The scene We reckon The Stapleton is definitely a front runner.

Not pretentious or smart enough for a gastro-pub, but a few notches up from your typical old-man watering hole, the decor gives it heaps of character.

A quirky assortment of ornaments and candle-lit tables make the enormous main hall feel much more cosy than it would otherwise.

There’s a great mix of seating – a combo of battered leather sofas and long wooden picnic-style tables mean it works as a date venue or a place to catch up with a bunch of mates.  

It’s really a place to go and chat while you drink, as the atmosphere is relaxed and low-key, even when the football’s on. 

The grub Sunday roasts and a few other mains, but you’re best off sharing snacks – mackerel pate with a horseradish mayo is eye-wateringly good. Avoid the so-so cheese plate, as there’s little variety.  

Behind the bar A selection of real ales on tap (you’ll be asked whether you want yours in a tankard or pint glass) and a decent wine list. 

Bill please Glasses of wine from £2.70 and pints of beer from £3.50. 

Verdict If you live in the area, you couldn’t do better than making this easy-going spot your local boozer. 

2-4 Crouch Hill, N4 4AU  
Tube | Finsbury Park