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Shakespeare's Head, Islington

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user reviews of the Shakespeare's Head, Islington

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

Very nice place, staff and locals all very friendly. I go there for a lunchtime pint and always enjoy my visit.
GavinMcClean - 19 Jan 2018 12:29
Great pub.Was in here yesterday for the first time.From the outside ,it looks the type of pub that you would walk past and go somewhere else.Couldn't be more different on the inside.Cracking friendly pub that seems to have a decent amount of locals.Typical old school Clerkenwell.Courage best was top drawer as well
tottenhamsean - 29 Jun 2015 10:25
Very friendly staff, very reasonably priced. Not the best for ales, but great lager selection and pricing. Nice outdoor space out the back.
max89 - 4 Aug 2013 16:15
If an ale is too bad, I take it back, but the Courage Best passes the grade here (just).

I'm surprised at the lack of comment about this one, having just seen a comment from me dating back two years.
Planner_21 - 31 Aug 2012 16:46
This pub's real ale is consistently and unspeakably bad. (Abbot and Courage Best). How the landlord can keep serving up acetified, oxidised, stale, and over-warm beers which are routinely rejected by discerning drinkers is amazing.

If you're at Sadlers Wells and need a pint, go to the Harlequin just a few metres further down the street.
Tony_L - 30 Jul 2012 11:15
Always been a great pub. Staff are always friendly, managment always go above and beyond to please. Allround good Pub. Very clean.

ploughmans - 22 Aug 2011 18:38
Always like it here - good crowd, good service, great trad decor, fat pub cat.
Two Courage ales on, which suffice in lieu of lager but to be fair you dont come here for the beer.
Planner_21 - 2 Sep 2010 17:41
Friendly staff and local, great food, understand the 70's comments, but thats part of the charm. A bit off the beaten track, behind Sadlers Wells theatre, but well worth visiting.
liamhamilton - 17 Jan 2010 20:13
What a great pub - friendly efficient service and a great atmosphere. It's a shame I don't live nearer as I would love to have this as my local as it attracts such a great mix of people from Locals, business people and theatre goers. A real treasure
sloop - 28 Oct 2009 17:10
I fully agree with the previous reviewers - definetly in a 70s time warp! Decor, the bar and the music on the juke box all fitted in. Even had a cold cabinet complete with stuff for making sandwiches. Whilst I didn't eat, the menu looked fine and reasonably priced. Staff efficient and friendly. The Courage Best was terrible - maybe because we seemed to be the only ones drinking real ale. 9/10 for the pub but 1/10 for the beer.
cheshirecat - 13 Oct 2009 10:07
Maybe I should have stated earlier that it could be an "Ashes to Ashes" theme pub, but, they just haven't bothered to tell anyone!
BEEFY71 - 14 Aug 2009 12:21
This place definitely has the feel of a pub trapped in a 1970s timewharp. As a previous reviewer states, Courage Best and Directors are the only real ales available. Seemed to be popular with couples and locals. It would also be really convenient for Sadlers Wells theatre, with an alarm sounding before performances. Service was friendly and on request they were happy to turn up the juke box. I found the interior a bit too dull for my liking. But it's got a certain character and charm and I hope places like this continue to survive.
blue_scrumpy - 12 Jul 2009 11:59
Fine traditional pub hidden in a quiet side street close to Sadlers Wells.

It looks a bit uninspiring from the outside, but don't let that put you off

As other reviewers have correctly pointed out, its got a bit of a time warp feel to it - probably mid 70's , when I first started pubbing.

Note the framed photos of theatre and TV celebrities - John Inman, Patsy Palmer and the like.

This is the type of pub that the marketing gurus of the big Pub Co's would have us believe that no one goes in any more - well, guess what, chaps - you're wrong.

On my visit early last evening, there was a good mix of customers of both sexes and all ages, not just those going to the theatre.

This is not a pub for the real ale / CAMRA fraternity - only Courage Best and Directors on the pump - but, if you're in to good old fashioned friendly, traditional pubs, make the effort to seek this one out.( nearest Tube - Angel )


JohnBonser - 19 Feb 2009 10:58
What a great pub - I agree with Beefy 71 about the time warp part but it's great. I wish I lived nearer as I would make it my local. The staff are friendly and go out of their way to make you feel welcome. They had all the drinks that the party that I was with required (no mean feat as some of the drinks were a little obscure). I will certainly visit each time I go to Islington.
port - 18 Aug 2008 18:09
Got to agree with the previous poster about the friendly atmosphere in here. It is like being in a bit of a time warp, but, in a good way!
BEEFY71 - 24 Apr 2008 14:27
A very friendly place where you are made to feel like one of the family even on your first visit. A good mix of locals and visitors and exceptional service make this the ideal place to come when visiting Islington. The drinks are good too :-)
anonymous - 30 Jun 2007 10:38
What can I say about the Shakespeare's Head - Well lots.
It's a great little pub with lots of atmosphere.
A friend of mine always says that its as relaxing as sitting in your own front room, but you can star spot as there is usually some famous face or another who either live in the area or have popped in from the nearby Saddlers Wells.
Jason and his staff always great you with a freindly smile and go out of their way to provide you with what you want.
If you are in the area you must pop in for one of Michael's toasted Ham & Cheese sandwiches which are the best in the world.
If your visiting the nearby Saddlers Wells why not go along and order your interval drinks here and check out this little gem.
Akkers - 18 Apr 2007 08:16
I went in here last night and thought it was a lovely little place. As the last reviewer said, its very 1960s (stone cladding round the bar).

From the outside it looks like a nasty estate pub - the net curtains don't help. But inside its sedate and friendly.

Only real ale is Courage, lots of samey lagers on tap but a few interesting bottles.
anonymous - 18 Feb 2006 12:13
Old--as in 60s old, not ye olde old--but completely an utterly devoid of pretension.
Michael Stillwell - 17 Sep 2005 16:36

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