Straight out of Dickens or Potter, the hellishly crowded Southampton, condensation dripping off the ceiling into your pint. Old bird banging the joanna dementedly in the corner. Standing room only, wedged contortedly beneath the coat hooks trying vainly to extricate your phone from your pocket, buffeted relentlessly by the toilet-going public. No respite or room in the backyard to move your elbows to rate, so forget about it and get the Dark Stars in. Visited November 2012 before Bobby Womackís gig at HMV Forum. The most atmospheric London pub Iíve visited to date, with about the most impressive cask range.
If only this was my neighborhood pub back in Norway! Dream on... I have to stick to crap beer or craft beer at horrifying prices. The only problem was that the pub was so packed that I could barely squeeze in. I hardly managed to drink my beers and at the same time relax and enjoy my stay. But, I loved this place. If there is a next time, I will visit earlier in the daytime. (Visited February 16th 2013)
caesar (362) Bunnik/Utrecht, Netherlands | December 19, 2012
The looks are horrible: old and dirty. But they serve loads of (rare) local brews, all on cask. No bottles. No plastic payment, just cash. Very good prices: all beers are priced the same. Atmosphere was very friendly, with lots of locals and the occasional tourist (like me :P). Just see through the crappy looks and youíll see easily one of the best bars around!
This is a proper old style pub, looks like a gloomy room with wooden seats, high ceiling, similar building to the Marble Arch. Quite small. Strongish smell of fermenting appes and pig. Superb selection of beers and ciders, maybe not the biggest in town and quite UK small brewery focused. Maybe not technically the best beer selection in town, but I think the place I prefer to drink in.
A great place, great staff. And good real ales in a very good condition. Iíll be back (2011)
chriso (533) London, England | September 12, 2012| Updated February 24, 2014
This is a great place with a great range of intersting cask ales and ciders but is something of a victim of its own success. The key is in picking the right time to visit. On weekend evenings it is often so packed that itís difficult to get through the door. And the narrow shape of the place means it doesnít cope too well with excessive crowds as, even once youíve got a drink, thereís not really anywhere to stand away from the bar if all the seats are occupied. There is a garden out back hat can provide overspill space but they have to clear that well before the pub closes, so that can make things even worse. Go in the daytime during the week however and you may well have the place virtually to yourself. If you want to visit the Bull in Highgate, thereís a bus that goes from directly outside the Southampton.
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 randomís 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 donít 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 itís not in central London. . . either way I am a big fan! Any excuse to go and I am there.
I finally made it to the Southampton Arms after a couple years of neglect (I mean it is pretty far north...). Located a short walk from both Camden Brewery and BrewDog Camden, so why not hit them all in one trip? Traditional saloon-type bar interior. Conversely, the place is mostly full of the young trendy crowd (hence why I was here). Old-school vinyl music was a pleasant surprise. They focus on ale, cider and meat, so there was no chance this place was going to be bad. Lots of more obscure UK micros on cask, so this is obviously a tickers paradise. All the beers I had were in good condition. Only annoying thing was the woman who served me had pretty much zero beer knowledge.... Anyway a solid place for sure and if I lived nearby I would definitely frequent it.
The Southampton Arms is located in a rather awkward patch of north London, about 10 minutes walk from Kentish Town station. The pub has a great, relaxed, lived-in feeling. The wooden bar seems like its been around for ages, classic rock and jazz play softly from a record player behind the bar. The back garden is nice, with plenty of seating options. The crowdís pretty hipster, it could be worse. The selection is small but pretty well curated. On my last visit I enjoyed pints from the likes of Otley, Marble, and By The Horns. I donít think thereís a bottle selection. The food is basic pub snacks (pork pies), though it does look good. Overall, this is a great pub that Iíd visit often if it was centrally located.