Essex Road station is your stop for this refurbished drinking den, which is out to bring craft beer and cider to Islington’s hinterlands. London Fields, Meantime, Flying Dog and Redemption are some of the pumps primed to slake the thirsts of locals in the North Pole’s bar and appealing walled garden. The full range runs to over 50 ales and the list is big on international bottled brews too. Wines offer lots of interest below the £20 mark, and the food is a notch above your average backstreet boozer. At four for £13, hefty snacks such as venison Scotch egg, haddock goujons and BBQ chicken wings offer good value; otherwise, choose from homemade pies, T-bone steak with fried egg and chips, sliders, falafels, and assorted roasts. The decor is recycled Victoriana, and there’s a den with a pinball machine, 1960s jukebox and Space Invaders for restless kidults.
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