. This pub is bare boarded, has hard wooden tables and chairs, and still has two separate eating and drinking areas separated by a large archway. There is a bit of outside seating at the front.

The clientele looked to br fairly young and affluent. This didn't seem to be the place where regulars propping up the bar are likely to be found. Nonetheless, I quite liked it in here. I would visit it regularly if I lived in this part of the world.

On 27th September 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2592 recommendations about 2506 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Shaftesbury Tavern

This is an impressive looking Victorian street corner pub now operating as a gastro pub with beers from the Dragonfly Brewery of Acton. The building has a lovely façade with an elaborate sign on a stone plinth, some fine decorative metalwork, large period lamps and beautiful etched glass windows bearing the pub's name. The main bar is L-shaped, with a servery that follows the shape of the room on the rear wall, replete with a curved dark wood counter under a series of modern metal lamps. Pews run around two sides of the room and are supplemented by standard tables and chairs and a few low stools. Towards the rear there are some patterned modern mirrors and a nice enlarged black and white photo of a local scene. A decorative arch leads through to a chequer tile floored rear room with a superb stained glass cupola, some additional etched glasswork and plenty more black and white photos. I got the impression that this was supposed to be the dining room, but it was reserved for a private function on my visit, so I only really managed a brief glimpse. There are board games in the main bar and a juke box, although the pub's own soundtrack was enjoyable enough, focussing mainly on 90's Britpop classics.
There were two Dragonfly beers available - 2 O'clock Ordinary and Early Doors - plus Fullers Sumer Ale and Sambrooks Pumphouse Pale. The keg range included a couple more from Dragonfly and something from Tiny Rebel. My pint of Early Doors set me back £4.00 but was at least in very good condition and a tasty brew.
I thought this was a great pub that has been very tastefully refurbished and benefits from the presence of some interesting locally brewed ales. The place is clearly very popular and I hope this success continues as this is well worth a look if you're in the area.

On 12th August 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2630 recommendations about 2630 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Will Larter left this review about Shaftesbury Tavern

A typical large one-roomed corner pub with a curved bar, very impressive bar back and a few cut-glass screens breaking up the open space. There are two banks of four hand pumps, but only Fullers London Pride and Wild River, a seasonal pale bitter, were available at he time of my visit. There's an outdoor seating area at the front, which would be flattered to be called a beer garden. The beer was not in very good condition, but that is generally my experience in run-of-the-mill pubs like this in London.

On 3rd September 2013 - rating: 4
[User has posted 2739 recommendations about 2579 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

geoff nels left this review about Shaftesbury Tavern

the shaftesbury tavern is now back and trading good food and real ales WELL WORTH A VISIT

On 22nd May 2009 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1 recommendations about 1 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

john mcgraw left this review about Shaftesbury Tavern

CLOSED & BOARDED according to the London Drinker (07/10/08)

On 7th October 2008 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2044 recommendations about 2025 pubs]