A real oddity this one - a pub in Alexandra Palace. Given the dilapidated air of Ally Pally The Phoenix feels a bit like a museum café in search of a museum. Still, with three real ales on tap and with some serviceable food it certainly meets the criteria of a pub and also offers some wonderful views over north London. The bar itself is nothing to write home about, but if there isn't a function on you can drink in the glass-roofed Palm Court section of the bar and, what with the aid of the palm trees which surround you, try to imagine yourself in some colonial bar in the days of the Empire. With its rather remote location one wonders if this pub actually has a regular clientele: it probably makes do with walkers who have come for the view or thirsty folk from all the conferences and trade fairs they host up here (such events can range from religious rallies to beauty contests, so at least there's some variety in your fellow drinker). Ally Pally's growth in recent times as a gig venue for bands who've outgrown Brixton Academy means this one's as good a bet for a pre-gig drink than any of the pubs in Wood Green.
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Reviewed by jack
20 Jul 2010