Average pub that really should be great.
Let's start with the positives. The garden is brilliant, the best I've found in North London and the toilets are nice. Less endearing is the service, which is at times erratic, with food orders missed. The prices are also top end.
The main bar area feels like a hotel reception, soulless and plain. It's a real shame as this place really could and should be amazing.
This is a local pub for me and there is a reason why I don't come here more often. Each time I do, despite the promise of something better, I wish I had gone to another pub. Today was no exception.
The place has so much potential but doesn't deliver. Lots of space, high ceilings and generous Edwardian era proportions. Tristan put it so well that it really feels like a Novotel bar or a sanitised but unexciting suburban pub in the Home Counties, rather than a pub in central London.
The garden is great but it's not easy to experience. Try going for an evening drink on a warm summer night as we did today. It's fairly quiet, for a reason. We were sitting outside and after spending an overpriced £8.40 on two pints of bog standard beer, returning to the garden area at 9.45pm when it was still daylight, we were shouted at by one of the staff, "Hey guys, you can't drink out here" like we we had just trespassed into private property or something. Err excuse me, the sign says the beer garden is open until 10pm, irritating enough, I know and yes, it is a residential area BUT seems their priority is just to shut the garden as soon as they can, rather than think about the customers who just spent paid for the 'privilege' of drinking here and came to enjoy their one very positive feature. We were told we had 'two minutes'. Thanks for the welcome! Should not have bought that second round.
So at best it's a day time pub, don't expect to be able to relax in the outdoor area after 9pm since they will start clearing up the chairs and making you feel unwelcome. Ridiculous.
I have been to four dinner parties now at the Canonbury. And every time they sent Are starters out with our main to staff are rude food ant that special if you just wanna go for a drink and sit in the garden fine but be warned staff can't cope with big dinner parties I had all my friends know if they decide to go there for dinner I will meet them after if I had to describe my experience in one word rubbish
This pub has a lovely beer garden with lots of outside seating. The inside is nice, light and spacious too.
The food is very tasty, I went for a friend's birthday so just had a few canapés but my friend ordered a roast dinner which looked and smelled amazing. It's buzzing without being overly busy. They have an extensive wine list and plenty of different beers and ciders as well.
My only negative about this place is that I ordered a glass of Pimms (which was mainly fruit and ice) and was charged the shocking price of £6.95!! It wasn't even a very big glass either. My next drink I ordered was a cider which was still quite pricey but more reasonable than a glass of Pimms.
Nice pub but expensive.
Sunday night is quiz night! Good atmosphere and a bit of fun, Paul the quiz master kept it alive. Food service very slow but didn't matter as here for quiz.
Food, I had burger was tasty.
The best thing about the Canonbury is their enormous beer garden. It's the biggest I've seen in London and as such, it's a lovely place to spend a sunny afternoon.
On the one or two occasions I had to go into the building itself however, I was disappointed by the Novotel-style interior and the really badly organised bar staff - there were plenty of them, but nobody seemed to be serving. I had to wait about 10 mins and there were fewer than 4 people with me at the bar.
They were serving food although we decided not to eat here.
Save this one for some sunshine I think...
Hmmm..... it's a lovely place, it really is. Very gastropub in its look and feel. We'd just come from the Hen and Chickens on Highbury Corner, so we were accustomed to a relaxed and silly atmosphere. This was a step up in class, price, attitude of bar staff... etc. Lots of people wanting to be seen in their smartest clothes.
Probably a lovely place to bring your parents when they're in town. Probably a great place for a Sunday roast in their, apparently, impressive beer garden. But for a Friday night when the place is hardly full, and you're trying to have yourself a really fun night, you can do better in the area.
The service was terrible, i stood at the bar for 20 mins, it wasn't busy but the bar staff couldn't keep track of orders.
The drinks were mediocre(beer was warm) and overpriced, thats £7.50 for 2 pints!
Also food service is limited by where you are sitting outside. One table over from another may not get served for an illogical reason.
Come here during warm weather for the HUGE beer garden. There is bound to be a spot for you and your group to hangout in the sun it's so vast.
Tried to order a greyhound at the bar. The bartender didn't know what it was. Not a good sign. Will try again later and if results are the same I will just say eff it and order something simple...like a bulmers...
The garden here is the star of this pub! It's pretty massive! Lots of tables and chairs and nice plants/flowers etc.
The pub is pretty, the style is new Victorian trying to look old (if that makes sense!). The crowd is a local/main stream type of crowd, not much in the way of music.
If the sun is shining and you fancy sitting out in a large beer garden, this is a handy one.
Not much in the way of 'atmosphere', but definitely ticks the 'drinking outside in the sunshine' box
This place looks very very upmarket. It has recently reopened after a long time closed and does look very nice inside. I particularly love the fake flames in the restauranty part of the pub. It seems to show an old film on silent, which is interestingeven if it does not particularly appeal to me. I could imagine it as the kind of place for a date..a date where you could still enjoy real ale.
If it wasn't warm and flat and overpriced that is.
From the evidence of my visit, The Canonbury would appear to be a very popular venue for Sunday lunch.
And yet, also from the evidence of my visit, I cannot really see why.
Sure, the building is large and pleasant, with a nice beer garden out the back. And sure, it certainly does seem to be child friendly. But surely a good Sunday lunch venue should offer a bit more than just that?
Well it doesn't. The food was disappointing and overpriced -- £15 for a single almost wafer-thin, anaemic slice of luke-warm beef draped over some soggy, reheated roast potatoes and sad vegetables is not my idea of a satisfying Sunday roast. And, if possible, the quality of the drinks is even worse...
The real ales might well be "award winning" when they leave the brewery, but they would seem to have lost that accolade once The Canonbury have messed them up. Timothy Taylor Landlord (normally a great, dependable pint) was decidedly off-kilter, and the Sharps Doom Bar was almost undrinkably watery and insipid. I have rarely seen such good beers treated so badly.
The wine was even worse. Our large (15+) table included several wine-drinkers, and had to send back two glasses (bought by the glass) and no less than five bottles of wine. The bar manager admitted that, having tasted them, they were all "spoilt". Wherever they are storing their wines, they need to move them somewhere more suitable.
To be fair though, it wasn't all bad. The service was consistently friendly, helpful and accommodating. And I quite enjoyed their banoffee pie -- served in a cocktail glass. So there's something.
I would recommend this place for people who don't care what they eat or drink and just want to go somewhere that will be accommodating to their riotous kids for a couple of hours. For anyone else, I would advise looking elsewhere.
Decent pub with good selection of largers and wine. Plenty of space inside and has a particularly nice beer garden.
Good food but a bit pricey.
A personal big plus of being 10 meters from the front door!
I visited the Canonbury for a Christmas lunch on Thursday 16th Dec 2010 with 9 others
The staff were helpful and accommodating
The food was dire at £27.50 for a 3 course lunch.
I suppose dire is not really the right word
I had twice baked cheese soufflé as a starter, bland and unexciting but yes it was a soufflé but possibly without any cheese though the red onion carmelised worked nice.
Roast Confit of Magret Duck with Braised Red Cabbage,
potatoes à la Dauphinoise, Seasonal Vegetables & Jus did not work. All the vegetables were flavourless and the duck was just duck, a v poor confit.
My desert of Chocolate & Grand Marnier Fondant Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream did not arrive so I got the Christmas pudding. I have never liked Christmas pudding so let us just say that desert was disappointing.
Now £27.50 for a 3 course meal is not bad but the place was empty and so the kitchen was not rushed off of its feet and is unlikely to be if this is the quality of the food that they are serving.
THEY MUST TRY HARDER - but best for us to avoid
Bog standard soleless pub with 3 ales and a good collection of largers, cider and guinness. Lots of space inside, so it doesn't feel crowded on a friday night, but also lacks atmosphere. Nicely done though, with some good sofas, and a beer garden. Probably great in the summer.
Let me tell you. I am a sucker for outside space. This place has a wonderful outdoor garden. Loads of tables, chairs, sofas etc along with shade from the trees in the garden. I had a most lovely day yesterday in the garden. The garden was the best bit! A lovely day, the pub was doing a very brisk trade, especially in the garden.
There was definitely waiting at the bar. Staff seemed to be briskly busy but waited a good 10-15mins to be served for drinks each time. Yes it was busy, but they really could use some extra staff here. On a blistering hot day, we were given wine with no ice bucket. In fact no one seemed to have Ice buckets. My friend brought drinks and they told her, no they dont have any trays to carry drinks on- for a pub, not having trays... not great.
Ordered some food. I had a burger. It came looking good on a fancy chopping board. Although it looked good, the burger was overdone and dry. The fries were cold when they were brought. There was no staff about to ask for the fries to be replaced. The roll was a bit stale or one of those super-cheap type you find for sale in your local London off-license ( you know the sort!)
Overall, I have given it 2 for the garden mainly. I wouldn't eat here again given there are scores of better places to eat around here,also I think some of the prices is ever so slightly expensive, for what it is.
Has all the elements of a nice pub - nice beer garden, nice interior - but just doesn't quite deliver; It feels like your in a poncey Chiswick bar. And as nice as they are, the bar staff are pretty inept/gormless.
A large group of us went here for Sunday lunch which turned out to be closer to Monday breakfast. The wait for food was about 90 minutes. At one point we were told the chef was plating up, only for 10 minutes later to find out that he had 'forgotten the potatoes' so it would be a bit longer. Really? Its Sunday lunch and you're a chef, how do you forget potatoes? Anyway eventually it arrived and accounts around the table varied from horrible to ordinary. It was pretty awful and uninspiring for the hugely over inflated price tag. I can't actully tell you what the roast was like as they could only provide 10 of the 11 of us with them. My burger however was a disgrace, cooked to oblivion it was as if it had been in Hades for every one of those 90 minutes I waited for it. It was dry and hard with a burnt crust all over it and was only really good for resoling a shoe. Oh and they forgot the bacon I wanted in it. All in all useless, the Guiness was pretty poor as well not bad exactly but just, hmmmm. As another reviewer said It can really only be recommended if you dont care want you eat or drink. I'll add to that and if you want to spend an exorbitant amount of money. However it is worth complaining as after our terrible experience they did knock 25% off the bill.
Sounds like Jeff H. was very unlucky on his visit, because I LOVED the place! They are fairly new, so I'm hoping that based on my experience last night, they've worked out all the 'new place' kinks.
I went with a group of 15 for dinner and drinks and everything was spot on. The service was excellent and both waiters we had were incredibly patient and pleasant even though a lot of our group were quite particular and sometimes obnoxious.
The food was DELICIOUS! I had the small honey-mustard rotisserie chicken with roast veggies- yum yum YUM! Everyone at the table was happy and I was drooling over all the tasty looking dishes.
I had a chocolate cake with a melty centre for dessert and it was very tasty, though I would have actually wanted it a bit richer, but that could just be the choco addict speaking. The wine was good- the waiter even recommended a bottle that turned out to be very nice and also very affordable.
If you haven't stopped in to the Canonbury yet, I highly recommend you do. The place is CLEAN and very pretty and the food is fantastic. Hopefully I can convince Jeff H. to give it another go!!
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