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Submitted on Sunday, 6th August 2017
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Southampton Arms, NW5

139 Highgate Road
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Tweets by Southampton Arms
The Southampton Arms The Southampton Arms We always have at least 2 stouts & 1 Porter. On cask tonight @SaltaireBrewery NO.5 Proper Stout. On keg… 7:47 PM Apr 17th from Twitter for iPhone
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Reviews of Southampton Arms (Average Rating: 8 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Blue Scrumpy left this review about Southampton Arms

After over 2½ years without a visit, I was back in the Southampton Arms yesterday afternoon for a session.

For quite a few years, this was my favourite pub in London. Although, I've since relegated it to second. Nevertheless, if you arrive here early enough and grab a table, it's a really pleasant place to while away some time. Evenings and weekends will inevitably be busy. But on our Monday afternoon visit, there were a few tables free, with just a handful of customers in.

With one single narrow room and an enclosed garden at the rear, it can certainly have a cosy feel. But the ale and cider range here is excellent. Yesterday's ales were Thornbridge Jaipur & Lord Marples, Kent Brewer's Reserve, Nene Valley Manhanttan Project, Turning Point No Post On Sundays, Five Points Railway Porter & Bristol Beer Factory Milk Stout. Ciders were Burrow Hill Cider Bus & Medium Dry, Turner's Dry, Crone's User Friendly, Lilley's Apples and Pears & Worley's Beatnik Billy.

I worked my way through all of the ciders and 4 of the ales, in addition to a craft beer from Gipsy Hill.

Snacks such as Scotch Eggs, Sausage rolls and pork sandwiches used to be available from the hot cabinet at the end of the bar. But whilst I noticed that the cabinet was empty yesterday, people still seemed to be getting food from somewhere. Other key changes in the Covid era are the removal of stools from the bar, which is actually quite beneficial to those trying to decide what to drink, and the acceptance of cards, where cash was the only way of paying previously.

Still a great pub and one I hope to return to as soon as possible.

On 25th August 2020 - rating: 9
[User has posted 397 recommendations about 397 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about Southampton Arms

Not the sister pub to the Jolly Butchers (N16) - they copied this pub's sign design. As mentioned earlier, this was a rough old boozer until about eight years ago; I made my first visit just after its reopening and it's a very fine pub indeed and all the better at the time for not having been 'discovered'. My second visit was made a few months later and believe me, it had been discovered; you can't move in the place at peak times, hence the seemingly low mark. From the street you can't even see the bar for punters and things aren't improved by the presence of bar stools, bait for bar hogs. On this second visit it took about eight minutes to get served and a seat was utterly out of the question; we stood, being incessantly jostled by other customers in this crowded sweat box, downed our drinks and left, both of the opinion that trying to order a second round was an ordeal too far.
A return visit yesterday lunchtime and it was near deathly quiet, though this may have been explained by the terrible weather. It also meant that we could better evaluate the interior which is charming and very traditional, save for the removal of the mullioned window, replaced with a single picture window as part of the refurbishment. The floor is rough bare boarded and there's cream coloured walls and a burgundy coloured ceiling with lighting coming from conventional Edison-esque bare bulbs to the walls, some in flexes hanging from the ceiling and a few shallow enamelled tin shaded bulbs over the bar. The bar is appealing in russet wood though it has a modern white glazed tiled bar back. To the walls there's some wainscoting and above are a few old brewery mirrors from the likes of Bass and a much rarer example from Lacon's. Furniture is pleasantly ramshackle and basic, comprising pews, benches and Britannia tables. Out back, there's a very small garden. This isn't a food pub, but claims to have a fridge full of meat. Indeed, there are pies in a period heated cabinet and a jar on high of pickled eggs - which I've never tried; another jar contains a brown liquid which hints at pickled onions which I love, providing they are made by me and using cider vinegar. There are no TVs that I could see - or any of that 'caper' - and music here really does come from a gramophone - of sorts - as the pub has a vinyl-only policy, ELO in this instance.
Ales: too many to record and most I've never heard of, but there are 12 pumps dispensing mainly ales but also ciders, stouts, porters and the like; they are locally sourced and are on rotation. I can't remember what I had but it was new to me, competitively priced and very good.
This is a great pub, but time your visit wisely to avoid pubageddon. It also has a seven-day midnight-ish closing time though note that it's cash-only here.

On 1st February 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1001 recommendations about 986 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Mark Davey left this review about Southampton Arms

19/11/16 Still great

04/01/16 First beer of 2016 on a lunchtime visit, New Years day. I have been to the Southampton many times in the past couple of years and it hasn't changed one bit. great selection of ales on the bar, backed up with cider and the usual selection of spirits. If you are peckish, there are always pork pies and scotch eggs in the glass case.

will call again and again, one of the best pubs in London.

On 15th January 2018 - rating: 9
[User has posted 292 recommendations about 276 pubs]

View more reviews of Southampton Arms (23)
This pub features in the following crawls:
Gillhalfpint by train man
North London Line by Bucking Fastard
North London Line Mark II by Bucking Fastard
External web links for Southampton Arms

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Steve C
Gospel Oak, 0.32 miles, 6 min walk (show)
Kentish Town, 0.51 miles, 9 min walk (show)
Kentish Town West, 0.99 miles, 19 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for Southampton Arms, NW5
10th Feb 2021, 22:02
Web Link submitted by Tris C approved
6th Feb 2021, 19:19
Web Link submitted 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 08 January 2015 by Quinno _
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 08 January 2015 by Quinno _
  • Beer Garden : Yes last updated 08 January 2015 by Quinno _
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 08 January 2015 by Quinno _
  • Car Park : No last updated 08 January 2015 by Quinno _
  • Darts : No last updated 08 January 2015 by Quinno _
  • Dog Friendly : Yes last updated 07 April 2018 by Tris C
  • Function Room : No last updated 07 April 2018 by Tris C
  • Hot Food : Yes - Pork baps, Scotch eggs, etc - last updated 19 January 2015 by Will Larter
  • Jukebox : No last updated 08 January 2015 by Quinno _
  • Karaoke : No last updated 08 January 2015 by Quinno _
  • Live Music : Yes last updated 08 January 2015 by Quinno _
  • Live TV Sports : No last updated 08 January 2015 by Quinno _
  • Micropub : No last updated 13 July 2015 by Aqualung .
  • Pinball : No last updated 08 January 2015 by Quinno _
  • Pool Table : No last updated 08 January 2015 by Quinno _
  • Quiz Night : Yes - Monday 8.30 - last updated 19 January 2015 by Will Larter
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 08 January 2015 by Quinno _
  • Real Cider : Yes last updated 08 January 2015 by Quinno _
  • Wheelchair Access : No last updated 08 January 2015 by Quinno _
  • WiFi : No last updated 07 April 2018 by Tris C
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