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Submitted on Friday, 10th September 2010
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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.

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 1685 recommendations about 1662 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 953 recommendations about 939 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Canonbury

We made this our final pub of the day because one of our number was seduced by the prospect of a pint of Sambrook's Wandle (£3.60 a pint). The other ales on were London Pride, Doom Bar, and Truman Attaboy. This is not the sort of ale selection for which I would make a special effort to visit a pub.

This looks very much like a pub from the outside, but when you enter you swiftly realise that you are in a restaurant with a hotel lounge attached to it. The dining room occupies a large area to the right, with the drinking area as you enter furnished with a mix of tall tables/tall benches, light coloured upholstered banquettes and scrubbed pine coloured tables. There's nothing original left inside, with the place having been madeover to death. It definitely qualifies as a gastropub, though there was the odd thing on the the menu that I vaguely recognised - e.g. Steak & Guinness pie with winter greens and butternut squash (for £13.95). There was a fair bit of outside seating, and I would guess that this would be the best place to sit when the weather was fine enough.

I'm sure there must be loads of Canonbury and Islington residents who reckon this place is the height of comfort and sophistication, and good luck to them I say. But I'm unlikely to visit again.

On 27th January 2015 - rating: 4
[User has posted 2575 recommendations about 2493 pubs]

View more reviews of The Canonbury Tavern (6)
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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
6th Oct 2018, 20:22
Review submitted by Tris C deleted by Tris C
26th Jan 2018, 12:15
Review submitted by Malden man amended by Malden man

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
  • Car Park : No last updated 15 June 2015 by Tris C
  • Darts : No last updated 15 June 2015 by Tris C
  • 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
  • Wheelchair Access : Yes - Disabled WC. - last updated 03 June 2016 by Tris C
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