The Old Dairy

1-3 Crouch Hill , London, N4 4AP

9 reviews

Pubs Finsbury Park

SquareMeal Review of The Old Dairy

The brick walls and steel girders of what was once the Victorian Friern Manor Dairy make a handsome frame for this large, airy pub with its agreeable nooks and crannies, Chesterfields and chandeliers. You can graze on Spanish meats and cheeses, or take a table for something more substantial. Starters are a ‘modern Euro by numbers’ selection (Parma ham and melon salad; pan-fried squid with chorizo, chickpeas and peppers), mains mean solid gastropub fare (cider-braised pork belly; sweet potato and chickpea tagine with couscous) and desserts range from fun to fancy (ice-cream sundae, pineapple carpaccio). The choice of ales is decent, and you can often find good wine among the short list of bin ends. There have been complaints that staff sometimes lack both speed and manners, but they were pleasant and professional on our visit.

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6.8

Food & Drink: 7.7

Service: 6.2

Atmosphere: 6.8

Value: 6.1

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Barry N. 24 August 2011

My housemate and I are big fans of The Dairy its not the best pub in London but its one of my personal favourites in North London anyway. It get's a bit busy though and we will often go the Nobel or Stapleton for a quiet pint. The food is pretty consistent in my mind, not cheap though ! But the portions are big, the desserts could do with a bit more imagination. Good selection of beer and ales, that are pretty reasonably priced for London, if you want you cheap drinks you can always try the Weatherspoons down the road !

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 0.0

Brian I. 10 June 2011

Being a gastro-pub I was expecting the drinks to be a little pricey, but £3.80 for a pint of Guinness is taking the proverbial. Won't be back.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

johnsonj 13 March 2011

Love it! Good food, good vibe, great service! Can't fault the Old Dairy only to say that due to the obvious popularity of the pub it has always been busy when we've visited (mr & mrs with little person) and as they're not a fast food chain there's an average wait for food. It's not our local but we're always happy to take visting family over to the OD to enjoy a very relaxed and lovely Sunday roast!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Neil P. 13 March 2011

Don’t get out as much as I used to these days, however I’m glad that I decided follow up the recommendation of some friends and went to The Old Dairy. Decorated to feel welcoming without feeling faux, good friendly atmosphere, I was pleased with the food I ordered (and there was plenty of stuff on the menu which sounded tempting) and the ales I had were just the thing (can't remember the names but not because I had too many). Hope to get back there in the not too distant future.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Geoff H. 06 March 2011

There is only one word to describe the Old Dairy: Shambles… This is a perfect example of a pub being great when a quarter full but even the slightest hint of being busy sees the place descend into a cataclysmic farce of a boozer. Its got great ales and a range of lagers, good wines and the food is very good…all very typical London not-trying-too-hard-to-be-cool boozer. All the sort of stuff somebody in the owners hq can sort out but for goodness sake the organization of the place is just downright embarrassing. I’ve lived locally to the OD for four years and have been a frequent visitor, and apart from a brief upturn last year the staff have always treated the customer as though its an honour to be served. For example, I’ve stood at the bar for 5 minutes while another couple was served and 5(!!!) staff milled around, which included 4 looking at one piece of paper. And forget about complaining, the most you can expect from is a shrug and a look that says “I couldn’t care less, there’s enough suckers out there that will be come back!” If you’ve got the time to spare go, have a decent pint in nice surroundings but only on a quiet Tuesday or Wednesday night. If you’re reading this OD management your rivals are catching up, stop taking the p’ss out of your clientele.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 2.0

Richard B. 18 January 2011

A few weeks ago my girlfriend and I had a pretty fab Sunday lunch in The Old Dairy. Good food, good service and good enough for a return visit, which we duly made yesterday. This time, things were different. The (unbooked) table we were given was on the ant trail between the restaurant and the bar, so there was constant, clumsy traffic past us. For most of the meal we had at least three toddlers being followed round and round the table by a succession of doting parents, as if we were a toddler airport and they were circling to land. Ah yes, the food. My roast beef, ordered medium, was obviously off the ragged end of whatever industrial-sized meat lump the kitchen was currently hacking away at. Fatty and tasteless, most of it was left on the plate. The gravy was Oliver Twist-thin and the vegetables – including the potatoes – were watery and not roasted (not very much, anyway). The single cabbage leaf managed to give the whole thing a nasty, school-dinner aftertaste. A complaint to the manager brought the offer of taking the main off the bill, which is fine, but a table that complains is often then over- or under-attended by the staff. We got the latter. We suspect they had been given a rollicking and now morale was heading south. Coffee had to be re-ordered, processing the bill was tortuous and the manager wouldn’t meet my gaze on the way out. Too big and too busy – good-bye for, ooh, let’s say, one year.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Alan J 08 October 2009

I went with some friends on a Sunday to watch the footie, as my beloved Gunners were playing. They have just upgraded to Hdtv which was noticable as the picture before was rubbish ! Six of us all had roasts which were awesome, lovely beef with proper gravy and nice yorkies ! We did wait a while though, but the place was packed ! We were told that there was quite a wait for food, by the guy who served but who cares its Sunday !. Loved the ales on tap, there was Spitfire which is one of my favs and a Morrisey fox whixh i was not that keen on. Bit pricey for drinks but its what you would expect really no different from many of the other pubs in the area. As for the staff they were all really friendly if not slightly rushed to say the least. My only real complaint was that they ran out of Apple Crumble !

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

laura b. 03 January 2009

Some Friends and I came here for New Years Eve…the place was absolutely rammed. If we were in the bar area I doubt we would have stayed – it would have been ages before we had got served. Fortunately we had booked a table in the restaurant. I can honestly say I had the best New Years Eve I have ever had – the food was superb, the service was outstanding, and even though it was £50 a head it was well worth it! We were greeted with champagne by a charming girl who showed us to our table and then served by an equally lovely young lady all night. What a treat. I felt sorry for the staff – they were rushed off their feet (the meal was five courses) – but all of them kept smiling all night. I absolutely love this place – i'd recommend it to anyone.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Rachael F. 27 November 2008

I have lived in Stroud Green for 4 years now, and I've watched the Dairy go from strength to strength. I think this is one of the most beautiful pubs in London and wholeheartedly disagree with earlier comments. I have always received amazing service! We recently hired out an area on a weekend night and everyone was so accommodating – we got real value for money and the management bent over backwards to accommodate us, even though they would have been just as busy without us. The staff aren't bad to look at either! Keep up the good work!

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