Hattie Lloyd 04/11/21

The Drapers Arms

When it’s cold, rainy, and miserable outside, The Drapers Arms will give you a big, warm hug.

This Islington pub and restaurant has to be one of the finest spots for a roast in London. And while the roaring fireplaces make it an excellent go-to on a cold winter’s day, it’s just as resplendent in summer when punters spill into the secluded back garden (with big umbrellas for rain or shine).

You’ll find it tucked away on a side street about halfway between Angel and Highbury & Islington stations, housed in a genteel, powder-blue Georgian building. Downstairs is the rambunctious pub element of the equation, with battered tables and chairs orbiting a bright green central bar. Here you’ll find a solid selection of beers and ales on tap, with a regularly changing line-up of guest brews. Upstairs is a more serene dining space with soaring ceilings, candelabras and a chequerboard floor; a private hire room that’s worth knowing about.

Drapers Arms Islington - best London pubs with open fires

And so: the food. This is a quintessential gastropub, so we’re talking (mostly) British cooking given some serious spruce. Start out with roasted Jerusalem artichokes with goat’s cheese and honey; salmon cured in gin and beetroot; or charcuterie platters to share, laden with meats, celeriac remoulade and toast. Mains come hefty as you like, with roasted root veg & pearl barley risotto; an old-school suet crust chicken & leek pie and beef forerib with chips all worth investigating. Tables are hardest to come by on Sundays, though, when the mother of all roasts is served alongside giant, puffed-up Yorkshire puds and top-tier roasties.

Should you have any room left for dessert, you can plug the gaps with classic puds from Guinness cake and fruit crumbles to a Neal’s Yard cheeseboard with ale chutneys. And to wash it all down, there’s a faintly glorious list of mostly old-world wines that come in generous half-litre carafes.

Perfect for when you need to sit out a rainstorm.


NOTE: The Drapers Arms is open daily for drinks, lunch and dinner. Booking ahead is definitely advised – you can do that, and find out more, HERE.

The Drapers Arms | 44 Barnsbury Street, Islington, London, N1 1ER

Since you’re in the area…check out our guide to the best Islington restaurants

The Drapers Arms

44 Barnsbury Street, Islington, N1 1ER

020 7619 0348

8.8 | Great