I was invited along the other night to review recently spruced up pub, The North Pole. A couple of days later, I’m still feeling rather smug for excepting the invite. Now under new management, this New North Road establishment is the sort of place any self respecting beer drinkers would be proud to call their local. And if the whole burgers, BBQ, meat mania sweeping London at the moment is to your liking, then The North Pole will be too.
Beer. The place specialises in craft beer, real ale and ciders with 22 on draught and 30 by the bottle, all from independent suppliers. Beers on offer suggest a line up that’s as international in scope as, well you know, that big sporting event that’s on at the moment just a bit east of this Islington watering hole. To be honest, the selection almost overwhelmed my girlfriend and me. But I reckon that’s a good thing, and super affable manager, Ray, accommodated Kemey and me with samples of a variety drafts to help in our selection.
I went with a crisp on tap pilsner from new Cornish brewery, Harbour. I really liked it and it totally suited my summer sipping tastes. Kemey tried a Moosehead (upon my suggestion). She approved.
Kegs include Innis and Gunn Original from Edinburgh; Harbour Brewing from Cornwall; Belgian Bacchus Framboise; Schneider Aventinus (Germany); and American slurper, Flying Dog Doggy Style Pale Ale made Stateside.
Bottles include Goose Island Madame Rose and Pepe Nero (USA); Cave Creek Chillibeer (Mexico); Brouwerij De Troch Exotic (Belgium); Moosehead (Canada); Coopers Ale (Austria); Nøgne ø Saison (Norway); and Brewdog Dogma from the UK.
Food. I devoured a massive whole rack of BBQ ribs with coleslaw and (especially yummy) potato salad. I thought it was very good value at £12. K had the haddock with chips, mushy pies and tartare sauce (£10) – definitely up to pub grub standards; she remarked on how tasty the sauce was. Burgers served to the table next to ours looked enviably juicy.
Vibe. Laid back but attentive and friendly service … Great cross section of locals out for a night: a young couple on a date; a solo dining dude dropping in for an afterwork burger on his way home; a family with small children; some blokes out for a few drinks … The North Poles came across as a perfect spot to keep in mind for either a quick pint or a more formal meal (yes, they do Sunday roasts). There’s a beer garden – and a games room too. During my and Kemey’s visit, its was all about the Olympics on the big screen tellies. Fun. But, it would have been easy enough to escape the screens by sitting outside, in the dining room or elsewhere in this huge but nonetheless cosy pub.
I could go on, but I think you get the delicious gist.
The North Pole is located at 188-190 New North Road, N1 7BJ (very close to the stroll-worthy Regent’s Canal). Find out more at thenorthpolepub.co.uk.