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Submitted on Wednesday, 25th April 2012
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The Canonbury Tavern, N1

21 Canonbury Place
N1 2NS
Phone: 02077042887
Correct details

Served areas

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Reviews of The Canonbury Tavern (Average Rating: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Canonbury Tavern

Tucked away down a backstreet, but still very quickly and easily reached from Highbury and Islington station, this is a very large gastro pub in what looks like quite a well-to-do residential area. You enter to a huge main bar area with bare boards and dark painted walls plus two brick pillars in the centre which help to break up the big open space a little bit. Mid-height tables and stools are arranged along the front wall, under windows with potted plants on the sills, whilst high tables and stools form a row through the middle of the room, between the aforementioned pillars. Seating is rounded off by banquettes and pews along the left side of the room, including in a smaller, cosier space to the rear left where a large number of portraits cover the wall space. Impressive light features hang from decorative roses across the ceiling and the rest of the room is fairly sparsely decorated, with just a few framed historical documents dotted around the walls. The bar along the rear wall has a nice panelled counter which contrasts the less appealing modern bar back which has been lined with hops, presumably to take the edge off the bright, white spot-lit shelving units. The pub extends a considerable way to the right, where a separate, sizable dining room can be found. There is a great deal of additional chair, banquette and sofa seating through here, as well as a centrally positioned fireplace, which suggests some form of long-lost partitioning. The walls have three quarter height panels with a number of old paintings above and overall, the room feels a little more appealing than the main bar area where a drab synth-pop soundtrack complimented the dull interior design.
Five handpulls on the bar were dispensing Youngs Ordinary, Sharps Doom Bar, Twickenham Naked Ladies, St Austell Proper Job and a real cider. The friendly barmaid pulled a pretty good pint of the Proper Job, which set me back an improper £5.20.
This is one of those pubs that feels far too big for its own good, leaving a small handful of customers scattered around two very large rooms, resulting in no atmosphere. Whilst the building is impressive, the décor is rather dull and the prices are pretty steep, so I can’t see me heading back here when there are better options closer to the station.

On 3rd July 2020 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2607 recommendations about 2607 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about The Canonbury Tavern

A pleasing looking pub located a bit off the beaten track in an attractive leafy part of Canonbury. The boarded main area has the bar along a back wall and has exposed yellow stock brick columns, large chandeliers and globe lights. There is a mix of high tables and regular seating in here, a side return has a few booths reminiscent of a 70s Wimpy Bar, above on the wall are portraits of Evelyn Waugh and George Orwell together with Orwell's wording of the ideal pub, The Moon Under Water, he apparently spent some time writing here.
Beyond this main room the pub expands out much further into an area with a large through fireplace, gladly well lit on a miserable day. There is some good wood panelling in here as well as fancy cornices and ceiling roses.
Board games are available and there is a secluded outdoor garden unusable on a day of windy wet weather.
Beers on were Youngs Bitter and Special, Winter Warmer (£4.70), Courage Best and Wimbledon Brewery XXK. Food served obviously and possibly a priority, tables were not set in anticipation thankfully but did have small posies of flowers in small milk bottles like we used to get at school prior to the milk snatcher being elected.
Earlier reviews suggest to me that this place has changed somewhat for the better however the interior doesn't offer what the exterior promises. It was not a bad spot though and kept me warm and dry for half an hour.

On 26th January 2018 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1689 recommendations about 1664 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about The Canonbury Tavern

Recently returned to the full name of The Canonbury Tavern, it's clear that this once deserted pub has had a makeover since my last visit documented below. Gone is the awful marble bar top (which matched the one in the lavs), replaced with a down-to-earth wooden one. The floor has either been stained or replaced as the vanilla ice cream-coloured boards have been replaced with something darker and more in keeping with an actual pub. The tea lights on tables in their awful purple containers have gone as have the ridiculous super-high bench tables and chairs. The dire mirrored panels to the central columns have also been removed to reveal bare brick which although not perfect, is a vast improvement. The colour scheme is the all-pervasive shades of 'gastro blue/green/grey' which actually go quite well in a large opened out pub like this. There are black leather(ette) studded banquettes to the perimeter and furniture is now far more restrained and conventional, though the rear dining area with its free-standing flame effect fire remains, though it no longer dominates the proceedings. Quite incongruously, given the pub's location and style, a live Irish folk band played. Odd, given that this wealthy enclave is in no way an Irish area and it's a bit at odds with the gastro affectation. It's on at Wednesdays at 8.30, so you know when to avoid it, but given the pub's size it didn't deafen and I really didn't mind it one bit.
I can't remember the price of my pint of Sambrook's Wandle but it was fine.
This pub's current incarnation is a vast improvement on the former Xanadu theme park and is worth popping in if in the area, especially if you want to avoid the appalling attitude meted out by staff at The Marquess Tavern around the corner, but it's not a destination pub. Former regular George Orwell lived around the corner from here - was it this place that was the inspiration for his utopian Moon Under Water?

On 5th July 2017 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1163 recommendations about 1142 pubs]

View more reviews of The Canonbury Tavern (7)
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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Steve C
Essex Road, 0.33 miles, 6 min walk (show)
Highbury & Islington, 0.45 miles, 8 min walk (show)
Highbury & Islington, 0.45 miles, 8 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Canonbury Tavern, N1
3rd Jul 2020, 16:37
Review submitted by Pub SignMan
6th Oct 2018, 20:22
Review submitted by Tris C deleted by Tris C

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 15 June 2015 by Tris C
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 15 June 2015 by Tris C
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 03 June 2016 by Tris C
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 27 January 2015 by Rex Rattus
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 03 July 2020 by Pub SignMan
  • Car Park : No last updated 15 June 2015 by Tris C
  • Child Friendly : Yes last updated 03 July 2020 by Pub SignMan
  • Darts : No last updated 15 June 2015 by Tris C
  • Dog Friendly : Yes last updated 03 July 2020 by Pub SignMan
  • Function Room : Yes - According to Facebook page - last updated 21 July 2015 by Dave McNally
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 27 January 2015 by Rex Rattus
  • Jukebox : No last updated 03 June 2016 by Tris C
  • Karaoke : No last updated 03 June 2016 by Tris C
  • Live Music : Yes - Irish folk Thursdays 8.30 pm. - last updated 03 June 2016 by Tris C
  • Live TV Sports : Yes last updated 05 July 2017 by Tris C
  • Micropub : No last updated 15 June 2015 by Tris C
  • Pinball : No last updated 15 June 2015 by Tris C
  • Pool Table : No last updated 15 June 2015 by Tris C
  • Quiz Night : Yes - Sundays 7.00 pm. - last updated 31 March 2018 by Tris C
  • Real Ale : Yes - Young's. - last updated 03 June 2016 by Tris C
  • Real Cider : Yes last updated 03 July 2020 by Pub SignMan
  • Wheelchair Access : Yes - Disabled WC. - last updated 03 June 2016 by Tris C
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 03 July 2020 by Pub SignMan
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