The Albion

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  • Fashionable gastropub eats and affordable wine in the heart of London's Islington

    Where? 10 Thornhill Road, Barnsbury, London N1 1HW (020-7607 7450,

    Mood? Informal but sophisticated gastro-pub for food with friends and romantic dinners. The managers of The Albion’s recent renovation have remained admirably faithful to the pub’s Georgian heritage with a colour palate of misty green and dark stained wooden floors.

    Why go? It’s great food and atmosphere without the formality and fuss of a posh restaurant. You can have a pint with your shepherd’s pie if you like and then relax, full and happy, in a big leather armchair afterwards. There’s a lovely big garden where they hope to have hog roasts in the summer. It would also be a classy venue for an informal summer wedding, especially as Islington Town Hall is only a stone’s throw away.

    To eat? Richard Turner, ex-Marco Pierre White collaborator, does English classics with a twist. For example, potted duck or goat’s cheese and beetroot salad to start; posh bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie with shredded, rather than minced, lamb for main. Rhubarb crumble is a delicious but manageably sized end to the meal. The food is hearty and uncomplicated with the emphasis on fine ingredients.

    To drink? One of The Albion’s USPs is an extensive and affordable wine list. We had the house Cotes du Rhone, which was particularly full bodied. You would fit in just as well with a pint of bitter (Pride or Bombadier, perhaps?), or a pint of San Miguel. Finish off with a Baileys digestif in the comfort of the lounge area.

    Need to know? The Albion is open Mon-Sat midday-11pm and on Sundays from midday-11.30pm

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