Apparently there are over 7,000 pubs in London.
'Wow, that’s a lot of pubs!' I hear you exclaim. Yes, it is, but if you're a Londoner or someone who has spent any time at all in our great city, you will be well aware that Londoners do love a good public house. London pubs come in many guises, including ‘old man’s pub’, ‘gastro-pub’ and ‘packed new hip place in Shoreditch with Bingo on a Wednesday, pale ale and achingly trendy people in sweatshirts’.
Personally, I find it hard to slot The Canonbury into any kind of category other than ‘a good one’. It's part-gastro, a-little-bit-posh and very stylish indeed. Situated a stone’s throw away from the highly desirable Canonbury Square in Islington and tucked secretly away from the wonderful buzz of Upper Street, it offers a well stocked bar and restaurant in relaxed and elegant surroundings that remain in keeping with the village-like, leafy area it nestles in.
It is also a discreet piece of London literary history. A regular haunt of George Orwell, the Canonbury was one of the pubs the author amalgamated for his classic 1946 essay The Moon Under the Water (reference: London's Top Five Pub Gardens, Robin Turner, the Guardian, 27 July 2012)
I have frequented The Canonbury on New Year’s Day for a glass (or five) of celebratory fizz with friends, for a three-course lunch with family young and old on a bustling Saturday afternoon and for a pint (or five) while watching the rugby. This is partly why I return – on any occasion the tasteful decor, friendly staff and delicious food never disappoint. If the weather is behaving, the roomy garden with distinctive brown wicker seats is a great place to while away an afternoon in the sunshine. This is London of course, so admittedly it is inside where I have spent most of my time sampling cider in the cosy warmth.
A perfect Saturday afternoon in my eyes starts with a leisurely stroll around Canonbury taking in the grand homes and New River Walk. Then slip into The Canonbury for a pint and some cracking food. Stay awhile to experience some real ale or a good bottle of vino, and then, contentedly leave with a happy heart and a full belly… and go in search for more fun on Upper Street.
Your night has only just begun.