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Twelve Pins, Finsbury Park

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user reviews of the Twelve Pins, Finsbury Park

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

Best bar staff in London by a long long way. How they manage to keep the bar going on busy match days is a spectacle in itself. Guinness is £3.80 which is a fair price in Islington, lagers £4 I think.

Given its brilliant location, I often head there for Arsenal matches, though it's a bit of a bollocks getting your pint in a plastic cup even if you're not going outside. Friendly crowd too, when you consider how busy the place is.
el_bozboz - 30 Mar 2015 13:19
Enjoyed my trip here for a birthday party. Nice, traditional London pub that hasn't been messed up in a make-over (although friends said the bitter wasn't great).
mozzzzzz - 25 May 2014 23:27
Spurs fan here also. Nothing wrong with this place even with the cannon above the door. Prices reasonable, bar staff efficient, beers well kept. Not the place I'd choose for a socialising session, but very good for live football and meeting people before heading elsewhere.

As said, no ale. But 1) that doesn't bother me as there are plenty of decent places serving the English juice in the area, and 2) it's an Irish pub so what do you expect.
R3NW5 - 19 May 2014 15:48
Good pub, very efficient staff, always buzzing for Arsenal games and a top drawer kebab house next door. If you debarred SG you would get 10.
southlondonarsenal - 15 Nov 2011 20:02
Great Pub serving the best Guiness in London food is good and reasonably priced..It must be good for a Spurs supporter to be drinking in Arsenal pub .
camspur - 8 Apr 2011 10:37
im sorry if i offended anyone, it just makes me mad when someone can dismiss one of my fav pubs in the world just because they dont serve cask ale. lager lout ? i drink Guinness myself, but when i first started drinking in pubs i used to drink Smithwicks irish ale. i like the odd Newcastle brown or a bottle of Youngs , but i cannot find anything nice to say about cask ales.

im more annoyed about the typical cask ale DRINKER than the product itself.
they take perverse pleasure in torturing the poor bar staff,forever asking for top ups, loudly complaining about the ale, talking down to my staff as if they were idiots. its very hard to get a decent pint of stout in london but i just take my trade elsewhere if i dont like the product, not harrasing the staff as if they are the servents in my country manor be-jay-sus ...
thehogson - 13 Jan 2011 01:45
What a tirade young hogson, you being a guest in this country as well i might add. Real ale is more popular than you think, even amongst people of your own age, still your comments are typical of a lager drinking lout with no sense of taste.

I am led to believe that back in the Emerald Isle some of your ilk are discovering the delights of cask ale, be JESUS!

nokegthanks - 12 Jan 2011 18:41
to 'The_Pub_Inspector': look pal, no-one wants to drink real ale. its flat, warm, tastes gone off and is only drank by muggy english c*nts like u. it was quite popular back in the dark ages but beer brewing techniques have MODERNISED in the last 400 years or so. Guinness used to come in wooden barrels, tasted flat and was served warm, but they moved with the times and mixed it with nitrogen, served cold, metal kegs , etc.

I manage a pub where we are forced to serve horse piss, im mean 'fine ye olde english ale'. its only drank by tourists who dont know any better & mouldy knob heads over 40 years old, who swirl the slop around in the glass,pretend they are sampleing vintage champaine, declaring if it is "malty" or "hoppy" with a hint of "burnt chocolate notes".

only for CAMRA it would have died out in the 1970's, its only drank by twats who want to swan around with their pint mugs, showing off that they drink 'real' ale. these people are the hardest to please and spend the least amount of money, each glass of ale lasting at least an hour before they buy another.

so dont bother not being a regular visitor, just f*ck off and never come back.
thehogson - 12 Jan 2011 17:12
the best in finsbury park , but still well below par. no real ale so wont be a regular visitor.
The_Pub_Inspector - 3 Jul 2009 20:13
This is a large pub that is ideal for watching the football on Sky Sports and Setanta whilst drinking standard lagers. The barman seemed quite miserable, but it was late Saturday night after an Arsenal home game so I will cut him a bit of slack.

I often travel through Finsbury Park on the tube and train and this was the first time I had alighted to have a couple of pints. I have to admit to not being very impressed with the pubs or the area and I think that I will stay on the train in future.
Strongers - 7 Apr 2009 08:50
Probably the best bar staff in the world!! I have been in here on a Champions League night, five deep at the bar and been served with a minute or two. A haven in heartless world (Finsbury Park that is!!)
dalglish - 25 Nov 2008 15:29

The Twelve Pins is a great pub - the way pubs used to be. Full of a diverse range of characters propping up the bar.

The staff are great. I always get served within about 5 seconds even when its quite busy. I go to some of the pubs in Stoke Newington and Hackney where you wait 10 minutes while some amateur ponces about behind the bar not doing much of anything. Go to the Pins and see how a proper bar person should be.

The food is good and cheap. Not keen when its Arsenal day but then I'm not an Arsenal fan.
annilhus - 4 Oct 2008 11:27
Amazing staff, must have been circus folk in a previous life because they actually juggle beer on match days...... food is 10/10...... staff 15/10.. shame its in such a shitty area.
fussywhore - 20 May 2008 14:16
Don't know why I like the Pins so much - it has no handpulls, probably due to the fact that these take up time that would interfere with the conveyor-belt skills of its barstaff (they really are incredibly efficient). However, I do; not sure whether it's the lager, the Guiness, the cheap food, the free Irish papers on Sunday or the fact that I've broken so many journeys with a bagel from across the road and a couple of beers here, but I think it great. An outpost of Ireland amidst the grot of Finsbury Park.
pablos13 - 21 Jan 2008 22:43
very busy on matchdays but the staff have a great technique of pre pouring so service is very quick in a conveyor belt style.good for stopping off before cheering on the gooners
letmein - 31 Dec 2007 12:51
Good, well run pub especially early evening with the workers coming home crowd. Guinness is great and the bar staff are very efficient. I have never eaten there but the food does look very good.
zoomy - 25 Oct 2007 11:54
outstanding pub: cheap, high quality food, decent pints of the black stuff, low prices, friendly bar staff. best place to watch sports, it can have 3 different games on the screens at the one time
thehogson - 8 Oct 2007 17:28
a great pub.. very efficient fast bar staff when you consider the size of the place..
SuperSharpShooter - 11 Aug 2007 14:00
I love this place. No real ponces and the food is great too. They do really good chips (So much better than the cafe across the road that served me burnt chips and 'cod'. Never go there again)
Good place to go and relax.
Donegal - 7 Aug 2007 16:33
Not a bad pub, right next to Finsbury Park station. Has gotten some bad press in the past, but I've never seen any evidence that it's a bad place.
Greshon - 20 Feb 2007 18:46
Best place outside of Emirates Stadium to watch an Arsenal game, and the only pub I've ever been to where chants are sung even for an ordinary leage game. MASSIVE projection screen in the main room, and an overflow room with a slightly smaller screen
Atmosphere - 10/10
PauloGooner - 2 Jan 2007 18:27
This is a superb place to have a drink with friends either at the start of the evening or for a night in a pub. The staff are very welcoming and if you want to watch an Arsenal game the atmosphere is fantastic. I have enjoyed many great days in the pins. I went to see Limp Bizkit play in finsbury park a couple of years ago and thought it was crap so i headed off to the 12 pins and had a great night in there.
clarkie10 - 15 Nov 2006 09:53
Lovely big dinners. Proper Irish portions - yum yum!
anonymous - 5 Nov 2006 13:49
This place does a great pint of guinness and bar staff are great. seems to be a pub for men though and irish men at that. But great service. i recommend it
anonymous - 3 Nov 2006 14:29
Tpo quality - phenominal levels of service, the bar staff seem to juggle about 12 orders at a time and don't make a single mistake.

Shame the Arsenal have moved to Ashburton Grove now, it's an even longer walk to get a pint in, and toilets on Highbury Fields are very few and far between!
ye73812 - 23 Oct 2006 22:10
Is this as good as I remember it being? I had a brilliant time there one evening three years ago...great Guinness, good in house band, super it still like that? Was it ever? Oh, what the hell, 8 for the memory.
patrickjsm - 6 Sep 2006 04:56
A haven in a sea of effluent that is F Park. Go for the footie, Arsenal or Celtic, either will do and enjoy the experience of a lifetime but watch out for the occasional scallywag who thinks that violence is a lifestyle choice. Good pub, good pints and good staff.
Mr_Local - 2 Aug 2006 16:06
If you can handle the ridiculously high levels of testosterone this place is great to watch Arsenal games. Unless you're not an Arsenal fan, in which case you'll probably be stabbed.
shindigger - 14 Jul 2006 17:01
Why bother going to Ireland when all of the Irish are enjoying a pint at the Twelve Pins?

More of a facility than a pub but it's well run, despite its cavernous size.
mrfalafel - 26 Feb 2006 19:46
Thought food was good here but have to say they have competition as I have found even better. Nice pub for a few drinks with mates, can get a bit chilly when the air conditioning is on though
tullster - 17 Jan 2006 16:10
corcaigh - 15 Jan 2006 13:18
My favourite pub anywhere. Started going there for the footie, now quite happy to go there even if just passing through the area.

Best bar staff I've encountered, always very, very quick even when rammed with footie supporters.

Good value quality food as well.

I've had some bloody good times over the years in this pub.
PMH273 - 12 Jan 2006 14:06
Comfortable, friendly, not overpriced and completely unpretentious - it's a boozer (a proper Irish one with good Guinness and cheap food), nothing more or less.
pablos13 - 19 Nov 2005 12:27
Great for watching the football, always packed, great service. Prices are reasonable, thank god the place hasn't become like an All Bar One. Massive Irish contigency, friendly boozer.
cider_murray - 20 Jul 2005 21:12
gbella - 12 Jun 2005 13:43
good pub for the football
drumandmonkeyfan - 24 Feb 2005 10:12
Shame they spoiled it by turning a real Irish pub in to a fake Irish pub, as before everything was just fine.

Great food, good beer and usually no waiting to get servered cos the staff are so efficient.

Watch your bags - thieving gits operate in this pub.
stupid_geordie - 11 Feb 2005 13:46
Have you seen the size of those meals? They would feed a horse! Its all so nicely presented too. As for the drink - you never have to wait long to get served. The staff is lovely and efficient.
notabeerdrinker - 31 Jan 2005 20:34
Great staff, the best in any pub I've ever encountered. Never have to wait very long for service. Great porter. Linda's wonderful, Maeve lovely.
bigmansmember - 31 Jan 2005 12:02
Been my local for 8 years - yeah, some dodgy characters (occasionally), but good beer, plenty of friendly folk, excellent sports coverage, and by far the best bar staff I have ever met - sociable and efficient. No reason to go over the road to the Blackstock (much dodgier, & ruder staff too!!)
Jamesarg - 6 Jan 2005 15:21
Definatley, the best pub in Finsbury Pk!!

Also i have to comment on how well run it is - good on ya Linda and the girls!!

Excellent service and a friendly crowd (when Arsenal aint playing) or loosing should i say ha ha

yeh defo worth a fri nite and a sunday roast :-)
McMorrow - 20 Dec 2004 16:14
I find it quite Fun, but some dodgy characters.
Pinkchicken85 - 7 Dec 2004 00:52
Probably the best pub in the world. It does what it says on the sign. I've been drinking here for over ten years and have never had a bad experience. Given it's in a doggy area, it's a welcome oasis from the trash outside
Claude - 5 Sep 2004 14:01
this is by far one of the funniest pubs in north london. you go with a friend and by the end of teh evening you have made friends with so many people! geat craic altogether! great atmosphere for irish soccer games!
Joolz - 16 Jun 2004 12:34
It's rough and contains some pretty enebriated dodgy characters. Be careful in there - my missus had her bag stolen from next to her.
Having said that, it's pretty lively at a weekend, with some funny two-piece musical acts, so it's still worth trying, but just be warned
anonymous - 19 May 2004 22:29
I'm amazed that this place has had such good reviews. I must have caught it on a bad day. Three times. I thought it was bleak, cold and utterly unloveable with a nasty atmosphere and everywhere, the stench of broken dreams. Not a fan of this at all.
Slipperduke - 11 Feb 2004 15:30
Excellent Pub and my local can't recommend it highly enuff. The Guiness is amongst thebest outsdieIreland that I have had(and I drinka lot of it!!!) Music is excellent and evne on reallybusymatchdays you getserved well quickly. Atmosphere when Cletic or Ireland playing is brilliant. Irene and the Barstaff and the regualrs are exceptionally friendly . You may arrive with nobody to talk to you wont stay that way for long
Sean - 6 Feb 2004 19:22
Very quiet during the week except before Arsenal home games, but good lunchtime nosh. Friday and Saturday evening has predominately Irish 2 or 3 piece bands, always excellent and do an UK/US/Oz and Irish mix. Volume isn't too loud either.
The staff are the most efficient ANYWHERE and the customers are fun-loving and friendly. Licensed to 1am Fri / Sat, but they give you good time to drink up. BTW, This pub doesn't do lock-ins at all. :-( Only caveat... The local crack-heads try to sneak in to all the Finsbury Park pubs to steal handbags.
It's my regular weekend haunt and I can't recommend it enough! Stella £2.60 a pint.
Basil - - 30 Jan 2004 21:01
not being funny, if you want to meet nice people.this is the best pub in london.i love it and im looking forward to coming back in july 04. see you then guys paul (australia)
coogeepaul - 7 Dec 2003 00:09
I think that you are doing this pub a disservice - it is a bit dark, but fantastic for Sunday, Monday football/big screen events. Definitely Irish - good Guinness, but watch out if you go to watch international football - and remember to wear green.
james - 14 Oct 2003 17:21
Took me a while to find this pub, probably because I was pissed, how many exits does Finsbury Park Station have for heavenís sake. Large, loud, dark, popular, unimaginative fayre. Probably one of the better pubs in the area but donít make a special trip.
Millay - 22 Sep 2003 22:56
Handy as a toilet stop on the way home - they say "customers only, these toilets are locked", but they're lying. Have only actually drunk in there once, can't remember what it was like.
Pauly - 22 Sep 2003 16:43
during this years heatwave this pub had THE best aircon and blacked out the windows for the match - pure heaven. will go in again next summer! Unless I hear its got more friendly
amy - 3 Sep 2003 16:32
Cheapest pint in FP. At least of the pubs I'm actually willing to go in. Staff can do 4 things at once and must have invisible extra limbs to get everything done. Food hit and miss but a good sandwich at lunchtime
Laura - 20 Jun 2003 16:15
Packed on match-day as you can imagine but the bar staff cope excellently. Harder working bar staff you won't find and you won't wait long to be served even when the place is mobbed. Only grouse is that there is only one bitter to four lagers.
johnkn7 - 24 Jan 2003 08:29

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