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  • 4.0 star rating
    1/4/2010

    I rather liked this pub. A nice, slightly old fashioned traditional boozer that features in the good beer guide. I did like the décor. I wish it had kept one of its former names though.Steptoes is a cool name for instance!

    The staff were friendly and the ale was good quality. There were 4 ales on, all fairly commonly found varieties including the excellent Tribute. I had what may have been the best pint of the stuff I have had outside Cornwall.

    The street opposite, Defoe Road, appears to have buildings with a cartoon characters theme. I saw a Beavis house and a Flanders house!

  • 3.0 star rating
    4/12/2008

    This really spacious pub is notoriously understaffed for its size, and can get really crowded on the weekend. It has a lovely beer garden which is a pleasure to sit in during the summer. They also have a good selection of wine, as well as very tasty nibbles. You can relax here with a game of pool, or try out the great food in the evening.

    Kids are not allowed inside, which is perhaps one reason its so popular on the weekend! Its a great pub to visit with friends. Also, Daniel Defoe lived just across the street!

  • 4.0 star rating
    1/5/2013
    1 check-in

    I came here for lunch and a pint and was pleasantly surprised that there is another good pub in the area. The fish for the fish and chips is exceptionally good and the mushy peas were fresh although a bit over salted. I ordered the steak sandwich which was ok but next time I want to get what my boyfriend ordered, the buffalo chicken sandwich. One of the chefs lived in Florida for 10 years so he knows how to do good American-style chicken. Yum. As for drinks, you have plenty to choose from including some cask ales. The bartender was very friendly. We were the only ones in the pub at the time, but it was 1pm on a weekday, so not that surprising. They have quiz nights and the bartender said they're going to start having some live music gigs soon. Nice atmosphere and a lovely beer garden in the back for when it gets a bit warmer.

    • Qype User Ms_Bli…
    • London
    • 20 friends
    • 122 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    30/11/2008

    A pleasant pub on Stoke Newington Church Street to pass an evening with friends. They pour a good pint of guinness and there's a delicate white rioja on the wine list.

    Out the back is a popular beer garden with ample seating, which provides a welcome respite from busy Church St on a summer's day. The staff are very friendly and there is a broad clientele who provide a good atmosphere.

    They do food here too, which has a good reputation  check the blackboard or pick up a menu from the bar.

    I'm sure I'll be coming back here again in the not too distant future.

  • 4.0 star rating
    26/1/2009

    Went to the Daniel Defoe yesterday for drinks with a friend. Now it may be my age and heaven forbid I may be getting old(!), but I'm warming more and more to the old traditional boozer; solid wooden tables and chairs, comforting traditional bar and space to sit and have a conversation without being jammed-up to the people next to you! All this, plus now there's no smoking, generally these places are a much nicer place to hang-out!

    The barmaid was really friendly and when I said I was short on cash (the drinks are really reasonable and the bill didn't come to that much, but I literally had pence in my purse. I'm like the Queen - I don't carry cash!) and was there a minimum spend on cards, she said there was normally, but they could get round it by giving you the difference in cash. Very handy and saved me from having to go back into the rain to find a cash machine!

    While I was ordering I met a Scottish guy at the bar who heard I was getting a Bloody Mary and he started telling me how he used to work on cruise liners as a barman and how he'd learnt how to make a mean BM and other cocktails because the Americans tourists only ever demanded the best! A great character and friendly guy who I'm pretty certain you'd only ever meet in a good North London boozer like this one!

    We were going to meet more friends and have dinner here, but as they didn't turn-up we knocked dinner on the head, but if previous reviews are anything to go by, I'm looking forward to going back and sampling their Sunday Roasts.

    • Qype User typho…
    • London
    • 1 friend
    • 53 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    27/11/2008

    Nice traditional pub on Stoke Newington Chruch Street for a quiet pint of real ale. The beer garden at the back is great in summer, and the bar opens late on Friday and Saturdays (to midnight).

    This pub has a quiz machine - I enjoyed many a game of the easy-until-you-get-to-the-last-round-then-­impossibly-hard Nuts quiz in the pub.

    Along with the Auld Shillelagh one of my favourite pubs in Stoke Newington.

  • 3.0 star rating
    12/5/2009

    Just to keep my review number up ;-)
    Used this mainly unchanged pub for a number of years, I've seen other pubs in the area change faces quite a few times. Never the best around, but still has carpet underfoot (a novelty these days!) Bar appears to be busy, even when there is only 2 people to serve. I've seen people wait an eon for food, but the pool table, lack of children and a rather pleasant outdoors makes this a popular pub. In the street full of allsorts of trendy, gastro, jazztro bars n such. This is a little bit of old Stokey style.
    My best experience was a quiet Sunday night, chatting with the barman about whiskey - Scotch, Irish, Japanese, Thai and American. Barman explained that he had a vey special bottle of Scotch malt. If I was to name a malt whiskey beginning with O, I could have a glass. Got it in the end - Oban. So got me a taste of a very limited release - as that bloke from Jazz Club on The Fast Show might say - Nice!

  • 3.0 star rating
    27/11/2008
    First to Review

    Dead during the week but packed at the weekend, the Defoe makes a welcome change from the local gastropubs (The Prince, The Lonsborough) in the area. It's a warm and old-fashioned pub with a large terraced beer garden at the back of the pub which is perfect in the summer. I would only recommend going there for a pint though- I recently went in on a Sunday with some friends for a leaving lunch and I have never waited so long for a Roast in my life. With only 2 people behind the bar, the entire room was chaotic. An actual fight broke out over who was next in line, a woman started crying because she was so annoyed and half the queue walked out. When my Roast pork finally came (half an hour after my friends) I didn't want it.

    • Qype User grumps…
    • London
    • 4 friends
    • 18 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    9/10/2011

    Disappointed with the food, but the Ales are well kept, it's nice and quiet

    • Qype User plebea…
    • Calne, Wiltshire
    • 0 friends
    • 48 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    26/11/2008

    There is a very nice beer garden at the back of the pub. Small but with lots of greenery so you dont feel like you are just off a busy road. Inside isn't quite as good, a bit tatty but it least it isnt a theme pub! I havent had the food but the drinks are served well. They serve coffee, which is a nice touch.

  • 4.0 star rating
    8/1/2009

    went in solo on a weeknight while visiting a friend in the neighborhood, as previously noted, quite dead at first, though it started filling up later on round ten. i didn't much mind, i just tucked myself in a corner drinking pint after pint of wells bombardier (a rarity in the states) and reading up on victorian-era atrocities. a perfect fit, i'd venture.

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