I thought about popping in here the other day. Might give it a go at the weekend. I’ll let you know if the service has improved or if i get to the “i’m about to elbow drop someone in the face” stage :)
Recently taken o... show more
Recently taken over by couple Nigel and Julie, The Barnsbury on Liverpool Road in Angel provides a hearty welcome to th show less
270 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 2UQ
“We are handily located in the boutique end of Upper St near Highbury Tube station. The area is a perfect fit for us with lots of independent shops full of character such as Montes Deli, Sefton & the Wine Sampler. There is a real community spirit here...” more...
7 reviews of The Barnsbury in English
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I've not had the food yet but on ales and atmosphere I'd rate it quite highly.
For a pub that prides itself on dining, the Barnsbury leaves a lot to be desired…
The main problem for me is that the management don’t have any appreciation of vegetarian food and make no secret of not bothering to put a great deal of thought into the meat-free dishes.
Providing for vegetarian diners is not rocket science (even if you don’t approve of them): you simply need to include something on the menu that works with the side dishes, and constantly serving the same over-seasoned mushroom risotto (most obvious veggie main known to humanity) is not going to endear you to customers who’d like to enjoy the same roasties and yorkshire puddings as their meat-eating companions.
This is a really elementary mistake for any establishment to make: I know that vegetarian food is not currently fashionable and can see what they are aiming at with a ‘good old fashioned meaty’ vibe, but that doesn’t mean that there are not plenty of beer-loving, wine-appreciating potential paying customers who happen not to eat meat out there who also enjoy good honest food. We are not all lentil-munching bores, and many of us will spend good money on having a good time. I really don’t think that anyone can afford to overlook this fact nowadays.
On my last visit I had the usual risotto (which annoyed me as I was there on a Sunday, when I’d rather be eating a roast; all the other local gastro pubs include a veggie roast on their menu) and did not even have the chance to wash it down with a glass of wine as this was forgotten. In fairness to the waiting staff I was later offered one on the house, but by this point I no longer really wanted it.
The choice of wines is pretty good here and I can’t fault the owners on this or on their beers, which are sold with some good offers at various points in the week. The decor is pleasant and sitting outside on a hot day is lovely. I just resent being made to feel unwelcome over my diet.
At least they brew good coffee.
We had one of the worst experience since we moved to London more than 1 year ago. We ordered the lamb main dish. Not only did it look like cat food, but it was so over salty, we complained to the waitress who reluctantly, and without an apology, change our dish after a 20 minute wait. Three hours later, we still are fighting the salt flavour. Rude service, bad food. We will not go back.
Very disappointing meal here on 16th Jan 2010 - especially as previously it had been a favourite haunt of mine. The food was mediocre at best; my friend's salmon starter was so unpleasant she couldn't eat it. And as a vegetarian, I had a very limited choice but ordered the vegetable risotto - which was bland to the point of inedible and was served with a slice of Pancetta on the top. The waitress said this was mentioned on the menu which she saw it wasn't when she checked. They then removed the meat from the dishes and brought the same plates back. Why they'd finish off one of the only vegetarian dishes with a slice of pig, I can't imagine, unless it was to hide the unappetising white and sloppy look of the dish. We won't be rushing back.
I had a great time here on Sunday. Good enough to stay for one bottle of wine. And then another. And then another. That wasn’t part of the plan but we were celebrating me finishing my novel, so we got a bit carried away.
The rose was yum. So was the barman for that matter. I accidentally hit on him in my drunkeness, but he was a perfect gent. I’m blaming the wine. We did have rather a lot.
It’s a lovely place to sit outside, and it’s actually just a very pretty place indeed. Very gastro-pubby. We didn’t stay for food (although we really should have).
The only downside, there’s a huge amount of emergency traffic coming up and down - it’s clearly quicker for ambulances and police cars to go up and down here instead of using Upper Street. We got annoyed after they were hitting double figures.
Still, after another bottle of wine, you won’t notice. They have free wi-fi too. Everything about this pub is good, I’ll be back if I’m in the area. Just as soon as the cute barman has forgotten me.
A little sympathy for the poor Barnsbury, please. There are plenty of us that loathe the chirpy environment of Upper Street, but it compares well with the grim concrete of Liverpool Road.
We went for Sunday lunch, and rather enjoyed the bright clean interior. The chandeliers are rather neat: little clusters of wine glasses arranged in a circle to add an extra frisson of booze-related design to the otherwise spartan ambience.
The food was perfectly ok. A starter of chicken livers with mixed leaves was underwhelmingly lukewarm but with decent flavour. Bread was warm and reasonably fresh. Draft Guinness was awful, by the way, but I can’t really blame the bar for that.
Mains were cooked well, although they did take the best part of an hour to arrive in a hardly half-full dining room. Perhaps the chef was hungover, or having some sort of emotional crisis, or just taking things easy. Either way, the food arrived just a fraction of a second after I started looking round the room with real annoyance and a spiky, someone’s-about-to-feel-the-weight-of-my-wrath, such as it is, look in my eye.
So there we go. Pleasant, I’d describe it as. Mind you, for £40 for lunch for two, pleasant is the least you’d ask.
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