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The Duke of Wellington, N1

119 Balls Pond Road
N1 4BL
Phone: 02072757640

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

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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Duke of Wellington

A large traditional corner pub, with a relaxed and jovial atmosphere on our Saturday afternoon visit. The pub had a good choice of ales, five in all. I went for the Clouded Minds Luppol, a session Golden Ale which was decent enough. The surprising part of this pub, was the large back room used for various functions and was acting as an overspill on our visit, from the main part of the pub which was becoming increasingly busy.

On 2nd April 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3414 recommendations about 3414 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Duke of Wellington

A typical street corner Victorian London pub which unusually is painted black at ground level including across the pub name making it difficult to discern. A Watney Coombe Reid pub sign remains higher up but nowadays the ale choice has improved considerably. Saturday had Kent Brewery Session Pale plus their Cobnut, Otter Bitter, Sambrook's Wandle and the gorgeous Pentonville Oyster Stout (£4.00). Definitely beer of the day.
The main room has an island bar which has no real bar back with just a glasses shelf with a world globe on top but has at one end an elaborate carved dark wood gantry with a feature clock. Bare boarded, large clear glass windows, chandeliers and ceiling fans.
Very busy on Saturday afternoon, the Arsenal game had recently finished and the rugby on TV was about to start so seating was at a premium. There is another back room with a fine looking skylight but this was full as the room has the rugby on with sound.
A decent pub with a good range of beers and a busy and buzzy feel, I liked it here.

On 12th February 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1708 recommendations about 1681 pubs]

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Alan Winfield left this review about The Duke of Wellington

The Duke of Wellington is a typical looking London corner pub that is situated on the busy Balls Pond Road.
Once inside the pub has two separate rooms,the front room is oblong shaped and has a small island bar,the room is bare boarded and the seating bench type to the front with small stools plus some tables and stools,this room was almost empty,the room to the rear had a large screen showing the rugby match and was very busy.
There was a very good choice of real ales on the bar,i had a drink of Trumans Zephyr which went down very well,the other bees noted were Clouded Minds Clout Stout,Hammerton N1 Pale Ale,Redemption Trinity and redemption Pale Ale.
I enjoyed my short stay in this pub.

Pub visited 11/6/2016

On 30th July 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]

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Tris C left this review about The Duke of Wellington

A first in here the other night, though passed many times. Situated opposite some lovely alms houses, this pub describes itself as being in the heart of Dalston, which I wouldn't boast about, not least because it isn't in Dalston, rather it's in Kingsland/De Beauvoir Town.
Unfortunately this part of Balls Pond Road is a bit bleak and I wouldn't feel entirely safe walking along here late at night - the pub's not *that* far from Dalston.
Internally, it's quite large and mainly stripped out with a central bar, dark wood and some remaining etched panels. The hanging sign is surmounted by an old Watney Combe Reid roundel of some vintage. Clients are mainly quite young and the area means that males typically suffer from hipster beards and 'man buns'. Music was muted and a TV, off, was spotted. Furniture is typically old school stuff with stools around the picture windows.
The barman was nice enough. At the bar: 4 ales including Kent Columbus Pale Ale, which quite apart from being very nice and refreshing on a warm evening, but was also miraculously cheap at £1.25 a half. It was only then that I noticed six ales away from the bar on stillage.
This is a very decent pub indeed and miles better than the rather awful Hunter S around the corner. Worth seeking out if on a crawl of the area, but not worth a special visit.

On 10th June 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2030 recommendations about 1995 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Duke of Wellington

Already well described below, I was here while the FA Cup Final was in progress and as such was rammed full of Arsenal supporters so it was a little difficult to get a true feel for the pub,however with 5 decent beers on plus a couple of real ciders it looks like a good stop off venue on a crawl of the area and would look to include it again.My pint of Salopian Darwins Origin was in tip top condition.

On 31st May 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1907 recommendations about 1880 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Duke of Wellington

This pub has a bit of an unusual feel to it, mixing a much altered, traditional interior with a modern hipster vibe, landing somewhere awkwardly between the two rather than finding a harmonious blend. Entering into the main bar, you find an island servery in the centre of a room that was quite clearly previously divided into a number of small compartments, each with their own external entrance, some of which can still be seen. The upshot of this is that the servery has no bar back, although an arch through to the end of the bar (possibly an old bottle and jug hatch?) has some nice etched glass panels on either side. The room is bare boarded and boasts a number of etched glass windows, including the former doors to the 'Public Bar' and a space that was originally a porch, but has now rather ingeniously been converted into a tiny snug with the eponymous Duke's portrait inside. Low stools run down one side of the room, high tables and stools down the other and there are banquettes under the front windows, which seems like a good variety of seating options. The entrance leads you into a lobby type area which has a nice fireplace on the wall opposite the bar and a table with various bits of beer literature and flyers for local events on it. From here, the pub runs a considerable distance further back, firstly through a corridor area with a drinking ledge and high stools under the large windows to the side of the pub, and then on into a large room at the rear which was seemingly being used for a private function on this visit, so I was unable to explore properly. Music played quietly throughout my stay and food was being served, mainly in the form of Sunday roasts.
I'd been led to believe that this was a bit of a destination pub for ale enthusiasts, but there were only five ales available on the bar - not a bad thing by any means, but not quite what I'd expected to find. Options this time were Redemption Trinity and Hopspur, Mighty Oak Bingle Jells and Good Cheer and Sambrooks Wandle. I had a pint of the Trinity which wasn't far from being completely flat.
There was something about this place that I couldn't quite warm to, despite an interesting interior and decent ale range. I'd be keen to give the place another try as there are enough promising signs to encourage further visits and I would say it certainly merits inclusion on any crawl around the Dalston area.

On 22nd January 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3140 recommendations about 3140 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Duke of Wellington

There were five ales on here – Sambrook’s Wandle, Crouch Vale Yakima, London Fields Black Path Porter and Hackney Hopster, and Cronx Standard Bitter (£3.75 a pint). Old Rosie and Thatcher’s Heritage ciders were also on handpump. They seem to be doing an “American Street Food” menu at the moment, which is headlined “Capish”, which I guess is cod Italian or perhaps just Soprano-esque. Just like the last pub I was in the menu seemed to be in a foreign language, but luckily the friendly barmaid had the time to translate for me. I ended up with something called “braciole sandwiche”, which was basically a bap filled with shredded beef (I think), and topped with melted cheese and pickled cabbage (I think). It was much improved by the application of copious amounts of English mustard. It might be American street food but I suspect not at American street prices – my beef roll was £7.50. The infamous “sliders” also got a mention – whatever they are you could get three of them for £10.

This is an old Victorian pub that still has a bit of the original screening and etched/cut glass in place. However, it’s now been almost completely opened up, leaving the servery as a central island bar in the main room. One doorway has the “Duke of Wellington” mosaic on the floor, and there’s an attractive tiled surround fireplace with the customary wax encrusted (spirit) bottles on the mantlepiece awaiting deployment as dusk approaches. There is a separate room at the back, which when I was in was furnished with seats all facing the large projection screen with a bunch of blokes all watching the rugby.

I rather liked this pub. It felt a friendly sort of place. Five ales on, with four of them from London micro-breweries, is good going. I would certainly be happy to drop in here again.

On 21st March 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2606 recommendations about 2520 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Duke of Wellington

I was impressed by my visit on a pub crawl of the area.The front of this corner pub has the large plate glass windows typical of buildings of this era and the island bar has some authentic wooden surrounds.As you delve towards the back of the pub there is a corridor with some high stools and then a rear room with sofas and some tables where comedy nights are held on Wednesdays ,admission £5.Even I recognised some of the future acts.
There were five handpumps dispensing Sambrooks Wandle,Ascot Maryhka,Devilfish Bombshell,Otley Oxymoron and Rudgate Persuit of Happiness.Around the other side of the bar there were two handpumped scrumpies. My Bombshell proved to be pint of the crawl and seemed fair value even at £3.50.The barman was offering tasters,was very friendly and knew his stuff.The pub offers a brunch menu with a variety of priced dishes up to £10. OK so the pub has been gentrified,and is popular with young professionals and students but with it's adventurous real ale policy,I would most certainly return to sample the wares.

On 25th June 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2773 recommendations about 2773 pubs]

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Steve C left this review about The Duke of Wellington

This pub has a large island bar that is surrounded with various types of seating including high tables around the exterior walls where one can gaze out of the windows past the wax covered wine bottles to see people busying themselves outside. It was very busy in here with uber cool Islingtonites in their skinny jeans and berets when I visited last Wednesday evening, but I did manage to grab a seat to enjoy a well served Guinness. Along with the premium lagers there is a bank of four hand pumps at either end of the bar. Four of these were unused, but Sambrooks Wandle, Crouch Vale Brewers Gold, Brodies Kosher Rye and Wolf Brewery Grant Wouldn’t Like It were available on the other four. There was some sort of dinner club night in progress during my visit so the only food available was the homemade bar snacks including sausage rolls and pasties, but a full menu is usually available. I didn’t spot any TVs in the bar area, but there is a big screen that is used for sports and showing films in the function room and there was some music playing in the background that ranged from Peggy Sue to trumpet soloists.

The function room mentioned is located at the rear of the pub and it was out of bounds whilst I was here, but there are plenty of events where it is used including an upcoming arts and crafts fair. Plenty of picnic tables run down the length of the pub on the outside path and most have umbrellas to shield from the elements.

Even though the crowd in attendance weren’t really my sort of people and the toilet was backed up and spilling over the floor I would still return as a lot of effort is being put into this place and they deserve the custom.

On 1st October 2010 - rating: 7
[User has posted 5319 recommendations about 5287 pubs]