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Charles Lamb, Angel, Islington

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user reviews of the Charles Lamb, Angel, Islington

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

Traditional corner pub in very nice residential area just down from the mayhem of angel, towards the Regents Canal.

Central bar, surrounded by high bar stools. Traditional furniture setup discreetly for dining.

Beer was an below average XT 4 from XT brewing.
Mappiman - 14 Nov 2018 16:53
Rammed on a Friday at 7pm. Started to clear a bit by 8 and managed to get a table.
Good place to go, with good beers and atmosphere.
rpf1955 - 15 Dec 2016 15:37
Excellent little pub, worth the walk from the mayhem of Upper Street Islington. Good range of beers in good condition.
Aztecgoat - 4 Dec 2016 09:59
Light and airy corner pub which feels more like a proper local than some of the other trendy bars in the area.

The staff were friendly and getting served was not tricky, although having said that the place was not too busy on my last visit.

There was an excellent choice of ales on offer (discount for CAMRA members) including Dark Star Hophead, Windsor Knot, Chelsea Blonde and Kent Pale Ale.
I had the first two which were very drinkable.

Probably my favourite pub in the Islington area.


outtamehead - 31 Dec 2015 00:13
Well worth a visit. 4 Real ales and a real cider on the bar. One ale ran out and was quickly replaced with something else straight away. Plenty of food being served and appreciated by many. Camra discount of 10% to card carrying members. Windsor and Eaton Windsor Knot £3.15 and Shamblemoose Smoked Porter £3.15, both with discount.
rpf1955 - 19 Mar 2014 17:17
Amazing pub, tables will always be wobbly but I'll take that for a decent pint. Nice looking bar staff. Used to be an epically fit girl working in there who sometimes wore glasses but I think she's left now. Worth a visit just to see her and hear her ridiculous upper class accent saying "hope-head." Food can be a bit annoying with its choice of sides (carrot rape?) but you can't go wrong with cheese and wine - and they have really good spanish reds. Overall an assult to all the senses but better when the fit girl is working.
Johnnythunders - 19 Dec 2013 16:53
nice convivial pub just off Angel. Quiet side street good beer. Yowsa
bedfont - 1 Jun 2013 14:30
Great pub. Excellent beers. Was very busy on a Friday early evening -- only complaint was it took a while to get served with yuppie wine drinkers not observing pub queue etiquette. Well worth taking the detour off Upper Street.
charlie_m - 1 Jun 2013 12:59
South London brewery Clarence & Fredericks, Dark Star, Windsor & Eaton and one other - beer kept pretty well. good pub
Booze_Allen - 1 Jun 2013 11:50
Come on. Easily the best pub in the area. Great beers, good wines, properly delicious food prepared by someone who really knows what they're doing. Lovely interior. Friendly staff. And a buzzy, friendly atmosphere to boot
merganser - 10 Apr 2013 15:51
Rather lovely, small pub that was deservedly heaving on a midweek, mid-eve night. Good beers, friendly service. Buzzing freehouse.
curioushistory - 23 Jan 2013 20:37
Tidy neighbourhood pub with quality food and decent local beers - East India Pa from Kent was really quaffable. I like this place - it's far friendlier than most other Islington boozers.
pkrp - 20 Jul 2012 23:28
Quiet inside, busy outside with plenty of drinking sat on the seats and perched on the pavement in the sunshine when I visited yesterday evening.
Intrigued by the Kernel selection but stuck to Alton FFF which was one of four ales on tap and 3.10 a pint with CAMRA discount (30p off, I think). That was in decent nick.
Only a couple of minutes from Angel, but off the beaten track enough that I can't imagine it would get as manic as some of the other pubs in the area.

duchyjim - 25 May 2012 11:54
Great spot for a pint, particularly if you're after something a bit out of the ordinary. Good selection of bottles too - especially like the range from Kernel brewery.

Not eaten there but the food I've seen come out of the kitchen looks pretty decent.
alex_w - 8 Feb 2012 14:55
lovely pub and a great final stop if you want to walk the regents canal from the thames end or do a an islington pub crawl as starting point - a bit pricey for food tho it does look good and generally good choices beer wise from all over the UK.
Keifd - 27 Oct 2011 17:32
Called in here mid-afternoon so consequently very quiet. Although the pub name is often mentioned by various people I drink with I hadn't realised that the last time I was here was when it was still the Prince Albert [pleased to see the pub clock still has this name on it]. Beers sampled were fine, no Mascha evident. Will make a point of returning one evening when the imaginative but expensive menu is in full swing.
TiaMariaJim - 27 Jul 2011 08:21
Attractive bright & airy pub with 4 interesting ales on tap - Dark Star Ruby Mild, Hop Head, 'Camden' (not sure of that one) & Triple fff Alton's Pride. Worth more visits.
Booze_Allen - 7 Jul 2011 10:38
Visited this pub with friends on Friday 24th June 2011. Backstreet corner pub with two rooms. One room is mainly occupied by diners and has mirrors and old maps on the walls, while the other is much more "pubby" and has plenty of woodpanelling.

Four ales on - Fridays range included Otley Columb-O, Dark Star Hophead and two others from micros/small regionals. There is no music at the Charles Lamb, but lively conversation, and friendly staff.

The tarpaulins on the outside of the pub provided useful shelter for smokers while it was raining. Food was very good. All in all, a pleasant pub, reasonably priced for the area, with well-kept beer and one I will revisit.
lad_newton - 25 Jun 2011 20:11
Ok, so it's a little pretentious, but it ticks a lot of boxes for me, the room with all the maps is great. I was here for the beer however, had 2 different real ales and the quality was just superb, it's in the Good Beer Guide and deservely so, I think it was also a finalist for the North London CAMRA pub of the year. Will certainly return if I'm in the area
Abteilung - 12 Jun 2011 15:24
Nice enough pub with decent ales on. Although not busy the bar was hogged by folk munching ciabatta and linguini and an IT geek with two laptops (all of which were occupying barspace in a pub with a dozen empty tables). Was overlooked while waiting to be served in favour of some constituents of a 'Blair Babe' type entourage. Was then charged 5.10 for a pint of Redmeption Trinity (2 deposit on the glass as there was a festival on - could only see three of 4 handpumps on myself , the Redemption Trinity, their pale and Windsor Black IPA). The beer was good but it was all a bit too new labour for me.
Snarling_Mallard - 27 May 2011 22:45
Yes, I used to love this pub, good choice of ale (Hophead, usually plus 2 others) but recently seems to have turned into a kindergarten for Islington's little-uns, although they are usually well-behaved. Last few times I have been there on a Saturday were shut-outs for private parties or un-announced closures.
Have given this one up for weekend drinking.

ThLoneBoozer - 14 May 2011 23:21
Fine pub with good selection of beer and good atmosphere.
Floyd - 20 Mar 2011 19:31
The landlord here is really tring to provide some of the best beers around. Unfortunately the beer is not always at its best due to lack of tunover. I've often been the only person in here drinking beer whilst the locals are strickly lager/wine/pimms. That said, it's a pleasant enough place and should be supported by any discerning ale drinker.
ericthered - 18 Feb 2011 15:09
Decent friendly pub with good choice of beers. Well worth a visit.
PieFace - 13 Feb 2011 09:38
Nice place but could be so much better. This pub attracts Islington's Champagne Socialists, which explains the lack of atmosphere but plenty of posh totty. Beer was good but were serving summer ales in winter.
nobbythesheep - 9 Jan 2011 22:32
Good little pub this. Very crowded yesterday but great to see a pub doing well and I think there was a leaving do on as well. Excellent choice of beers- I enjoyed Old Slug Porter- and mulled cider on offer too. Worth leaving Upper Street for.
pipsby - 15 Nov 2010 14:25
Came in here for a couple of pints on Friday night. Dark Star Hophead, Triple fff Alton's Pride and O' Hanlons Port Stout. First two are regulars established after talking to the enthusiastic barman. He asked us if we were CAMRA members and that got us a 40p discount down to 2.50 a pint, although even 2.90 would be cheap around here. A few interesting bottles in the fridge and real cider on the bar. Beer quality was superb. Recommended.
GuideDogSaint - 19 Sep 2010 11:37
@ hb25

You realise Londonboy's comment was posted 4 years ago??! He may well have been wrong back then but I wouldn't waste your time referring to it 4 years later chap.

A pub is only as good as its most recent reviews (caveats apply obviously)
Dylarolla - 19 Aug 2010 16:52
I think I need to clear a few things up. First of all, as you can see I'm not anonymous and I haven't been asked by owners or staff to post super positive comments to combat the negative reviews. I am a regular and I think the Charles Lamb really is one of the best pubs in London and definitely should have won CAMRA North London pub of the year. The bar staff are incredibly friendly and make a real effort to get to know their customers. To all the miserable gits who complain about the bar staff having fun together and chatting to regulars, if you really would prefer to go to a pub with ever changing agency staff then I'm sure there is a Yates wine lodge near by to meet your requirements. For anyone thinking of trying out the Charles Lamb, I have been going about 4-5 times a week for 2 years and I have never seen any member of staff acting rudely to customers. They have an excellent selection of beer, cider, and wine to suit every taste. The ales are incredibly well kept. I have NEVER had a bad pint in the Lamb. Londonboy's comment about McDonalds is plain pathetic. The food is excellent, especially the sausage rolls. Overall: great drink, great food, friendly atmosphere, friendly, intelligent, interesting bar staff. A winning combination 10/10
hb25 - 15 Aug 2010 13:06
We had a very enjoyable afternoon here - everything was excellent apart from my Petanque! Bravo and Allez France
dorsetknob - 18 Jul 2010 13:23
I find this place overrated. It feels more like a pokey bed and breakfast than a pub. The limited menu was better than average but the service was less so. A good pub for an alfresco pint but that's about it
Sofia1980 - 26 Mar 2010 13:59
One of our favourite pubs in London. The beer is always in great condition, the Staff always friendly and it's always relaxing. We have never eaten there yet, but it looks good. We have made this a regular on our London pub trips and rightly so.
imdownthepub - 22 Mar 2010 17:52
No issues either - we'd been to Sadler's Wells and fancied a pint in a pub that wasn't full of Islington knuckleheads or Barnsbury toffs, so we avoided the main drag (and what a drag it is too) and headed down City Road for this back-street boozer. Good choice. Dark Star was good without being outstanding but the Porter was jaw-droppingly tasty. Pork scratchings and a chocolate labrador made for a genial evening overall. Worth remembering.
pkrp - 17 Mar 2010 23:01
Very good pub. Three on pump, including Dark Star and Butcombe. Airy interior which maintains some semblance of separate rooms. It does, as previous reviewers have noted, border on full gastronomic dedication. Almost everyone has to sit facing inwards. Food is expensive. Staff were friendly and offered me a sample of each beer. Not sure about this cctv issue. I'd be interested in knowing where these cameras are. Does Chuck Berry run this pub?
BitterShurn - 4 Feb 2010 15:59
I love this pub! It does fab food and the staff are not disinterested (as said below) but chatty and friendly. Do wish you could book a table for lunch but I guess in a way it's a good thing as stops the pub turning into one of those joyless quasi gastro-table service-smug-north-London-hell-holes! Very cosy atmosphere and lovely doggy ( Mascha) who is a real socialite with the customers! Love you Charles lamb!
tdm - 30 Jan 2010 13:08
I like this place immensely. I don't know why I've never thought to say something here about it. Great beer, nice food, friendly staff and a dog. What more could I ask for? Apart from a little more room and a hat stand that doesn't fall on me all the time. God bless the Charles Lamb.
disgruntledoftufnelpark - 20 Jan 2010 14:02
Decent kept ales at 2.80, or 2.50 with a Camra card makes this worth a visit. I was down with the WRAS boys, slightly disappointed that the hophead was gone, but we didn't encounter any of the problems with bar staff that have been talked about here. Friendly lads, I thought.
While the cask ale is well-priced, I was struggling to figure out why the Meantime off the tap in particular was 4.50 a pint, and the other prices I noted were out of my range too.
Of course, it's a bourgeois gastro affair, so I feel well out of place, and I wouldn't drink here unless I was with friends.
The main concern, though, is the fact that the interior of the pub is monitored by CCTV. What kind of pub distrusts its clientele that much and values its clientele's privacy so low??

In a way I really want to be stopping in for a 2.50 pint of Hophead, and there's not much wrong with the place apart from the fact you want to machine-gun half the punters, but I'm not sure I should abide the constant surveillance.
Dimple_mug - 8 Dec 2009 00:27
Completely spoiled by a rude, arrogant and disinterested barman. I took my dad here for a beer last night as he was visiting London and I wanted to take him to a nice pub. I had been once before and liked the place - it's cosy and serves decent ale which is well kept (Butcombe and Dark Star). We sat in the side room, with access to the bar. Having been served a first round by a very pleasant barmaid I made the mistake of ordering the next round from a barman who was more interested in talking to his mate drinking at the bar than in providing customer service. He didn't bother to tell me when my drinks were ready (given my dad drinks Guinness I had returned to our table to talk to him while his drink was settling) and then refused to bring my drinks to the section of the bar where I was standing, forcing me to come round to pick them up from the other room. A shockingly petty thing to do. When I complained he was incredibly rude. I have genuinely never had worse service in any pub I have been to. Incredibly disappointing and, actually, I was pretty furious when I left. I will certainly not be going back, particularly given that The Island Queen and Duke of Cambridge, two of Islington's nicest pubs, are round the corner and staff there have NEVER treated me with such disrespect.
guinnessandpotatoes - 17 Nov 2009 14:40
Excellent boozer with high quality ale, friendly knowledgable staff and a fair smattering of attractive totty. A winning combination. Butcombe bitter and Dark Star Hophead both excellent and Dark Star Oktoberfest at 5.2% on as a guest. Didn't eat but the menu looked interesting and food appeared good.
Thuck_Phat - 30 Oct 2009 11:28
Quite a small pub ,well used with a friendly ,lively atmosphere.The ale quality was very high with regular Butcombe Bitter and Dark Star Hophead on top form and an unusual Octoberfest ale also from Dark Star as a guest.Also a very interesting selection of spirits.The clientele is mainly New Labour and no one was drinking the Thatcher's cider !
Food is popular and several notches up from pub grub and there are tapas dishes available around 3 to complement the drinks.Beer prices very reasonable around 2.80 a pint,this is the best pub in Islington by a long chalk IMHO.Thoroughly recommended with very knowledgeable staff,a quality drinking establishment.
Bucking_Fastard - 23 Oct 2009 13:40
Paid my first visit to this pub in it's present incarnation last week and was pleasantly surprised to find a very good pub indeed. Three ales on tap - Dark Star Hophead, Butcombe Bitter and Cottage Whippet Jack Boxer. The pints of Hophead were excellent and reasonably priced (2.80).
The pastel green/cream decor of the interior gives the place more of a European cafe-bar vibe than a pub but that's a minor quibble.
I shall be returning here very soon.
holbornboy - 4 Oct 2009 17:43
The attractive exterior still has the brown half tiled facade, plenty of planted tubs, and cafe style outside seating occupied by youngish well-heeled locals. Inside to the main room with a large inner corner bar with a carved bar back and feature clock. The lower area of the bar is painted light green, as is the wall panelling. The walls are cream above and the ceiling white; the overall impression hints slightly at a continental cafe/brasserie but does not detract. A side room was taken over with diners. Food is a priority here it seems but not to the exclusion of drinkers. The menu includes such pub staples as rabbit rillettes with cornichons, and morcilla and pear on toast, no pie and mushy peas here. It is all a bit "Islington" really but I enjoyed our short stay, a good selection of decently kept ales, Dark Star Hophead, Butcombe Bitter and Cottage Whippet Jack Boxer, plus a real cider, Thatchers something.
Worth a look in if in the area and to be commended for serving three decent non-mainstream ales at pub prices too, 3 or just over.
Maldenman - 27 Sep 2009 09:02
Cracking pub not too far from the hustle and bustle (and increasingly chain-dominated) Upper Street. Quality food, 2 or 3 real ales including the odd microbrewery. Very cosy inside although I prefer the main bar area to the more restaurant-type room on the right. Avoid sitting near to the toilets though as the smell of the urinal cakes gets a bit overpowering. I've not had any issues with the staff on the several visits I've made here.
zeanard - 9 Sep 2009 07:46
This place was mobbed outside when I visited on an early evening a couple of weeks ago, but it was almost empty in the bar area. There was a small room to the side with some tables that was very busy so maybe this was a dining type area.

Dark Star, Butcombe and another ale called something Hound were available alongside a couple of Meantime beers. The barman seemed a nice enough chap, but I also had to escape to outside with the majority of the patrons to drink my nice pint of Butcombe as the music wasnt my taste and was a little loud.

I would pop back in here if passing.
Strongers - 4 Sep 2009 21:12
Excellent pub that is rightly considered one of the best in London. Smart and cosy, there is a pleasant atmosphere and the place is woman/family friendly. Good menu-not serving after 6 on A Sunday is hardly relevant to whether it's any good. Three beers on bar with Darkstar Hophead now a regular. Prices reasonable for the area.
Tysonthebeerhound - 12 Aug 2009 14:56
Long time local, been drinking here a year or two but that clearly means nothing - Really sad to have to report i will not be returning after basically being insulted by the bar manager on Saturday night (idiot bloke with blond hair). Don't worry, there's plenty of other pubs nearby that will have me. Landlord's always been welcoming though should add...
n55 - 14 May 2009 16:55
I have visited this pub twice and after my last visit there will be no more further rounds bought here. Myself and friends found the staff to be unhelpful and the landlady lacked any manners or class that you would expect of a pub attempting (and falling short) to be a top notch Islington pub. I have concerns that the main menu finishes at 6pm on a Sunday and the only 'snacks' left are pies that are heated in a microwave! If you want manners and food cooked properly then walk back towards Islington tube and try the Angelic on Liverpool Road.
Magners_Mils - 27 Apr 2009 12:45
Delightful oub hidden away near Angel tune station. Well worth a visit for quality beer and firendly staff.
Darren_in_the_City - 30 Mar 2009 13:51
Visited Friday afternoon last. Quite elegant inside with friendly staff. Two ales available, namely Butcombe bitter and Brains Reverand James. Both were in tip top nick, and a third, Dark Star Hophead, is also usually served. Worth going back to. The sort of Pub you could settle down in with the Sunday papers and while away a couple of pleasant hours.
ahscum - 29 Mar 2009 16:53
Nice pub which I can only describe as being very "Islington" 3 real ales on. Our round worked out at 2.85 ish a pint. Beer was good. Just lacked something for my liking, but must be doing something right because it was packed.
TheHorsesMouth - 16 Mar 2009 17:20
First and definitely not the last visit last Friday. Went with a friend who warned me that Fridays were busy - we went there to eat, and it was rammed. Arrived at 18.45 and it took a wee while to get served. I was thinking we should give it a miss. However, two tables came free - one for four, one for two, we headed for the table for two - if there are only two of you in a place this busy please don't take up a table for 4. The waitress was lovely, I then made a mess of the order at the bar, barman very patient. Food fantastic, and when we left the barman made an effort to catch our eye to say goodbye. Have to say the staff lifted this place out of the ordinary - despite how busy it was. Stunned that there are comments about rude staff. not my experience at all. The butter with celery salt was fab.
mustard99 - 9 Mar 2009 20:35
Had a good lunch here on Saturday. Interesting food well-served and good beer. Burcombe bitter was good and another lighter hoppier bitter possibly from the same brewery was even better. One of the proprietors sat on the next table peeling vegetables for a function in the evening as the kitchen was busy and was very pleasant and interesting to chat to. Service was pleasant and the barman overheard us discussing one of the choices on the menu and warned us there were only two portions left. The pub dog is a real character!

Definitely a pub I'd go back to.
Harry_Horse - 2 Mar 2009 18:05
pretty much my favorite pub in london, can't believe there are any bad reviews about this one on here. yes it's small, but definitely cosy and friendly. more a sunday pub really as you probably wont get a seat on a friday or saturday evening. excellent food, nice bar staff , local people and little pub dog. small wooden tables, always with nice little flowers, and board games to be played dotted around the place ..and free ladies presents in the toilet which is always a nice touch. it's my sunday living room - could stay there all day and evening.
girl27 - 11 Dec 2008 14:08
Butcombe Bitter on, which was superb. They also had Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which is a rather good beer from a small(ish) brewery in Chico, California. First time I have seen it in the UK. This is now a gastropub, and as I didnt eat there I cant comment on the food that is obviously now their raison detre. But I had a very friendly chat with the young man behind the bar about pub names and similar things. Definitely worth dropping in for a pint of Butcombe Bitter if you are passing, but not really worth going far out of your way to visit.
RexRattus - 20 Sep 2008 00:39
I concur with the tales of rudeness and have friends who now refuse to come here. It does however serve the useful purpose of keeping the more annoying elements of N1 away from other good pubs nearby.

Shame no-one commenting here who finds the service rude ever managed to come here when it used to be called the Prince Albert. It had the same great beers, superb food and really welcoming service.

What was different? Well, there were couches and armchairs where all those crampt tables are. Thoroughly charming and relaxing, it but didn't get enough custom. No accounting for taste, eh?
Planner_21 - 28 Jul 2008 15:39
This place just doesn't feel like a pub. The beer was pretty good with some interesting choices, but that's as far as the 'pubness' goes. Overcrowded, uncomfortable and little tables hosting silly-sized plates. Worst of all was the clientele, most of whom were just like the characters who turn up in the 'It's Grim Up North London' cartoon strip in private Eye.
Dave_the_Bee - 1 Jul 2008 00:38
Couldn't agree more she is soooooo rude! She acts as though she is doing you a massive favour by serving you! Other staff are too busy trying to be cool and chatting to their mates to serve you properly. Shame as its quite a nice little pub.
nicci - 19 Jun 2008 16:05
CHARLES LAMB PUB, ELIA STREET, N1.
Yep, some (but not all) of the staff are EXTREMELY snooty & rude, especially one with a short 'bob' hairstyle - she, single-handedly, must account for 95% of the bad reviews this pub gets! Get Rid of Her!
This 'Pub' is really more a Restaurant trying to disguise itself as a pub! The food is excellent but generally over-priced. Tends to be frequented during the week by 'Nouveau-Riche' loud-mouthed and incredibly boorish rejects from the Royal Bank of Scotland at Angel, taking an on-expenses long-lunch etc. Seats are small and hard, tables are not big enough for the huge 'gastro' plates they serve the food on, assuming you have drinks there too. A very 'cramped' feel in the main area, tho' they have another room with restaurant-style tables and more hard chairs! You really have to be desperate or bloody-minded to make this your 'regular'!
SigmaOne - 9 Dec 2007 15:58

I too found the staff here really rude, had some good beers but definitely won't be going back.
kernowdrinker - 30 Nov 2007 14:13
An immensely crowded little pub , beer range was good and 70% of bar were eating.
mr.toes.5_ - 23 Nov 2007 15:14
13
BolshevikBoozer - 15 Nov 2007 18:15
Pleasant on an early evening visit; only an Oakham beer on but very good it was. Typical of the pubs in this part of Islington.
mtaylor40 - 7 Nov 2007 22:08
I've lived in the local area for over a year now and I've always found this place a little gem of a pub, with super-friendly staff.... until last Thursday that is! The place was pretty full (nothing unusual there) but the staff (I'd never seen them before) seemed to have a (very) bad night. The girl taking our drinks order was on the verge of being rude, and when we ordered our food fifteen minutes later her mood obviously hadn't improved much - saying (or snapping, more like) two out of the three main courses on the menu had run out. Afraid we made a swift exit pronto! Toby come back!
rabbe - 9 Oct 2007 20:39
A lovely pub on a sunny corner. Perfect for an evening drink; good range of ales and 'relatively' friendly staff. Mix of punters, mostly young and local. Menu looked interesting although no one was eating. Only complaint, pint of lime and soda, 3.
otc - 28 Aug 2007 09:28
A gem of a corner local! Not what you expect to find in the hidden backstreets of Islington. Sit outside in the sunshine or in the small bar area - might be too small on a crowded night - and enjoy the Chiswick Bitter or Landlord. Some nice bottled beers as well as a decent range of wines. Didn't try the food, but it looked good. But don't feed Mascha...
Bard - 20 Jun 2007 11:29
Visited here the other day and found the bar staff to be very friendly and the food excellent. Good selection of drinks too!
jtourettes - 4 Jun 2007 12:32
Despite previous postings here this, my first visit i found this place quite pleasant. Chiswick Bitter/ Taylor Landlord on draft, good selection of foreign beers/wines. The food looked pretty dam good too. Perhaps a little small to be headed at busy times but i'd certainly drop by again next time i'm in the area.
moclips2002 - 4 Mar 2007 07:46
Have been a couple of times before and found enjoyable (though this was probably because it was the Summer and therefore sitting outside). However this Sunday i was pretty bowled over by the rudeness of the woman serving us. Arriving late-ish on a Sunday lunchtime I ordered roast pork as the beff had run out. When the food arrived it was distinctly like gammon. Very cooked, red and salty. It was even sliced like gammon. I didn't finish it all and when our plates were cleared(in the absence of being asked if everything was ok)I asked her if she could check with the kitchen that it was definately roast pork I had had as it was very much like gammon. She turned to me (as walking away)and said 'no it's pork, it's definately pork'. She couldn't have dismissed me more if she'd tried. I wanted to explain that I wasn't disputing that it was pork, it just wasn't the roast pork I was expecting, but declined, thinking that perhaps I was wasting my time expecting her to be receptive to my (a customer's) discontent. Upon paying our bill I took a last attempt at getting a reasonable explanation. The man behind the bar explained that it was Serano pork and described exactly what I had eaten. I left feeling better (and less-dismissed) but why they didn't out Serano pork on the menu was beyond me. It's a shame that the Charles Lamb doesn't hold 'customer service' in high regard. It really is it's downfall. This climate of surly, attitudey service is becoming tiresome and stale.
anonymous - 9 Jan 2007 11:04
I am actually writing this review from the Charles Lamb as I frequently use their wireless while I am fighting with Orange in regards to the con they call free broadband. Nevertheless, I have always found the staff here charming and constantly going out of their way to make my visits here more enjoyable. Their house wine is a Torrentes, which by far my favourite and the food here has been consistently excellent. Not only do I find this pub a fantastic local but they don't mind me coming here daily to sit over a diet coke for 3 hours and work. I shouldn't really broadcast that fact....still, I am failing to understand a lot of the comments in regards to the management here as I have always found them delightful. Perhaps they've changes staff since the reviews here were writting but I don't have a bad word to say about this place...except maybe that the toilet door is always wide open, but apart from that, this truly is an excellent pub that deserces the praise it gets!
mlo - 8 Jan 2007 19:28
I thought this place was awesome. I was a little worried when we got there as the entire place was completely rammed and we were doubting if we'd get the chance to eat dinner. The staff were amazingly accomodating, squeezing us in between two large Xmas parties and even waiting on our table, although that's not what they usually do. The food was tasty and the resident dog was very sweet. I'll br going back for sure in a quiet afternoon rather than a mental Saturday night...
AngelB - 22 Dec 2006 14:29
Sunday lunch was a disaster but that's just because the Charles Lamb is usually so good. I think that staffing problems were to blame, although being told that they had to use the cleaning staff to run the kitchen because they were short handed didn't inspire confidence. Of the few times I have been here I've never seen service so busy and flustered but then each time I go the busier the place is. what I didn't expect was to be served a plate of tepid food.

If you are going to eat, I suggest you go in the week when it's a little quieter.
mattski - 16 Oct 2006 14:14
Hey wait a minute, Andy! If there's one thing could be said about me, it's that I am not a user who just registered to review this place!

In all honesty I wouldn't be at all surprised if your accusation was well grounded however - a lot of effort has gone into this pub and the owners are clearly extremely ambitious (which is a good thing) which may have led them or their pals to try and ramp the place up on here (which is a bad thing).

If this is the case, and if the management are reading this, can you please take note of those of us who are critical of the standards of service in your pub, instead of trying to slap as down, as you did below to myself and LondonBoy?

Last time I was in here a too cool for school barman with shades on and his pants hanging out threw a queeny, bitchy comment of at an elderly lady who became frustrated and sat back down again when she had to wait ages to get served. She had to wait ages because you were too busy joking around with two girls I took to be regulars. She didn't even say anything but her disatisfaction was obvious, and the barman saw fit to throw a comment her way about this. The lady and her group of about six old dears then left quietly and I don't expect they will be back.

You've got so much right with your pub - well done - now drop the attitude, take off the shades, pull your trousers up to cover your arse, and you'll be laughing.
anonymous - 2 Oct 2006 10:35
Does any other pub on BiTE have such a continuous stream of praise from 'anonymous' users and people who created profiles soley to rate one place?

The only one that comes to mind is the infamous King and Keys on Fleet Street, but even there the manager at least admits to when he posts reviews...


topdog_andy - 2 Oct 2006 09:41
I'm wondering if "stonch" and "londonboy" drink at the same pub as me ... rude staff? I've never met more warm and smiley bunch ... busy they may be but rude never. As to the food being compared to McDonalds thats just plain childish ...
anonymous - 30 Sep 2006 22:54
There are many things worthy of praise about this pub. The beer, the food, the decor, the atmosphere, the location - all first class. Mascha is the best thing of all of course.

However, the staff ARE rude. No two ways around it.
anonymous - 27 Sep 2006 10:41
This pub is a discrace to Islington The Staff are rude the beer is overpriced and the food is crap!
I would sooner eat McDonalds from down the road.
The staff really need to sort their attitude if they want to keep regular customers
londonboy - 27 Sep 2006 10:17
Decided to have a bite in here after the blinding review that Time Out gave it and was not disappointed. Despite having to wait to order our food (due to the dreaded time out curse), the food was brilliant and plentiful, and not too overpriced. the pub itself is gorgeous and well worth a visit if only to see mascha the pub dog. having read some of the other reviews i cannot believe that people were treated rudely in here, the staff and managers were lovely and helpful, very friendly. great place, cant wait to go back
anonymous - 21 Sep 2006 13:59
We are sending this email from outside the Charles Lamb (it has FREE WIRELESS!) drinking scrummy Honey Dew Ale in the sunshine! Problem, Mascha isn't here ;-(
Maschafanclub - 1 Sep 2006 14:13
The Charles Lamb has a great selection of beers (albeit a bit pricey) and the food is very tasty. But that's as good as this place gets: the atmosphere is very terse to newcomers. The staff were very rude when we ordered our food and were totally ungracious and acted as if we'd dragged in dog poop all over their wooden floor. As for their dog: if you go and touch or pet the cute little mutt, the owners get VERY aggressive towards you. I'd stay well shot of this pub until they sort out their attitude problem. There are nice pubs in the area, and this pub doesn't even qualify as a welcoming drinking establishment.
BatFreak - 29 Aug 2006 17:34
The Charles Lamb can not be faulted for it food but that is where the praise stops. My friends and I were regulars to this pub in its early days and were happy to support the new landlords on their new venture. It was not difficult because the food (although totally over priced) was delicious. However as the weeks went by we were stunned that what we had initially thought was rudeness due to shyness was actually plain discourteousness and ill-manners on the part of the owners. We thought maybe we had been rude to warrant this behaviour so made a concerted effort to be politer to no avail. It was obvious they did not want our business.

We have tried going back to the pub several times but the behaviour by staff and landlords have not changed and now even the food is not worth going back for. It has been very upsetting. I suggest only those who fly either the rainbow flag or George Cross enters this pub as the rest of us arent welcome.
Try the Mucky pup round the corner even under new management still the friendliest pub around.

BG238 - 29 Aug 2006 16:51
Love the new "please don't feed Mascha" signs. Although it hasn't stopped her from looking at me lovingly when I eat my cornish pasty
Maschafanclub - 23 Aug 2006 09:48
First decent pub I've been to that serves Perry! Great wine list and cute dog
anonymous - 23 Aug 2006 01:23
A sad disappointment last week, calling in after a 2 hour walk along the Regent's Canal from Limehouse. The behind bar staff were working hard, but the Fullers Chiswick Bitter was not drinkable.
zorrodp - 22 Aug 2006 16:04
Had heard about this place but forgotten about it until I saw a blackboard advertising it by the Regents Canal when I was cycling by on a boiling hot Friday in early July. It's a nice place, on a very quiet side street - you'd never know you were so close to Angel. The ales I tried were in tip-top condition, as was the sausage roll. Sure it's middle class and a bit twee but that's hardly a fault.
Mickyosan - 2 Aug 2006 13:42
Had a wicked Sunday roast (proper potatoes, great beef) ended up staying far longer than intended due to entertainment of Mascha and great beer selection. Music selection just right and not too loud, Mascha sat on my friends lap for an hour snoring! Bring on the summer so that we can sit outside
Maschafanclub - 30 May 2006 11:20
went there last night with mate having had pleasant lunch there a few days ago. starter was a globe artichoke which was raw. asked nicely for it to be cooked and it still came back half raw. had to order new starters (now hungry...). was not offered refund - just given cheeky backchat from barman who said - 'hey - it's only a pub'. this kind of smug islington overpriced and pretentious amateur bollocks just ain't worth it. also the place was full of N1 loudmouthed tossers. avoid.
urbanbabe - 27 May 2006 14:03
Masher is indeed the best pub dog in the world. Her bandana is particularly appealing.
anonymous - 22 May 2006 00:44
Dear Masher, you make my day everytime I visit this pub. You are probably the best dog ever. Someone said you are a seal crossed with a brown pig crossed with a small bear but I don't care. Love Lew
ranchorelaxo - 20 May 2006 19:29
Very nice pub. Wicked pub dog. Good beers (Konig weissbier, Fullers Chiswick, Gales/Fullers HSB (guest), Fullers Honey Dew, standard lagers and keg stout). Food looked very nice. Very pleasant up-market interior nonetheless retains two rooms. Very middle class and trendy, but round here that is to be expected and there was a very nice atmosphere, unlike, for example the Mucky Pup and the Duke of Cambridge. Will return soon.
anonymous - 2 May 2006 08:17
Is no more. Now called 'The Charles Lamb' & is completely different inside. Lots of wooden chairs. Still has a few of the games, didn't see any books, only 2 beers on tap when I went (some bottles available). Menu looked nice though & the wine choice has definitely improved.
anonymous - 6 Feb 2006 15:28

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