NFT London Angel (East) / City Rd (North)

Angel (East) / City Rd (North)

If you're bored of the bars on Upper Street or the ironic chic of Hoxton, the streets in between (along Essex Road or by the canal) are a better bet, with a more laidback atmosphere. The Island Queen (NFT London's official birthplace!) is a cosy local pub and well worth a visit. One day they'll just have to give us one of those blue plaques.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Aditi Mene
Photo:  Aditi Mene

William IV
This is a local favourite, being off the main road and thus avoiding the annoying city-types that tend to congregate nearby. It has quality food, with a daily changing menu (always a good sign in a pub), nice brunch at the weekends, lovely whitewashed olde worlde furniture, along with some strange stuffed birds and animals in glass boxes to gawk at. The place also hosts different quiz/themes each night, but it's so laid back, you can ignore what's going on if you want to and just relax.

Posted By:  Aditi Mene
Photo:  Aditi Mene

The Eagle
It's pretty fun to know that you're drinking in the same pub that's been mentioned in a nursery rhyme (albeit in the obscure second verse- "Up and down the City Road/ In and out The Eagle/ That's the way the money goes/ Pop goes the weasel"), as well as being one of the old drinking holes of the Krays' dad...Other than that, it's a fairly standard boozer, with not too many bells and whistles. The food used to be poor, but they appear to have got a new chef and menu in, so that's a plus point. The pub quiz every Sunday night is pretty fun too. The only real downside is how crowded it tends to get on sunny evenings, particularly in its beer garden around the side.

Posted By:  Aditi Mene
Photo:  Aditi Mene

The Shepherdess
The windows of this place are a particular treat, with the painted on green and yellow curtains. The interior decor is brilliant too, green and yellow plastic heaven, and totally authentic. I'd recommend ordering a full on English breakfast, there's no point being on any sort of diet in this place, which will fill you up until evening. Also worth checking out are the photos behind the till--a veritable who's who of stars who have come to visit and had a fry up there. It seems to range from the sublime to the ridiculous: ex-Hear'say members all the way through to Judi Dench...

Posted By:  Jenny Wight
Photo:  Jenny Wight

The Charles Lamb
On an early autumn afternoon, there is almost nothing nicer than sitting in a warm beam of sunshine--winter is coming, guys, lets make the most of it. If this sitting can be accomplished with a glass of something cool and alcoholic in one hand, and a dish of something salty and calorific in the other, all the better. The two benches on the narrow pavement outside The Charles Lamb are almost perfect for this beam/booze/bites combo. It is one of those great places, near a tube, but sufficiently hidden in a tangle of residential streets to confuse and disorientate the stag/hen brigade that stampede around the Angel on any given Saturday. Inside is just as nice with great gastro-style grub and Mascha the dog.

Posted By:  John Parton
Photo:  John Parton

Past Caring
Lesson one for anyone unfamiliar with the dubious delights of second-hand jumble/ junk/retro rummaging: look for the taxidermy. Stuffed animals are undoubtedly the indicator species of such establishments. The line between musty, stinking bad junk and musty, stinking good junk is drawn by these dead-but-still-with-us animals; a good junk shop will have at least a mounted hunting trophy up for grabs, a bad one will have none. Past Caring knows the draw of taxidermy and usually has loads, alongside a wealth of other great tat. Nestling on Essex Road, the shop is a bonanza of vintage clothes, strange furniture, tasteless glass, old electronics and other tempting flotsam with which to marvel your friends. If you can't find what you "need," befriend the staff, who should then let you in on when new stuff is due. This is handy to know as the best bits and bobs from a recently deceased local Gran will be snapped up very quickly by the shop's loyal magpie following. Now that these tips have been imparted, you have no excuse not to shun the ennui of Ikea in favour of some good honest junk with which to adorn that trendy little flat.

Posted By:  Michael Kasparis
Photo:  Michael Kasparis

Haggle Vinyl
By far the easiest way to shake off that annoying girlfriend of yours is to make her wait in Haggle for an hour. Picture that sweet face dropping as she steps foot into this Aladdin Sane's (ouch) cave of crap, feel the tears of frustration drip as you scratch around under the racks looking for that psychedelic Private Press you know the (actually rather amiable) Haggle staff have missed. Just ten more minutes honey, please! Right. Now that she's out of your life for good, you can get on with losing your dignity and getting dirtier than you've ever gotten before. A staunchly filthy mess of overpriced shite and underpriced gold (get on your knees!), I'll leave it to you to guess the ratio of merde to merit. For extra bamboozlement (and if you can rouse him from his den of sleep on top of some old records in the back) try speaking to the owner.

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