The Barnsbury

209-211 Liverpool Road
Islington, London
N1 1LX
Tel: 020 7607 5519 Highbury & Islington 0.5 miles

© The Barnsbury

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The Barnsbury reviews



The Barnsbury has been under new management, with a new chef, since July 2013, and is now a little gem of a place. It has a friendly and discerningly cosy atmosphere, and has been beautifully renovated and rejuvenated. This freehouse has a wide selection of wines and beers and a good and reasonably priced pub menu. Family friendly and dog friendly! We had a very tasty meal in cosy surroundings, and would strongly recommend this pub to all real pub lovers.

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 by jacquibarnett1, 18 Dec 2013
I was horrified to go there for Sunday lunch and find that not only were the staff very rude and ill-mannered, the food was not cooked well (chicken was practically raw, as was the lamb that I had been looking forward to). We left there very disappointed. They didn't want to know when I complained. I shall not be eating there again!

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 by aubrey.brookes, 06 Feb 2012
I hadn't been to The Barnsbury for some time and, having heard it had undergone refurbishment and was under new management, thought I’d go and check it out with friends. I was pleasantly surprised.

We went on a Wednesday night, which happened to be their £2 a pint of ale night, so I shared a couple of the flavoured ones with a friend - they are dangerously delicious! We stayed to eat and I had the pig cheeks (something I'd never eaten before and which were absolutely to die for) and my friend had the lamb, which was equally as tasty. Good quality food beautifully presented.

The staff were friendly and attentive too. All in all, a great place for a drink and food at reasonable prices in a nice friendly atmosphere. Will definitely be going back, especially as I'd like to try the Sunday roast. Somewhere I wouldn't hesitate recommending.

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 by AnnaBB, 15 Oct 2010
When The Barnsbury first opened I really, really liked it. I even went so far as to write a glowing review, which was printed in a national newspaper.

However, I ate Sunday lunch there recently, my first visit for over a year, and I was less than impressed. First of all, despite there being quite a few 'nice' empty tables, we were shoved into a corner next to the loo. Foie gras and ham hock terrine was really tasty, but icy, fridge cold: schoolboy error. The scallops with ceps were OK. Scallops were nicely cooked, but there was a burnt undertone in the sauce. Lamb was nice but duck confit was grim: fatty, not crispy, skin dry and not much flavour. There is a good wine selection and a couple of suprisingly good bottles of Californian Zinfandel helped wash down a disappointing meal.

Given that Sunday lunch for two cost something well north of £100, it really needs to be better. Come on guys, get it back to how it used to be!

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 by StuH (39 reviews), 07 Mar 2009
Had a surprisingly wonderful meal at the Barnsbury last night. Meltingly tender rib eye beef steak, perfect fat chips and excellent herb crusted lamb. Each of our mains came with a side dish as well, which I thought was a nice touch. Banana and toffee pudding was way too heavy though, like eating cooked rubber.

The fact that all the tables had 'Reserved' signs on them and were empty up until 8.30pm probably contributed to the fact that it was pretty quiet for a Saturday night. The pub needs to be more welcoming to drinkers.

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 by yvonne1, 05 Nov 2006
We've just had our Valentine's Day dinner at The Barnsbury and patted ourselves on the back for making an inspired choice of venue. It felt very relaxed and great to have the full menu choice instead of a set price, Valentine's Day menu. Food was excellent and a notch up from when we first ate there a couple of years ago. Fantastic bakewell tart and French apple pie for pudding. Lovely presentation and very fine for a gastropub.

I agree that the service could be a little bit warmer, but that's the tricky bit about being a gastropub. Trying to combine top-notch food in a pub setting where people would like restaurant service but the staff are caught in between pub culture and restaurant culture. The food, though, is really good.

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 by Loan, 14 Feb 2006
Excellent food, great beer and wine list.

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 by ICOT (8 reviews), 22 Jan 2006
Was impressed with this place on previous visits, but impressive newspaper reviews have clearly gone to their head. Rude staff who don't like people popping in for a drink alone and start to treat you as a second-class citizen if you do. If it wants to be just a restaurant they should rip out the bar and be done with it. A very disappointing development for what used to be a place I would recommend.

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 by Gavin, 24 Oct 2005
I have never been treated with such contempt and rudeness. The staff and owners should be congratulated on being so incredibly successful that they don't need my custom, or that of my 15 friends that they asked to leave on Saturday night. They were happy to take our money all evening, and then told us that there were too many of us and we had to leave and made it clear that we would not be welcomed back. We are not a rowdy bunch of people, nor were we drunk - in fact many of us don't drink.

If the Barnsbury can't cope with groups then they should advertise that fact, or better still make it a members club. They say they are a restaurant, but the main feature is the large bar in the centre of the room and menus are not prominent. The sign outside the place states that it is a freehouse... Keep the management happy and avoid this place at all costs.

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 by Mrs Mace, 24 Oct 2005
A terrible pub. Rude staff, overpriced drinks, slow service, tiny helpings and average food. I will never eat there again.

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 by Maceface, 23 Oct 2005
Lovely staff, quiet location, high standards with reasonable prices and excellent food.

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 by faye, 18 Sep 2005
We like this place. We have consistently had great food here and it is always pleasantly relaxed for an area where Upper Street and some of the other main thoroughfares can seem like Torremolinos on a bad night. Go and enjoy!

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 by Ricky, 22 Jun 2004


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