london pubs

Are there any bad pubs in Highgate?


In addition to the Flask (which we love) there are plenty of other pubs in Highate, north London, to make a crawl worthwhile.

On our visit, the Prince of Wales was serving Butcombe Bitter, Bateman’s Jester IPA, Woodforde’s Wherry and Adnam’s Old Ale. We had the first and last, both being in great condition. The Old Ale (4.1%) was, perhaps unsurprisingly, like a darker version of Broadside, and very nice with it. The pub was a cosy place with knackered furniture, low light and cricket bats on the walls. You wouldn’t think it was on a square full of millionaires — it felt like a real local.

Just down the road is the Angel Inn, a much trendier pub. As at Zero Degrees in Bristol, the tone was set by a cheerful barman who, before we got down to business, asked: “How are you, guys?”. Very civilised. They were selling Adnam’s attempt at a Koelsch and, conveniently, an example of the real thing (Kueppers) for comparison. The Adnam’s was very tasty although not really like a koelsch — we thought it would need to be colder and fizzier to fool anyone — but then it is an ale inspired by koelsch, rather than an attempt to clone it. It tasted, we though, very similar to their East Green. As koelsch tends to be when served away from its home city, the Kueppers was pretty bland and sweet, although there were some chalky, sherbety flavours to be enjoyed, and it came in a nice branded koelsch glass.

We went to three pubs in Highgate, two of them chosen at random, and liked them all.

7 replies on “Are there any bad pubs in Highgate?”

We had Adnams Old on last week. It’s much better this year than previously, I think.

PS. Again, our interpretations of trendy vary – the Angel Inn is about as middle of the road as you can get – it’s another of those M&B Castle Estate pubs, and as such aims to please everyone.

Trendy’s a relative term; there are trendier pubs, but a lot of people would find the Angel quite posh. You won’t find duck legs and Belgian beer in most pubs in London, for starters.

I suppose so. I just don’t visit rough pubs (life’s too short) so I suppose my perspective is skewed.

You didn’t go to The Gatehouse, then?!

The Highgate Inn on Archway Road isn’t bad – Black Sheep is usually on there.

The Gatehouse is one of the best ‘Spoons pubs I’ve been too. A pal of mine was in a production of Don Giovanni in the theatre upstairs.

Pikey pub chain meets high culture – bizarre.

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