Southampton Arms


139 Highgate Road
London, England, NW5 1LE
United Kingdom

020 7485 1511 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews by thepeter:
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thepeter from England

4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

A great little place up in North London that not only has some great beer but some of the best cider in London as well. during the day it is pretty quite with some locals and random's hanging about but nights, especially Friday and Saturday night it can get pretty crowded. Luckily the vibe is great and so are the people that enjoy great brews there, also there is an outdoor seating area which once you get past the toilets and their smell is a nice place to sit relax and meet some new people as you have a drink or 4. The casks are all in fine form and service has always been better than most London pubs. Selection is not huge but plenty of cask lines and 2 (I think) draft lines serving local premium lager/pale ale. Food is all about pies, pasties and sausage rolls fresh from under the heat lamp. I don't go there to eat, but they are just great after a session which will never be a quick one there for me! Value is great I think, maybe because it's not in central London. . . either way I am a big fan! Any excuse to go and I am there.

Jan 21, 2012
More User Reviews:
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BlackHaddock from England

4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

My son had just moved to this part of North London, so the wife and I decided we’d visit him and The Southampton Arms on the same weekend: the pub had been recommended to us by some London based friends and I knew it was within walking distance of his ‘squat’.

We arrived early afternoon on a winters Saturday and could hardly get through the door, the place was heaving with humanity: our party of seven struggled down the full length of the fairly long but thin, single roomed pub and settled by the piano, my wife getting the stool, the rest of us standing for our first two pints before a group near us departed, leaving a table and chairs available.

They don’t seem to have a chalkboard or beer list anywhere; you have to see the pump clips to know what’s on: difficult when the bar is three deep and the walkway between the bar and seating is blocked by customers also trying to see what is available at each end of the hand pulls. The ciders are easier to see, their taps being behind the servers and clearly visible the whole length of the bar.

The beers I had were all fine and some of my party had some ciders, which again were fine. The staff were good, polite, calm and helpful: on one occasion after squeezing my way to the bar I patiently waited while one lady tried 3 different samples of cider before buying the one she liked, held up my ordering but I suppose that’s how a customer who is unsure should be treated.

The actual pub is very basic in design and concept, no nonsense furniture and fittings along with no nonsense food and drink: meat or cheese, beer or cider, with only a very small choice of wine and spirits, this is a cask house foremost and last. The fame of the place grows and although well off the beaten track for most visiting tourists it is becoming a very popular meeting place for London drinkers and friends who know a thing or two about their drinks.

Mar 01, 2012
Photo of alfrantzell
alfrantzell from California

3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

ImperialStoat heard that the Southampton Arms was the place to be, so there we went and were. The Friday night crowd made our sitting indoors an impossibility, but the cask selection palliated that.

One strange thing: Crouch Vale Brewer's Gold. Within minutes, our pints shifted from straw to mud-colored. When we ordered it later at the Cask Pub & Kitchen, it stayed straw-colored the entire time, and not due to our drinking it any quicker. Was it something in the handling?

There was no time to try the cider options in light of the eight or so ales available, or appetite to try the food, since we'd arrived from the Borough Market. Next time.

Jan 22, 2012
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RobBeer from England

4.14/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Very impressive ale house, sadly a little off the beaten track in north London with probably the nearest Underground stop being Kentish Town, 10 minute walk away, but well worth the trip.

There are 18 handpumps, 10 for beer and 8 for cider and very little else, maybe a half dozen spirits and and some meat pies.

I marked the service a little low only because of the young female (blonde) barmaid. When I asked what dark beers they had, she replied they had Dark Star Hophead!
I told her that she was now just trying to bluff her way thru and that she didn't really know what was dark. She embarrassingly called over a colleague who said they had one dark beer, but apologized that it was very strong at 8%! Don't apologize, just pour it.

I visited on a Saturday afternoon with a snowstorm blowing outside, the place was very busy, but managed to get seating by the front windows, ending up in conversation with two other groups in the same area. If it wasn't for the fact that we were doing a pub crawl I would have been have to stay on for the evening.

Jan 05, 2011
Southampton Arms in London, GB2, United Kingdom
Place rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 4 ratings