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2020 Spring crawl: Preston on Friday, 17th April with Pangolin on the Pub Forum

The Swimmer at The Grafton Arms, Holloway, N7

12 Eburne Road
N7 6AR
Phone: 02072814632

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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 The Swimmer At The Grafton Arms

A first visit here a few nights ago and this was a very pleasant surprise.
Externally it's a commanding mid-Victorian corner backstreet pub with imposing pink granite adornments and columns to the ground floor with an enclosed and covered patio.
Inside, the interior's long but relatively narrow which means that getting from one end to the other is a bit of a struggle and burger-wielding waiting staff come perilously close to colliding with drinkers (the burgers here look damn fine as do the baked cheeses - Monday is 2-for-1 burger night).
A fine wooden bar back remains with mirrors and columns with gilded capitals. The walls are painted white with textured Victorian wallpaper; woodwork is black lacquered and the floor is modern bare boarded. Furniture is a mixture of the conventional with some settles as well as a couple of small high round tables and high stools. There's also an open kitchen - noisy all year round and hot in summer. Hanging lights appear fake Victorian gas. Music was muted and there was a TV, off. An added bonus is that there's a real fire in winter. Customers are a mix of locals and trendy twenty-somethings making for a good mix.
Friendly staff dispensing: Gale's Beachcomber, Fuller's London Pride and Butcombe's Rare Breed which was good. There's also an array of premium lagers and craft ale including Little Beer Corporation's Running of the Bulls at a very steep £5.10 a pint.
This pub is well worth seeking out and is a far cry from the Tufnell Park Tavern up the road, though the lavs here are very cramped. The CAMRA discount and 7-day later openings are an added bonus, but what's the significance of the original pub's name with 'The Swimmer' prefix?

On 12th September 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1303 recommendations about 1282 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Alan Winfield left this review about The Swimmer At The Grafton Arms

The Swimmer at the Grafton Arms is situated on a quiet back street just off the busy Holloway Road.
Once inside there is a single oblong shaped room which runs the width of the pub,the room is bare boarded,the seating pew seats and normal tables and chairs with small stools,there is an open kitchen to the right and a real fire was on the go to the left.
There were three real ales on the bar,i had a drink of Butcombe Rare Breed,which went down well,the other real ales were Fullers Olivers Island and Fullers London Pride.
Background music was playing.
There is a small outside seating are which has railings around it.
I thought this was a very pleasant pub to have a drink in.

Pub visited 25/2/2017

On 23rd April 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about The Grafton Arms

I enjoyed a nice pint of Fullers Summer Ale sitting on one of the picnic benches out the front which are railed off from the path. Although one hand pump was unused Pride and Butcombe Bitter were also available alongside a selection of premium lagers.

The pub is long and thin with an open kitchen at one end and a TV at the other. I saw no sport advertised, but the locals that I overheard talking about the worlds ills didn't seem the type to even know what Sky TV is, not that this is a bad thing.

I felt sorry for the stuffed otter up on the wall, not because he was stuffed and on a wall, but because he is hung next to some rancid smelling toilets that need condemning. I would never eat in a pub that couldn't grasp the basic premise of using some detergent and a scrubbing brush.

This pub is ok, but it's not really my sort of place.

On 15th July 2009 - rating: 5
[User has posted 3599 recommendations about 3579 pubs]