This pub is hidden in a small street, few minutes away from the tube station, after a nice walk in the park and canal.
We loved the high ceiling with cosy atmosphere.
The choice of drinks is very good, and their Sunday roast is excellent!
It's quite busy on the Sunday, so I'd advise booking.
Service is ok, some are friendly, some are a little bit less, but still efficient.
A lovely pub in a quieter area of Angel. I've been a few times, the most recent being
for a quick drink on a Monday evening (no dry January for me!). I was expecting it to be pretty quiet at the beginning of the week, but actually its a really cool cosy pub with a great chilled atmosphere and declicious mulled cider...
Great place, great deco, great drinks (OMG, the Belgian beer selection, is rarely seen in London pubs !), great crowd, great pub !
And the hilarious comedy nights make it a place you wanna come back to ;)
It is a pretty "vintage" looking pub in a quite street off the hub bub of Islington. Serves lots of non- standard beer on draft (yay!).
I nearly tore my ear off when my earring got stuck in my scarf. That was the highlight of that pub visit.
But I'm sure it would make a perfectly acceptable local.
I feel a Cosmo-style quiz coming...
1. You are getting ready for a night out in a pub recommended by a friend. Do you decide to wear:
a. jeans and a t-shirt?
b. an evening dress?
c. a fat costume and a tiny top?
2. You're on your way to the pub. In an ideal world this place would be:
a. right next to the bus stop, bank and kebab shop
b. near a tube but tucked away
c. so elusive that you need your iPhone
3. You're about to get to the pub to meet your friend. You'd prefer it if:
a. they are the only one in there so you can have a quiet drink.
b. they have managed to bag a table near the bar so you can sample the atmos from a comfortable spot.
c. you can't even get in it's so jammed.
4. You fancy a drink. You like it when:
a. you can rock straight up and get your tipple
b. you get a chance to eye up totty while you wait
c. you have to wait half an hour
5. You catch the bartender's eye. You like their greeting to be:
a. 'Alright there? What can I get you?'
b. a nod of the head - no fuss, just business
c. 'We're doing our best you know! Stop complaining! We're busy!'
If you answered mostly 'c' to the above, you'll absolutely love it here.
If not, you're like me. Stay away.
WOW. Do the female bartenders here require a degree in sass and attitude? Seriously.
I would have been better off without the lip from the disgusting female barbacks here tonight -- telling me off about being impatient, then telling me the kitchen has closed OVER AN HOUR before the menu suggests.
Pick a different spot for your evening amusements. That is all.
The Island Queen is on a residential street one block up from Regent's Canal and also happens to be about a block from my house. It took me about four months to find it because I had no reason to walk up Noel Road until one day, when walking home from the doctor, a stranded motorist needed me to help me push her car, which I did...right past The Island Queen. It looked inviting and said it was a CAMRA pub so I filed it away as a place to visit when I wasn't alone and soaking wet.
During my first visit, I enjoyed their real ales while sitting on the small patio in front of the pub. (It's not really my thing, but if you're an American craving a Sierra Nevada on tap they have it here.) There are about three small tables outside, but on nice days people just start sitting on the sidewalk and in the street in order to soak up some sun along with their booze. The two men in the table next to us talked about the latest films they were thinking of making.
The sun was so bright on my second visit that I sat on the ground, my feet in the street, with a pitcher of Pimms. The patio was packed with bicycling hipsters and preps in khaki shorts and polo shirts. The clientele is a mixed bag, but it is an interesting one so people watching is an option if you are bored.
I didn't eat here, but I did look at the menu and noticed it mirrors that of The Garden Gate in Hampstead, where I like to grab a pint and a bite before heading into the Heath. They seem to be affiliated and The Garden Gate has above average pub food so if you're hungry, give it a go.
First visit to the island Queen last night and I was very impressed. It's a beautiful looking, warm and compact pub. The kind of place you want to step into for a cheeky one (or two) on a drizzly autumn night.
Reading the reviews here I was actually a little wary of what I was up for, but I need not have been - staff were great. It was busy (Tuesday is quiz night btw) and service was fine. Really good, even.
There was one small glitch where the bar was left completely unattended for a little bit but I only really noticed because I was keen to get to my dinner which had just been served.
Dinner was the ox cheek pie - it was decent. Get it if it's available.
Looking forward to a return visit and more than happy to have the Island Queen on my starting line-up of locals.
I've dropped in here a few times and I have always had a good experience, and tonight I really absorbed it and I have to say I dig this place.
It is not your typical pub--it has a bit of an edge to it. Cool chanedliers, high ceilings, deep red walls, lots of tables in the rooms in the back, and a nice pation in the front. Interesting mirrors and great decor--it is kind of retro and hip meets pub. Great beer selection is a plus and the music was great--subtle, but fabulous indie tunes. Was constantly Shazamming. thumbs up!
It's a shame the reviews and service appear to be so mixed!
I was fortunate enough to have polite bartenders serve me (maybe they've refreshed their grumpy stock...), and for Sunday Supper, though we were told there would be a wait of 40 minutes for food (we were a group of 6), it actually arrived in nearly half that.
Scrabble, Back Gammon, Penguin Classics, varied food menu, baked camembert with caramelised chutney! ...mirrored tiles, glass chandeliers, chunky wooden tables, vintage chairs, outdoor seating, extremely affordable wine list, good mix of beers on tap... and not too crowded, I thought the Island Queen deservedly gained 4 stars from me.
The pint of Timothy Taylor Landlord was terrible. And the barman failed to serve me a full pint. He glared at me as if to dare me to complain.
Fortunately a friend of mine was friends with the female bar tender. We went back to the bar and then I noticed that the pump clip on the Landlord had been turned round. I'd been given the very last pint in the barrel. Which explains why the ale tasted so unlike the Landlord I'd had elsewhere previously.
The barmaid offered to give me a new pint, of Black Sheep, but by then I really couldn't be bothered any more. Not with the barman looking like I just insulted his mother. And it was just a bit too crowded for my liking too - despite them serving two or three cask ales they seemed to be mostly lager drinkers.
There are plenty of other, better, pubs in the area so the management really ought to arrange some staff training. Or employ staff who actually want to do a good job.
I remember this pub from years back when I was a student (ie a long time ago). It was quirky and had slighty macabre giant old marionettes hanging from the ceiling and I think there was some red paint involved in the decor...It was quirky and good and just weird enough.
Things have moved on, of course. The marionettes have been done away with, maybe a victim of health and safety rules or gastrofication, or an attempt to attract a different clientele perhaps.
The pub is a bit plainer now but still a bit funky with the central semi circular bar and quite small inside and does food (others have reviewed). There's a room upstairs too since it gets crowded but the room wasn't an inviting pub space to hang out in.
Overall nice enough but didn't have anything special to want me to make it a regular of mine.
One of those pubs that should be protected, due to its marvelous interior. I won't presume to know much about it but I'm pretty sure the kind of glass partitions found here are supposed to be historical. Personally, as the weather was fairly mild, I preferred the décor of the pavement, as the bar is quite small.
I was disappointed to see 2 of the 3 ales on offer were off, but they redeemed themselves somewhat by having Kuppers Kolsch on, which I can't recall seeing before, outside of Köln. I reckon this is quite a decent pub, probably has to be as its location isn't suited to much passing trade (except perhaps from the school opposite).
It's a game of two halves pub landlordery...
And the owners / managers of the Island Queen have got it at least partly right. There are some lovely little touches in this recently converted old boozer in a quiet little road just off the hubub of Angel's Upper Street. Decor is lovely, a touch of the Farrow and Ball round the central bar in the middle of the building. Large windows, comfy sofas and boardgames to borrow.
The food is excellent. We last went on a Sunday and the large, well cooked roasts came quickly and vanished quicker. Pub staples, sausage and mash, homemade pies etc littered the lower echelons of the short but succinct menu. There's a decent wine list, a good range of lagers and a handful of handpulls including the great Timothy Tailors Landlord.
But, and there's a but... the staff don't make it easy to truly take the place to heart. I'm sure there's a simple lesson to be learnt in Bar Skills class - 'know who's next' - turning round to a crowded bar with a clueless, "who was next?" is only going to lead to problems among a bar three deep who have had to watch countless of your colleagues ignore them on the way to something more pressing.
Oh, and try to treat people like humans too and give them the benefit of the doubt. Sure, some of your customers will be ar*eholes, you work in a bar in Islington after all, but not all of them will be, so save the attitude until you know one way or another.
Sample exchange (with another customer)
"There's a wait on all food mate, 40 minutes, and you'll have to come back in a minute cos I'm not going to take food orders til they've caught up"
Customer "Um, ok, is that on everything, or would a hummus starter come quicker"
"That's food isn't it? So the wait's the same, what do you think?"
This place is delightful.
Gorgeously re-decorated with generous public spaces (read: not simply a tables-and-chairs pub), The Island Queen is a really lovely destination. It stands out as a relatively rare find in a neighbourhood that has gone from affordably up-and-coming to expensively up-and-came.
The menu is relatively broad and occasionally, modestly, adventurous (mushrooms AND beef on a burger!) and, most importantly, not unreasonably priced. The choice of real ales is attractive, also. I've found it a really good choice for evenings that start early and end up going late, as well as for evenings that start late and end comfortably early. You will hear no football chants; you will see no jostling; you will see no university students pounding back the pints. Surely all of these are selling points?
Access wise, it's situated on a posh side street away from Angel and just north of the canal, thus easy walking distance from many canal-side locales as well as being easily reached by those who rely on tube, bus and bicycle.
I have a big soft spot for the Island Queen and have passed many a happy evening here. Tucked down a side street, away from the main drag of Islington, it's one for those in the know.
It's a large old Victorian pub of generous proportions and high ceilings, with an impressive frontage and an elegant old-fashioned bar. Large Victorian mirrors decorate the walls and add a bit of bling to the dark wood of the bar and chunky furniture.
There's plenty of seating around an eclectic mix of large wooden tables and a few smaller wrought iron ones. There are a few picnic tables out the front for an al fresco drink in the summer. And there's even a small pool room tucked behind the bar.
I once had a leaving do here and completely forgot my presents and flowers when I left (I wonder why?!). But luckily they had kept them safe for me, and I was able to collect them the next day without any problem. Cheers to them!
Though I've really jumped right into a routine upon moving to London, there are some moments like stumbling upon Big Ben, riding on the top of a double-decker bus and others that make me stop in my tracks and think something like "wheeeeeeeeee! I live in London!!!!"
The first time I walked into the Island Queen was also one of those "wheeeee" moments. The interior is breathtaking, and looks just like I imagined British pubs to look...antique dark wood, comfy couches, really high ceilings and even a fireplace! The whole place screams "cosy" and it most definitely is.
As it's nearby my office, I've only ever come here at lunchtime but have not yet been disappointed with my meals. Though it's pretty standard pub fare, the chips are fresh and delicious and the sandwiches are a good value. With a variety of beverages and fantastic specials, this is one of my "go-to" places, especially when I know Upper Street will be too busy or if I'm too lazy to walk up there. I like that it's off the beaten path too - means that it's never been too crowded, which I like!
Situated in a quiet corner of Islington, this bar has a slightly trendy but traditional vibe. I enjoyed the laid back atmosphere of the upstairs area, which is accessed by a tiny narrow staircase, not great for carrying drinks if you are anything like as clumsy as me. Nice place, well worth getting off the Upper Street/Essex Road beaten track to check out.
Went on a sunday recently. It was busy but we managed to bag a few seats to the side of the bar. I ordered the chicken with chips no gravy. The food was a bit of wait and when it turned up it was a chicken roast dinner, so 50% right I suppose. As I was hungry went for it, the chicken was okay, but I couldn't work out whether the potatoes it came with were supposed to be roast but severely undercooked or just undercooked boiled. Either way most of them were rock hard and could have been used as an offensive weapon in a bar brawl if I had a spare sock. My plate was taken away without me even being asked if I had finished. One of the party had a pie and said it was more pastry than anything else. Not worth the price by any imagination or large amount of beer.
Service is a bit of a wreck. I dont think the barmaids mean to be snobs but when I was there on a recent quiz night, there was a really friendly gal who was great and the others seemed perturbed that they had to deal with people.
Regardless, bangers and mash were awesome. Beer was cold. Nachos looked phenomenal with house made crisps that were flaky and buttery looking. Reminds me of home (USA).
I will be returning. Hope to give it a five star when all of the barmaids get a little (actually, a lot) friendlier.
Stunning pub, fab place to while away many hours and bar staff are always very friendly. Food never quite hits the mark. Looks promising but thats about it. Mine was cold last night (not the first time) ;-( Moral of the story is guzzle away and play games and natter to your hearts content but don't go for the food unless you have had a few.
Cozy pub on a cozy back street. Nice places to sit and a warm atmousphere. My only gripes are with the staff service. They range from just slow to deeply uninterested. Oh well still my favorite overall pub I guess.
Nice! Very historic building and beautiful glasswork. Nice selection of beer - comfy place to talk.
Love the Island Queen. Stunning pub, fab beers, staff and amazingly beautiful venue. Only reason for not giving it a 5* is that the food is good but never quite hits the spot. I keep going back for more though ;-)
I'm so bummed to see the bad reviews! Luckily I've always had a great time at the Island Queen.
First time in was for a birthday party - we had a large group, for which they were very accommodating. We had pre-ordered food, which was all delicious.
The pub is surprisingly busy considering it's on such a quiet residential street, but it's never seemed too chaotic.
Love at first sight! High ceilings, old mirrors, wooden tables, perfect lighting (not too dark, not too bright), and music was just right, hate going to loud pubs where you have to shout to your friends if you want to have a conversation. Feels like the perfect pub to have a drink after a nice dinner in Angel, away from the crows in Upper street. Would not go there for food tho, menu didnt look very tempting
One of my favorite pubs in Islington, despite odd happenings there. Beware the pickpockets - two friends lost wallets during a birthday party - and often the ales seem to be strange or off - but somehow this place makes up for it with the atmosphere and the Fruli. Food is only decent, but it does the job when you've been there longer than expected and need something to eat.
I often say a pub is one of my favourites. Maybe I am too easily pleased, or maybe I just know the good one to go to. Well, in all honesty, I can safely say that the Island Queen is in my top 3 pubs in the whole of the country (the Sole Bay Inn in Southwold and the Fat Cat in Norwich are my other two). This pub has it all. Great beers, beautiful decor, nice staff, space to settle in, and decent enough food. It is the best in summer, when the light streams in through the enormous front windows and the crackle of summer joy is in the air. What a lovely place. Go go go go go (there)!
Ditto as mentioned by other reviewers...go elsewhere..Beautiful surroundings, sorry that I can't say the same for the staff...
I loved the interior and the atmosphere, it was a really fun place to come on a Saturday night and we found a table despite there being quite a few of us.
The food however leaves a lot to be desired. I had a risotto which was swimming in cream and pretty tasteless. The staff were mixed the barman who took our order was massively confused by us wanting to put different amounts on different credit cards. He ran away for about 15 mins in order to work it all out which seemed like a strange thing to do. The other staff seemed friendly though.
I would definitely come back for a drink, as it was less crowded then the bars on Upper Street, but I wouldn't eat here again.
Lovely interior, terrible food. On the plus side, ales are ok, if not cheap. Do not come here for food.
I have been a long term patron of The Island Queen and have often recommended it to people looking for a good pub in Islington. However, the treatment I received at the hands of its present manager, Antonia Orpen, whose customer care skills are beyond appalling and more in the realms of a horrific car crash, simply have to be given as a warning to anyone thinking of using the place. I have never, ever been treated so disgracefully as I have been by this woman, and if the problems others have reported vis a vis bad service are to be believed, then it is little surprise given the atrocious attitude of the person in charge. If I was the owner of this pub I would be horrified to find out that someone as awful at dealing with customers was supposedly the representative of my business.
The other day I rang the pub on behalf of my girlfriend to find out if she had left her black scarf in the pub and if it had been found. Ms Orpen reported that it had been but managed to hang up the phone before I had a chance to tell her my name, when the scarf would be retrieved and the name of the person collecting it. I had to ring back, and when I pointed out that she had hung up the phone before I had had the chance to pass on the information, she proceed to scream denials and blue murder down the phone at me. The following day my girlfriend took an hour out to go and retrieve her scarf, but on arrival it had bizarrely gone missing and no such item was to be found. However, when I called the pub back to find out what the story was, there was actually a scarf, but it had turned pink overnight. Ms Orpen proceeded once more to shout down the phone at me and hang up again. I phoned a final time to try and give her a chance to sort this situation out but once again I was shouted at, abused and hung up on.
Such epically bad behaviour would usually see an employee fired, but to see it from a manager beggars belief. Such individuals do a disservice to the good pubs we have and eventually will start deservedly impacting on business. Antonia Orpen should think long and hard about her chosen career as she simply is not suited to working with people. Similarly, pub owners Mitchells and Butlers would do well do dispose of her questionable and limited talents before they cost a good pub not just money but also its reputation.
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