User name:



Sign in with Facebook

Not already a member?
Join our community and - Rate & review pubs - Upload pictures - Add events JOIN for free NOW

Chat about:
Random news of the day with london calling on the Pub Forum

Owl & Hitchhiker, Upper Holloway, N7

471 Holloway Road
N7 6LE
Phone: 02072723634

Return to pub summary

Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about Owl & Hitchhiker

My first visit to this pub since it changed its name to the Owl & Hithhiker found it much changed. The name is of course a play on the works of Edward Lear and Douglas Adams. They've introduced a table football game, and a vintage (circa 70s I would guess) pinball machine which actually played quite well. Nothing wrong with those additions in my book. There are more than one quite large model cars around the place; presumably a Ford Prefect? But they have distressed the mirrors in the bar back (which are modern replacements so no damage to a heritage feature), as well as the woodwork on the walls at the front of the pub. It all looks quite naff. Even more naff are the cartoons depicted on the bar counter front, presumably again honouring the work of Lear and Adams. On the left hand wall are loads of old TVs, speakers, radios, etc, as decorative features I guess. Also, I thought there was a nice old fireplace at the back of the room on the left, but if so it's gone now to be replaced by a slate wall. Furnishings are cheap and nasty tables and chairs.

On the plus side, they did still have three real ales on - a couple from Laine's, plus Hamerton N1, which was in good nick as it happens. This pub is very different to hitherto, and overall I don't think that there's been an improvement.

On 7th November 2018 - rating: 4
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about The Edward Lear

Originally this was the Half Moon (the name can still be seen below the pediment) then an Irish venture called B. Burke & Son, from 2001 the Quays and as of 2016, the Edward Lear on account of him being born a few hundred yards from here at the junction of Holloway and Seven Sisters roads; it's unlikely that he drank here as his family left the area when he was 12.
This is a barn of a place and would probably have been something of a grand gin palace when built. Inside it's part railway station Wetherspoon's or something that Americans would build, believing it to be the epitome of Ye Englishe Pub, with an eau de Nil colour scheme throughout. The impressive carved and mirrored bar back is still there though I'm not sure if it's original. It features some columns with impressive capitals as does the pub in general; the field panelled bar would appear to be modern. There are hanging lamps and a button backed leatherette banquette running the whole length of the front below the picture windows. Other furniture in the bar area is traditional but modern. One of the most striking features is the black and white tiled floor. Along with the cutlery on tables, games machines and sports TV, this is one of the things that makes it look so much like a railway station pub, that and the cast iron bar stools which are bolted to the floor! To the rear is a dining area with stalls to the sides. Up some modern open stairs to the very modern lavs and upper dining gallery which looks down on the diners. To the front is another, private bar called the Aviary. Lots of gimmicks on offer on cocktails, 2-for-1 burger deals and happy hours as well as parent and toddler mornings on Mondays and Wednesdays, 9.30 - 11.30 am. The barman was friendly enough and muted music played over the gramophone.
Ales: Timothy Taylor's Landlord (off), Sharp's Doom Bar (off and no loss), Truman's Zephyr (went off after my pint was ordered) and Navigation's Back of the Net.
This pub may tick a lot of boxes: four ales (in theory), clean, modern and hygienic but it looks like it was built yesterday and sadly is dreary and soulless so I don't envisage a return visit.

On 21st September 2017 - rating: 3
[User has posted 998 recommendations about 983 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Alan Winfield left this review about The Edward Lear

The Edward Lear is a large and decent looking pub situated on the busy Holloway Road.
Once inside the bar faces in a single L shaped room,the floor is tiled and there is comfy bench seating and small stools facing the bar,the room extends to the rear on the left side where there are normal tables and chairs,there was a large screen to the right showing the Leeds game.
There were three real ales on the bar,i had a drink of Sambrooks Wandle,whch went down well,the other real ales were Sambrooks Junction and Sambrooks Scrumdown.
Food was being served and it looked quite nice,background music was playing.
I felt very comfy in this very pleasant pub,the best of the day.

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.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Edward Lear

This place has clearly changed considerably since previous reviewers' visits. It's no longer an "Irish" pub, although panelling above the vestibule on the right, and in small panels between the windows, mention "whiskies". It's now completely opened up, and is much larger than it appears. The main bar area is at the front as you enter (as is usually the case); to the back on the left is another large seating area; and up a staircase on the left leads you to another seating area. It must have been very grand in its day, but now there's not a lot of heritage value left, perhaps excepting the bar back and the fireplace in the back room. The floor in the bar is either tiled, or tile effect, and the seating is essentially normal tables and chairs.

There were, however, four real ales on - Sambrook's Wandle, Adnam's Ghost Ship, GK IPA (which had a clip design that I hadn't seen before, declaring it to be a handcrafted pale ale (!)) and local beer Hamerton No 1. The barman helpfully informed me that the half of Hamerton No 1 that I ordered would be £2+, but that as it was happy hour (3 - 6PM Mon - Fri) if I upgraded to a pint it be would be only £3.25. It was in excellent condition, and certainly worth the price of the upgrade. I saw a small menu advising that toasted sarnies were £4.95 between 12 noon and 6.0 PM Mon - Fri, but perhaps if I was in later then I would seen a more extensive menu.

This pub is firmly in the OK camp. It now longer has the grandeur it would once have enjoyed, but it's nice enough in a sort of madeover way. The Hamerton No 1 went down a treat, at the very competetive price of £3.25 a pint. I'm not likely to visit again as I live a fair distance from Holloway, but I reckon that it's certainly worth dropping in for a pint if you're in the area.

On 11th September 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about The Edward Lear

bought by Distinct Group

On 10th June 2016 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2733 recommendations about 2676 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about The Quays

Must've had a refurb I found an Irish pub with a old style interior serving a standard draught selection and food.

On 1st November 2014 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2733 recommendations about 2676 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Wallace left this review about The Quays

I have lived opposite the Quays for nine years and have frequented it many many times, normally on a week day evening for the football, late afternoon on a Saturday or Sunday during the day. (I have not been on Fri or Sat evening when I think it becomes very lively and stays open to 3 or 4 am, but if that is your thing I am sure you will enjoy it!).

If you are in the area you almost certainly are not a tourist nor are you are Londoner in search of a trendy pub. What you will get from the Quays though is friendly service from long serving Irish staff, solid pub food, a friendly crowd who keep to themselves to themselves, and lots of places to sit and be comfortable including a really long bar. You can also get cash back on your card if you want!

If you live nearby make the trip and make the Quays your local, it is somewhere I have become very fond of over the years.


On 22nd November 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1 recommendations about 1 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about The Quays

After passing the cordoned off seating area out the front that is covered by a couple of big umbrellas I was confronted with a very large pub that has a thin long bar area at the front and a dance floor at the rear where the bar swings around the back. There are stairs that lead up to some balcony seating and there is yet another bar which was closed of by an iron gate on my early Saturday evening visit. There are plasma screens throughout and a large projector screen on the back wall and whilst I was present an FA cup game was being aired in the front section of the pub and a premiership game was on in the rear.

There is no real ale in here, just a standard draught selection from which I had a decent pint of Guinness from a barmaid who was friendly enough when I was finally served. I spotted a sign in the window advertising a disco and karaoke night every Friday which goes on until 4am and I can imagine live bands are sometimes/often seen here.

I didn’t think that the atmosphere was very good for the football and my nights of dancing until the early hours have long gone so I doubt that I’ll return.

On 15th March 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3586 recommendations about 3565 pubs]