Whenever we’re lacking an animate object to give us a hug, we drop in on Canonbury’s diminutive Myddleton Arms: the poster boy for the cosy, atmospheric British boozer. The beer selection is decent, whilst the food selection is limited (strictly burgers from a BBQ outside), but that’s not what this pub is about - it’s that intangible feeling of snugness; a setting made for long Sundays spent in a comfortable, escapist warm daze. It truly comes into its own in winter: that’s when you can hunker down before the open fire, play some of the board games they’ve got, or head out back to their snug cabins, built with their own speaker systems and ideal for a group meet. Actually, it's ideal for something slightly more intimate than a meet to be frank, but this is a PG publication. When hibernation beckons, this is the one.
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The Royal Albert
This is the local to end all locals. Good food, frothy beers, fairy lights set against a Victorian interior - what more could you want? A billiards table? 'Cause they have that, too. The beers are sourced from local breweries and change frequently. The menu is seasonal and always delicious - you'll find your standard pub fare with a twist, like pork and leek sausages with cider and onion gravy. One mainstay is their sticky toffee pudding, which we'll be going back for.
The Hat and Tun
This is a good spot for a business meeting rather than a knees up. If you like deer antlers, lots of wine and a chesterfield armchair by the fire, then this is the pub for you. The food is exactly what you'd expect from a old school pub: sausage and mash, cottage pie and peas and toasties. The Hat and Tun is closed at the weekend but available for private hire. Maybe for an Old Boy's Club meeting?
The Rose & Crown
If it’s an elaborate drink you’re after, craft beer haunt The Rose and Crown will most definitely have you covered. Boasting an inspiringly eclectic lineup of rotating bevvies and ever honing the spotlight on small, local and quite often crazy breweries – you can expect to wrap your gob around everything from shortbread-flavoured beer to tropical punch-flavoured beer and everything in between. Also on the cards is an incredibly unique and innovative snack menu, live music, comedy nights and a spectacularly dingy, club-like basement that’s available for hire.
Royal Arsenal’s only independent bar and restaurant, and proud. In an area booming with corporate development, it’s proper refreshing to find some cats flying their own flag: you’ll catch these good people at the Royal Arsenal Farmer’s Market showing off their beers (or buying seasonal ingredients for their pizzas!). The goods that go on their pizzas are all fully fresh and locally sourced - and boy do the pizzas look good. Just for reference: the Sweet Italy features pears, gorgonzola and prosciutto ham (damn!). Don’t act like that’s not exciting. Beers come from small breweries only, and you can expect to see the likes of Hop Stuff (Arsenal’s own), Crate and Rooster’s on the taps in here. Wooden rafters and barrels make it well snug too.