I have lived in Holloway on and off since 2005, and during that time I have been very sad that there is nowhere within stumbling distance to have a nice drink with some friends (other than my living room, and that has an awkward no reservations policy). And then, finally, somebody wise suggested I go for a drink at ‘The Swimmers’, just off the south end of Seven Sisters Road. And lo, we had ourselves a local. This lovely pub has an unassuming countenance, intrinsically friendly staff (one makes so much smily eye-contact that I was a bit unnerved by it at first, in a very English manner), affordable drinks, outdoor tables with heaters and covers, a jukebox, board games, and better-than-decent food.
Their mushroom, halloumi and spinach pesto burger was a definite notch above the usual clammy veggie options, and their thick, fluffy chips are great. We’re not anywhere near Michelin’s manicured territory here, but prices are low and dishes are enjoyable and filling; just what you want from your new local. If the food was amazing we’d eat here too much, and if it was bad our hangovers would be so much worse the next day.
The Swimmer at the Grafton Arms
13 Eburne Road, N7 6AR, 020 7281 4632