Matthew Fort's review of The House (The Guardian)
The House reviews
First and most definitely not the last time I visit! I got stuck in traffic on the Cannonbury Road recently and saw this place, we went with friends the next night. Best meal I've had in a long time! I had smoked mackerel starter, and homemade gnocchi main. Amazing. Attentive service. A must go.
by djoe, 15 Apr 2011
Ate there a few years ago and it was average. Ate there last week and what a transformation! The food was exciting and really tasty (a sign that the ingredients are freshly sourced), the presentation was vibrant and looked appetising, service was good. Going back for my birthday in 3 weeks.
by kev23, 06 Apr 2011
I used to love this place.. what has happened to it? I went for dinner with my friends on Friday night and I must say I was very disappointed. I have always loved The House signature dish shepherds pie and it was nothing close to the one I have always had. I couldn't even finish it. The service was not good at all, the girl serving us had no idea of the wines in the menu, nor the service. I used to go to The House at least one in every two weeks for a long period of time but I must admit I wont be going back to there any time in the nearest future, this place used to have such a great stuff, great atmosphere and great food, what happened?
by helen11 (3 reviews
), 27 Mar 2011
Very disappointed to have to post this but living relatively close to The House for 4 years now, this gastropub has been a firm favourite with my husband and I. Lunch, dinner or weekend brunch, we have been to House for very special occasions in our lives as well as intermittent treats.
We ventured back for brunch this morning to find that our lovely gastropub has decided to compromise food quality and service, while maintaining its high prices, effectively destroying the very reason to eat here.
Brunch used to be farmers' market-sourced produce. The venue busy but not intrusively so. The vibe idyllic for reading the papers, eating good food and enjoying the ambiance, leaving sated and complimenting the establishment.
Today we were the sole customers. Our order was not carefully taken, resulting in problems on serving (I simply asked for my beans to be served in a side pot so our daughter could eat them with some toast). When on serving my breakfast I reminded them of my request, they dutifully took it away and brought it back amended. By now my toast was cold, as was the scrambled egg.
But let's talk about the toast... Does anyone go to a gastropub for a £9 full English expecting white packet bread to be served? I don't object to Sunblest or the like if in a high-street cafe, but please - at £9 a pop I expect higher quality.
Fluffy scrambled eggs of old, occasionally sprinkled with chives or a sprig of parsley, were just bog standard. Worse though, my husband's sunny side up were more overcast and rubbery. The bacon was fine, the sausage not the quality previously enjoyed. A grilled tomato/mushroom slice or teaspoon of black pudding can't rescue a breakfast - and nor did they today.
Asking for some tomato or brown sauce to give it all some flavour, we were promptly supplied with plastic unlabelled bottles of each. Again: high-street cafe = fine, gastropub = cheap and unfitting.
It feels like the lower quality produce may be to preserve profits as clientele declines, but I fear our beloved House is now on a slippery slope to becoming sub-average. I just hope they turn this around before decay sets - if, judging by empty tables today, it's not too late already.
by helen2, 15 Jan 2011
The fish stank... of what, fish?! I have to say I love The House, always have, and the times I have gone in recently the food is even better than before. I think the food is great quality for the price you pay. I have nothing bad to say. Maybe Julius 123 should try See Fish on Upper Street - you could have fish and chips
for 4 for less than £130; however, I'm afraid the fish may still smell like fish.
by Harry.Scott, 19 May 2010
The fish stank, the chips were terrible. We paid £130 for four with just one bottle of cheap wine, no coffees or desserts.
by julius123, 07 May 2010
The House is FANTASTIC. Trust me, do not listen to some of the ridiculous reviews below. I have eaten there dozens of times at all times of the week and eaten many of their different dishes. The House has consistently raised its standard over the years and it now serves simply fantastic food. It could easily sell itself on being a restaurant as opposed to a gastro pub. The staff are extremely friendly and the chefs are always willing to adapt their dishes to suit your needs. It is simply awesome.
by jamesbarker, 18 Feb 2010
I think some of the reviews of The House are a little unfair. I've eaten and drunk here many times and never had a problem with the service. It has always been quite good. Granted, the food can sometimes be hit and miss. But by that, I mean it is often good and sometimes average. I've never had a bad meal.
To the person who complained at being sat next to 'Islingtonites' - it is in the middle of Islington, so to be expected. To the person who said it is the middle of a council estate - no it isn't.
All in all, it is a good place for a weekend lunch. Yes, it is on the expensive side. Show me somewhere in Islington that isn't.
by StuH "top london reviewer"
), 24 Apr 2009
I ate at The House last week, having not been there for a while, and I have to say it was absolutely delicious! Seabass served with Jerusalem artichoke puree and little pan-fried gnocchi to die for. A friend had squid to start, which was melt in the mouth superb. To finish, a special: blueberry pie - heavenly! Service was attentive, friendly yet discreet. Only one tiny complaint: it was a little cold... but then it was in a week when London had had the most snow for 18 years!
by Bexsina, 07 Feb 2009
I've been three times now and won't be back. I really want to like it but it's just not very good - please don't waste your money. Food is average bordering poor and very overpriced. Service is not great.
by Stevie boy (2 reviews
), 06 Jan 2009
Echoing what everyone has said below - overpriced, decidedly average fare. I have been a few times now, each time thinking I'd give it another go, as I would really like this very handy place to be good... But lunch today, at a table wedged next to a pillar, with a miniature serving of cold food which I had to send back and staff who barely interacted with us, means that this is the last chance I give this place.
In addition, what is the deal with not giving you a side plate for your bread - I don't eat off the table in my own house, so why would I do it in a restaurant?
by gastro, 17 Feb 2008
Overpriced. This pub thinks it's a restaurant but does not have the food to back it up. Crazy prices for very average food, kind but unknowledgeable staff. Either settle for good pub food and reduce the price, or you need to seriously improve the food and service. Such a let down.
by tromeu (2 reviews
), 05 Dec 2007
Very pleasant service upon arrival, food came shortly after ordered, our waitress was very attentive and the food tasted fantastic - compliments to the chef. We will definitely return.
by stephanie cope, 04 Nov 2007
Visited this pub with high expectations - how wrong I was. Not exactly sure what the place is trying to do or be but the food was average (definitely not worth the price), service appalling, and the manager on duty flapped and stressed the staff as well as my partner and I. So many better places for the price. Stay away.
by chrisevans, 23 May 2007
It started off well, but has become expensive and nothing special. There is much better fare to be had at the likes of Ottolenghi
and other restaurants on Upper Street, a few minutes' walk away.
by jacanon (3 reviews
), 08 Feb 2007
Disappointing, disappointing, disappointing... Hopeless, snotty service from a bunch of French girls with a cultivated superior and surly manner. Even witnessed an argument between a chef and waitress which they made no attempt to disguise or keep quiet. Crammed tables, hot, smelly and smokey from the open-plan kitchen. Extremely expensive for decidedly average fayre. Grossly overpriced wine list. Stuck in the middle of a council estate.
How did Time Out's reviewer get this SO WRONG?! Don't go.
by IslingtonFoodie, 07 Feb 2007
I booked a table for two, only to be sandwiched between the kitchen door and a table full of overfed, middle class Islingtonites. The service was middle-of-the-road, and the food was even worse (e.g. 'Crab Hash Cakes' - by my understanding the plural usually signifies more than 1, but all I had was one measly pathetic little hash cake that was lukewarm).
For the cost of the meal, I could have gone to a 'proper' restaurant like The Wolseley
, where they know how to cook and the staff know how to service their patrons.
by Ottawa, 10 Apr 2006
This is not a gastropub, it's a restaurant! The food can be good, but so it should be at those prices. Very middle-class and very middle-aged.
by Anonymous, 09 Feb 2006
This place is very popular with a lot of us Canonbury natives, and is becoming a bit of a hidden legend although it's only been around a few years. It's basically a very upmarket gastropub (about £30-£40 a head). Everything's to a very high standard, particularly the actual quality of the food and ingredients, which are exceptional. The fireplace and leather sofas make it a good place for a casual drink in the evenings as well.
by foolio (2 reviews
), 21 Jan 2006
One of my favorites in London. Never have been disappointed with my food or the service. The key here is to make a reservation, as it is quite popular.
by flynnchick, 25 Aug 2005
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Photograph © The House