“She’s down in the dumps, she lives on Holloway Road”


Decent WiFi in Dunkeld last night after a great haggis supper, so let’s crack on with my Friday night is music night trip to That There London.

Just time before a remarkable gig by Amber Arcades at Oxford Circus to do my last two North London GBG20 ticks, which is paltry when you think about it, until you realise they’re all Arse and Spuds fans who drink Holstein (and Gamma Ray).

A very rare incursion into N19, 10 minutes on the Northern Line from Kings Cross and you don’t have to see the E******s on the way.

Note bloke with papier mache model of Si


Only two GBG ticks in N19 over 25 years, both in that Islington open plan grazing pub diner style, so I know exactly what to expect.

Archway itself is as exciting a suburb of west Worthing.

Swinging London

When the going gets dull, reach for the obscure cultural reference;

Yes, you even get the live version of the Hefner classic, complete with Scousers talking over it at the back.

“I’m in love with Linda
I think she understands me
She’s down in the dumps
She lives on Holloway Road”. Hefner, Painting & Kissing, 2000

Steady on Darren, dump is a bit strong.

St John’s Tavern looks quite grand.

Love your lamps


I enter to polite piped jazz, and a packed pub with just a few lone seats by the wall nearest the Gents. That’s my seat, reserved with my shabby mac.

Pleasingly, it’s a real mix of Holloway life at the bar.

SIT DOWN ! Oh, you can’t

So I’ll forgive the tapas menu, the hanging hams, too many pumps, cacophony of noise and glare from the lasses who sense I’m sitting too close to the seats housing their handbags.

Because it felt a bit pubby. Perhaps at 6pm on Friday it should.

Ah, the tapas menu

They’re giving North London’s homebrewers (homebrew = anything not brewed in Wolves or Burton) a go, and the One Mile End Pale I picked in a frantic decision was solid and chewy (NBSS 3).

A nice seat and some rollmops might have pushed it higher.


By this time I’d arranged to meet Sir Quinno and Liberal James (don’t ask) at Oxford Circus at 7(ish) so only an hour to visit the Landseer, get back to Archway and get down to Tottenham Court Road. Pressurised ticking and pints don’t go together, and there are no loos on the tubes.

I followed the man with the ferret poodle whatever.


London at dusk, huh ?


The Landseer could be any Islington corner pub.

Posh games

But it’s a little more refined, studious and has the space for me to ask a gem of a barman which one I should go for.

Proper head in London shocker

The N1 is rich, fruity and complex (can’t believe I’m writing this rubbish, turning into BRAPA), I give a generous 3.5, though by the end of the pint it could have been cooler.

No music, but laughter and cackling and jumpers and sweatshirts. I pressed the video button rather than the photo button, so press play now.

Still, two GBG worthy pints in half an hour. Not that hard, London, is it ?

Next up, a Sam Smiths. And you know what that means.

13 thoughts on ““She’s down in the dumps, she lives on Holloway Road”

      1. Where I come from “‘Tay Bank s’s” suggests a Holdens pub but I’m sure things are quite different north of the border.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Matthew,
        Yes, the legendary Joe Meek.
        His rocket thruster sound at the beginning and end of ‘Telstar’ was actually a recording of a flushing toilet played backwards – and I am reminded of that by micropubs being known for their toilets, or rather the inadequacy of them.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Holloway…Hallowe’en…did you know, that the word pumpkin originated from “pepon”, which is Greek for “large melon”? The French adapted this name to “pompon”, and the British then changed it to “pumpion”, which for the later American colonists evolved into “pumpkin”.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The last real pub fight I ever witnessed was in the St John’s Tavern about 15 years ago, so I can confirm its proper-boozer status. It was full-on gastro in those days, so it was a bit of a shock for the diners.

    Liked by 1 person

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