beer and food london

Tasty treats at the Charles Lamb


The Charles Lamb in Islington is one of our favourites because you can get beautifully-kept pints of Dark Star Hophead and Butcombe Bitter.  (As regular readers will know, Bailey is partial to a pint of foaming Butcombe. Hur hur.)

We were delighted to find that they also have the legendary Jaipur on at the moment.  Do I need to rave about how lovely this beer is?  It stood up very well the American ‘extreme’ beers I was drinking on Friday, not just in terms of hoppiness, but its wonderful viscous body.

The Charles Lamb has also recently replaced Amstel with Meantime Helles (great idea) and are now featuring “limited edition” specials from said London brewery.  This month’s offering was the Elderflower Maibock, which was rather odd.  We wanted to like it, but it was a little too sweet, and tasted a bit like a rubbish dunkles from a north German brewpub.

For more about the Charles Lamb, see their website.  As well as full meals, they do a great range of bar snacks, like potted prawns and toast.


Photo from Andyrob at Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons. Thanks, Andy!

13 replies on “Tasty treats at the Charles Lamb”

i agree. Jaipur was actually more interesting than allot of IPA’s I have had in the states, an intreguing beer.

At 5.9%, though, it was just the right strength to tempt some of the people we were with into drinking pints, which they later regretted…

In the not too distant future we’ll be doing the Meantime special brews on tap too. Sorry to hear you don’t think the current one is up to much. I had the Smoked Bock they did last year and the Belgian ale they did recently and liked those though, so I’m hopeful we’ll get some interesting stuff.

PS. Like the Charles Lamb a lot too. Lovely pub. The only beef I have with them is how much they charge for their Scotch eggs and pork pies! I used to sell the same ones so know exactly how big a mark-up they were applying – and it was pretty massive!

Don’t forget about Mascha, the pub dog. I find dogs in the pub are one of the more charming aspects of British pubs. It’s rare that you find that here in the States.

A nice place when it’s not too crammed – and as Jeff says, the snacks are exorbitantly priced.

We tried the maibock a few weeks ago in Rochester (the Man of Kent which has 3 Meantime beers on tap) and like you, we found it rather wanting in all departments. A nice idea perhaps…

I’d say that beers like, say, Timothy Taylor Landlord or Dark Star Hophead beat the Americans at their own game, because it offers much more flavour with only about half the alcohol content. Jaipur’s great but it’s still too strong for session drinking and therefore has a very limited market, here or anywhere else (including the US).

fully agree RE; what’s sessionable, and what’s not. for me, too many great american beers are too much to be sessionable, and therein lies thier downfall…

Thanks for the piece on the Charles Lamb. I’d never been there before and a friend and I had a nice couple of pints of Hophead there the other night. Dark Star beers are always worth going out of the way for.

The Jaipur had unfortunately disappeared by then or was it just off – I don’t know. Shame as I was looking forward to that too.

We both ate and the food was good too – but yes, not the cheapest establishment.

Dark Star and Crouch Vale are two breweries whose products I am always pleased to see on sale. London landlords: ditch the Deuchars and Bombardier and get ’em in!

[…] located on a small backstreet and is quite a tiny pub inside. It reminded Jon and I of the Charles Lamb near Angel tube station in London – a larger room with small areas […]

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