The Florence, Islington

Our rating: FAP Rating 2 - Click for an explanation of our ratings      User rating: Community Rating 3 - Click for an explanation of our ratings   (10 reviews)
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FancyaPint?'s review...
FAP Rating 2 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
PLEASE NOTE - UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT AS OF 2012 - TAKE NOTE WHEN READING OLDER REVIEWS
The Florence, or "that pub behind the petrol station'' in more forgetful moments, has been a regular haunt of ours for several years, with its spot just off Upper Street making it less likely to be rammed than places on the main thoroughfare. It felt comfortable and was usually lively, without being claustrophobically busy, so it's a shame to report that many of the warm touches have gone following a change of management. The more loungey area to the back of the bar is pretty much the same, but the rest now looks a little plain and uninteresting. Where once you could relax in an armchair, a regulation issue stool takes its place. A couple of plants, anything really to soften the edges, would also make an instant improvement. Furthermore, on a recent visit the volume control on the TV could have been set a bit lower -- with only two people watching the rugby it seemed unnecessary to inflict it upon everyone else. It wouldn't take much to recapture the old atmosphere, we'll be back to see how things are going.
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Reviews (6)
23 Oct 2012
Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
As an occasional patron of the Old Eagle in Camden, I had to go and look at this latest venture by the Eagle's (mainly Irish) management crew when they took over the Florence in September 2012.

I had been here once or twice before last year, and the change is palpable. This beautiful Victorian saloon looks great in the candlelight, and the barman said the plan was to open up the two open fires before Christmas.
Removing the TVs here was a masterstroke, because this place has a really chatty atmosphere between the staff and punters.
The best bit though is the function room on the first floor. Ask for a look. It's fabulous, and at time of writing the manager is not charging any rent for it.
Once they get the kitchens sorted out and start doing decent grub then I'll happy give this place five stars.
One to watch.
Reviews (1)
08 Oct 2012
Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
I noted the awful experience of the people whose reception was ruined by the previous tenants. The new people were left with a shell of a pub and a number of such complaints and have worked wonders in turning round the pub in such a short time. They were appalled at the mess that they were left to clean up and have done all they can.

The pub is now fully operational and looks wonderful. The new people are working hard to turn what was once a good pub into a great one and judging by their track record (see the Old Eagle in Camden for one) they'll get there.
Reviews (2)
24 Sep 2012
Rating 0 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Avoid at all costs. We booked our wedding reception in the function room, only to not have any replies to emails/answers on the phone. We made the journey to London to check that everything was ok, but there were new 'owners' in and there was no record of our booking. Or the money we'd put down as a deposit. The new 'owners' told us they could still honour our booking and showed us to the function room. (I've used inverted comma's here as it was, and still is a property owned and ran by Punch Taverns, they've merely replaced the duty manager). We went to look again at the function room to find there was no furniture, no bar, no flooring and no light fittings, but apparently it was ours if we wanted it, and the new gaffer was a brilliant interior designer and was going to fix it up. We were then later informed that actually, it wouldn't be ready by the time we got married (4 weeks away), and we'd best look elsewhere. And that we couldn't have our money back, despite having a receipt, as it was the previous owners debt, not theirs. So here we are, 4 weeks from our big day, £400 down, invites sent with incorrect details, no reception venue and owners/a brewery that don't give a DAMN. THIS PLACE IS TOXIC. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE.
Reviews (2)
03 Jul 2012
Rating 0 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Be warned: DO NOT PLAN A PRIVATE FUNCTION AT THIS PUB

Do not be fooled by The Florence's impressive website. They do not want your business. They do not want you to host private parties or functions in their pub. They do not answer their telephone more than one in 500 times. Unfortunately I got lucky just once and, following a conversation with a member of staff, booked the pub for a private function; a champagne reception with food for 60 people before a gig next door at the Assembly Rooms.

After my initial "no problem" telephone conversation I was urged to call again to chat through fine details with the landlord. But the telephone was never answered again - try it now... you won't get an answer 020 7354 5633. They don't respond to emails either. But, I was assured by those in the know that the landlord has a pretty relaxed attitude and that I was, perhaps, worrying unnecessarily. But I was uneasy and, since I don't live in London, got a friend to pop in just to make sure that everything was ok with my booking. She saw the landlord who reassured her that "yes, the booking is in the diary and we can do Thai food for the event." Ok... Thai food wouldn't have been my first choice and somewhat contrary to what the website promises, but by this time I'd sent out invitations.

The day of the event dawned. I headed to The Florence early (with that same uneasy feeling) to prepare for the champagne reception and the promised Thai food... But the Florence was shut. The sign on the door advertised the pub's opening time and it was now 45 minutes beyond that. I rattled the doors, I banged on the windows to no avail. I now had to find a venue nearby that could accommodate the party I'd been planning for three months. I managed to find a venue that could take us - The Vineyard opposite - and we relocated.

Had it not been for an exceptionally brilliant group of relaxed friends (who ended up eating fish and chips in the street because the dishwasher broke down at the Vineyard which meant no food) and the ability of the Vineyard to accommodate 60 people, the evening would have been a total disaster.

Still... that's £900 (our final drinks bill) that The Florence of Islington can obviously afford to turn it's nose up at. I have no idea who owns this pub but whoever's running it shouldn't be.

AVOID AT ALL COSTS.
Reviews (1)
16 Mar 2012
Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Been there a few times in the last 3 months as ive not long discovered this pub. Nothing really bad to say about it, good selection of beers, plenty of good seating, a couple of pretty faces behind the bar, a good barmen who has a good rapour with the customers and plays the right sort of music, and the last time i went they had a free soulish music party thing in the sizable function room. will be going there again. my only gripe is that the food is good when they can make their mind up.of what food is on the menu. sunday roast is good tho
Reviews (1)
03 Dec 2011
Rating 5 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
What a find !!! Beautifully and tastefully refurbished pub set off of Upper Street. Comfortable, chilled, stylish, friendly staff, accommodating atmosphere and the Sunday Roast was AMAZING !!! The chef is so accomodating and warm and skilled !!! A lovely place to have a quiet drink, a Roast, an evening meal or a really good night out in great company. Worth a visit !
Reviews (1)
23 Nov 2011
Rating 5 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
This pub is a total gem. It has recently been taken over by new management can given a total overhaul. It is a fantastic place to hang out. The beer is good, and it does great food, with an AMAZING sunday roast. Barstaff are friendly, they play good music and there is basically a really nice vibe. Can't reccommend this place enough!
Reviews (1)
21 Nov 2011
Rating 5 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
better than the previous review suggests - its been done up, now has plants and flowers on the tables, and is really chilled, comfy and friendly place. soft colours and lighting, chandeliers and stuffed owls, sofa's and lounge chairs, tasty food (even all organic veg) and an easy place to hang out in for hours...thankfully without any TV's blarring sports or bad music videos!
Reviews (1)
30 Sep 2010
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Yes the decor is sparse and if the football is on there is an interesting range of clientele but the food is very tasty and good value and it's a decent local. Good to fine somewhere that isn't overpriced, trendy and dimly lit just off Upper Street!

Contact details
50 Florence Street, Islington, London, N1 2DU
020 7354 5633
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