The Charles Lamb
16 Elia Street, Islington, London N1 8DE
- Angel Tube Station (0.3 km)
- Angel Station (0.3 km)
- Contact us:
020 7837 5040
- Opening hours:
Open Monday & Tuesday from 4pm
Wednesday - Sunday from 12 noon
11 reviews of The Charles Lamb in English
What I did see of the inside though impressed me greatly. I saw ales I hadn’t encountered before and an unusual appealing décor.
The pub is named after the English essayist who lived in the area in olden times. I’m not sure what the French link is with this pub but the menu looks quite French to me and there is even a French version of their website!
This is one I am definitely coming back to! Just don’t try and rearrange their tables!
Brilliant but a smallish (4) but amazing ale range. Breton rough cidte. London 7.2% IPA. Relaxed staff.quirky front room sort of feel. Not everyone’s bag but definitely mine. Will be back again and again.
Reviewed using Android. Get the app
Delicious Sunday roast, rare roast sirloin was really good. Don't expect any service however. If you come on a Sunday, come before 12 or after 4 unless you want to get into a bunfight. They don't do reservations and they don't have a queuing system. On the plus side once you finally get your table you can sit there all afternoon. Recommended.
Reviewed using iPhone. Get the app
It's hard to believe that this pub is just five minutes' walk from the mania of Upper Street, but there you go. It's in an area of tranquil, attractive (and doubtless eye-wateringly expensive) terraced streets a stone's throw from the Regent's Canal.
Built in 1839, the building was originally three shops, and was converted into a pub in the 1920s. The current owners renamed it in 2005 after the essayist Charles Lamb (1775-1834), who penned his collected 'Essays of Elia', published in 1823, which gave the name to the road. ('Elia' was his pen name).
The exterior is traditional with painted brick and rich brown tiling, and the two-room interior is clean and modern, with wooden floors and a light colour scheme.
It's well known both as a gastro-pub and for its selection of real ales, which include Dark Star's 'Hophead' and at least two other guest ales, including recently Kelham's 'Pale Rider'. It's certainly worth looking out for an interesting beer. They also have a reasonable wine list if you prefer grape to grain. It's in CAMRA's 'Good Beer Guide' and 'Les Routiers Places to Eat' UK guide.
I haven't tried the food, but it has been strongly recommended, and is - refreshingly - relatively sensibly priced for this neck of the woods, with starters and puds in the £4.50-£5 bracket, and mains around £9-£11. They do some interesting off-beat bar snacks (toasted broad beans etc) too, but not crisps.
There are board games available and special celebrations on Bastille Day in July (petanque in the street). Service is friendly and reasonably efficient, and the managers are friendly and have an equally friendly dog.
The only issue really is that it's a bit too small for it's current popularity, with punters regularly spilling out onto the street (there are some tables and chairs on the pavement, but don't count on sitting down).
Said punters are a wide mix of Islington locals, from students and office workers to the occasional creative type, looking like they have dropped out of the 'Its Grim Up North London' cartoon.
Well worth a visit if you are in the area.
I popped my head in, out and about here on the weekend, saddened that their Monday public holiday menu was all salads and a cottage pie. But I have to say I am heading back here asap on a Sunday.
Friendly vibe, sweet interior and some rather relaxed whistling staff. Wait for the update...
The Charles Lamb is a charming pub which is tucked away on a small street yet is only a stone throw from Angel tube station, and the hussle and bussle of Upper Street. The beauty of this place is the atmosphere. Quiet and relaxing, yet still with a certain buzz about it, this is a brilliant mix of the best qualities of a country pub with a Zone 1 location.
There are a range of cask ales on tap, normally from the Dark Star brewery, as well as a couple of good lagers and an excellent wine selection. Food is freshly prepared on the premises, chosen from the daily changing blackboard menu. I am assuming the owner is French, going by the European dishes on the menu and the penchant for celebrating Bastille Day! Everything I have tried is an excellent standard and good value. A highlight for me is the home cooked bar snacks which make an appearance in the early evening. Freshly made sausage rolls, pastries and scotch eggs are available, as are tasty cured meats.
One of my favourite pubs in London.
Okay, this is my favourite pub in London. I’d do anything for it to be my local. Yes, I would in fact move house, it will be a major considering factor next time I’m packing up. It’s so friendly and chilled, great beer (exciting mentions on tap and in bottles) and equally good wine, including their own Charles Lamb wines.
The bar snacks are outstanding - huge sausage rolls and pork pies - great goodies from the kitch. Rock up on a Sunday and eat bowls of goose-fat roast potatoes with horseradish til they come out of your ears.
Special bonus points are awarded to them for letting us loiter far too long on Easter Sunday while we waited to be let into the house we’d locked ourselves out of. Hospitality I’d only normally get from my best friends!
Very friendly pub with nice bitter and a dog. Which can be annoying when you go with your dog-averse friend…
They let my girlfriend try before she bought 4 different wines and the bar snack were interesting (roast potatoes…).
We’ll be back.
Really good boozer hidden away off to the North of the City Road. The food and decor in the restaurant part is French inspired and they have a good wine list, but the beers are also excellent. Service is quick and friendly and they were happy for us to run up a large tab when we were there for our Christmas party without being worried about us running off (we didn’t).
There’s also a real fire and a pub dog: two essential components of any good pub. Worth the detour to get there
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