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Duchess of Kent, Barnsbury

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user reviews of the Duchess of Kent, Barnsbury

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Seemed to be more of a gastropub than a proper alehouse. But this pub is close to Highbury & Islington station and handy for the Emirates Stadium. It was busy yesterday lunchtime with matchgoers. 3 ales were on - London Gold, Cornish Coaster & Ghost Ship. I wouldn't rule this pub out whenever I'm here for the football.
blue_scrumpy - 9 Dec 2013 22:12
Have now visited for the third time with a variety of friends on all three visits as I didn't want to post a negative review without others' opinions. When the barman has to apologise for serving you a cold £3 sausage roll with the words, "Don't shoot the messenger" you can tell which way this is going. My pint was on the turn and to forbid drinkers from sitting at empty unreserved dining tables (which constitute 2/3rds of the pub) is unforgiveable. Zero enjoyable experiences from three attempts; I'm just glad my pubcollecting friend has now visited this 'disappointment' so we won't have to return for a fourth time.
filf - 8 Jan 2012 23:35
Ale (Redmeption IPA) was spot on but it's too much of a gastro/hooray/knobhead kind of place to warrant staying for more than a pint.
anonymous - 27 May 2011 23:07
Sorry that this is going to be more of a restaurant review, but we booked a big table to celebrate my daughter's 18th at the weekend & the staff couldn't have been more attentive & helpful. Managed a few rounds via the bar as well so can confirm that that aspect seems to be working too. I agree that you do need to go that bit further from the main roads on matchdays though.
bizarreloverectangle - 25 Jan 2010 23:04
This place has the makings of a great boozer, it’s just a shame that it feels more like a restaurant with the bar area being much smaller than the dining section. The barmen were extremely friendly and GHA Pale, Cornish Coaster and Broadside were available alongside Old Rosie, a selection of premium lagers and Carlsberg.

There is a TV and I spotted a sign outside advertising the Ashes, so they must have Sky Sports.

I’m not one to eat in pubs very often, but it did smell good and I did like the pub so I may return with the wife.
Strongers - 24 Aug 2009 01:15
This place is a bit weird - the food is odd (what is going on with those scotch eggs?) and the atmosphere seems to be rather down. That said, the beer is at least well-kept.
bitter_n_twisted - 2 Oct 2008 23:19
The Duchess runs a good weekly quiz because of which I and some friends eat there more or less each week. The joint opinion is that the food is first class but the menu changes rarely. The beer is first class. Arsenal home games make most of Islington not the place to be. This is not a reflection on football or its followers but on overcrowded bars and overstrained transport systems. Mind you they do tend to be lager only drinkers.
tim19thompson - 25 Sep 2008 11:11
I had arranged to meet MrsB here prior to a match at the Emirates without actually doing any research or knowing much about it so it was a bit of a gamble. I was initially a bit wary once I realized I had managed to pick a Gastropub where two thirds of the pub were designated for diners but I was lucky in bagging one of the few tables in the drinking area. The décor is fairly plain and furnishings are of a laid back, loungey nature with lots of stripped back wood and trendy modern pictures. The beers were fairly expensive but of decent quality (Adnams / Pride / Doom Bar) although to be fair they charged nothing for my wife’s Soda and Lime. I would have been tempted to try something from the BBQ out the front had it not been puring with rain. I can’t say it is the sort of place I would have picked by choice for a meet up but for what it was, it was a pleasant enough hour or so with the babble of conversation fortunately drowning out much of the challenging style of music. It certainly won’t appeal to everyone but it was friendly enough, not too packed, had decent beers and ticked the boxes for what we needed at the time, That said, I doubt I would feel the need to rush back.
RogerB - 23 Sep 2008 15:48
I visited this pub for the first time on a matchday and despite some of the comments posted found the service efficient and friendly. We were served promptly at the bar and when we sat down to eat in the restaurant. The beers we tried (Adnams Broadside and Sharps Cornish Ale) were both excellent. Just one negative comment: my sausage and mash was very salty!
DoctorSpin - 31 Aug 2008 15:33
Good News first:
On the plus side the beer seems to be well looked after, it is in a great location (for me) and the decor is very nice.

Downside: What seems to be letting it down is the:
a) Menu - it never hasn't changed for a long time, there is a specials board however
b) the specials board, call it timing call it karma, i always seem to miss out on the "nice" item on the specials board
c) the service - very hit and miss depending on the mood of the waitresses. They tend to be a little on the dour side.
d) the quality of the food - as it is quite expensive i don't always get what i feel i paid for
e) on sending back a steak, how hard is it to cook a rare steak? The result of then waiting 15 minutes for it not to come back and deciding to cancel the order?

This pub should really be a top destination for a nice dinner, however it seems to be resting on its laurels and not living up to expectations (or standards)


RealAleMale - 27 May 2008 12:25
Had a nice pint of Sharp's Doom Bar last night which was in excellent condition. Pub has a nice feel to it

GGG - 30 Jan 2008 17:34
This place has certainly freshened up since the last time I was here. Clean, bright & a massive heated umbrella for smokers out front.

Understand Arsenal home games make this the place to be, with a BBQ outside to avoid crushes for food.

Fullers & Sharps on tap. Good condition too.

Worth a punt if you feel like getting off Upper Street. Even worth a punt if your not.
werner_von_braun - 1 Nov 2007 19:13
Kmcs didn't choose to visit when Arsenal were at home did he? This place does a nice pint of Taylors, but the Aussie bar staff can be a bit slow.


hobo73 - 24 Dec 2006 17:44
LOL at kmcs. I liked it for a quiet evening, but you won't find me playing connect 4. Didn't have to wait to be served either.
f90x - 23 Dec 2006 13:14
You know those nights when you get in from work and all you wanna do, is queue at a bar in a ponced up pub, for half an hour or so, and then settle down to a nice game of connect 4 amongst a group of braying plebs. No, me neither.

kmcs - 31 Oct 2006 11:19
Yeah, nice. Didn't eat their so can't comment but geat corner plot, nice interior, easy going place (I don't even remember if there was music playing so if there was it was at the correct volume) nice staff and not too busy on the friday night that I was there and I can walk it in 15 minutes. Great.
f90x - 1 Oct 2006 12:03
Excellent choice of beers, nice food... but a bit on the expensive side.
Very nice interior - almost too smart to be categorised as a pub. Offers a big windowed light bit by the bar and warm lounge area for drinking in less clement weather...
Remarkably well heated bathrooms.
Only down sides are the slightly musty smell (probably from all the olives on offer), and the influx of people in the evening who've reserved half the tables.
MISG - 13 Mar 2006 14:34
A lovely pub, classy but not pretentious, friendly and chilled. A great place to just relax and unwind especially on Sunday afternoons. Staff are friendly and professional, the décor is stylish but not over the top. The food is also very good quality. Highly recommend this pub.
intermelocal - 5 Oct 2005 17:31
wicked! don't know why I am trying to tell people as more will want to go, but this place rocks. Jo Smith is the type of person who will love it! For sure!
Randy_Campbell - 6 Jun 2005 13:30
Great local. Outdoor seating provided & a large non-smoking dining area & use of games.
Never gets too busy & the food is great.
Will be Jo Smith's new favorite.
bron1allen - 6 Jun 2005 13:19

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