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The Bailey (Bar)

Holding image for The Bailey

81 Holloway Road, Angel & Islington, London, N7 8LT
Cuisine: Thai
Tel: 020 7607 3167 | Transport: Highbury & Islington | Write review

The Bailey Review

The Bailey, situated on Holloway Road between Highbury and Islington tube and Holloway Road tube, is a relaxed establishment, with locals, after-work drinkers, students and trendies mixing freely from night to night. In contrast to the swankier bars just round the corner on Upper Street, the Bailey is noticeably unpretentious, and that shows in the décor. The upper halves of the expansive walls are deep Burgundy, the lower halves dark and dirty wood cladding. Posters from London stage productions and works of art by North London artists are dispersed freely, and this adds to the local, yet oddly cosmopolitan feel of the bar. The dusty, dark and pretty bumpy wooden floor evokes a time before it became compulsory for every new bar to have immaculate light wooden flooring, and the rickety chandeliers look like they’ve hung there for many a year.

The large, centrally located horseshoe shaped bar is welcoming, never too busy to require physical effort to get served in a timely fashion, and allows quietly boozing locals to give the bar a Cheers style feel. When you see the Guinness pump labelled with the simple motif "The Good Stuff", you can almost see Norm and Cliff staring into their beers and chuckling. Don't be put off however, thinking this is an old man's pub - far from it - the Bailey offers a range of delights, most noticeably the fantastic range of Thai food. By London's standards the prices are fantastic, as an excellent Thai red curry can be enjoyed for less than a fiver. A wide range of dishes of similarly high quality are available, and don't be alarmed by the surly service; The Thai lady who serves the food is always like that.

By night, the Bailey is extremely lively, usually ending up pretty packed with a great noisy atmosphere, especially on Friday's and Saturday's. Live music is available on a regular basis, most notably on a Thursday night, there is an intermittent quiz night, and for the attendant sportsmen and women a battered pool table towards the rear. Usually, the music emanates from a pretty shoddily musically equipped jukebox, but this somehow adds to the charm, while three small and neck-craningly high TVs allow patrons to casually glance at the football without it dominating proceedings.

If you are looking for relaxed, pleasant drinking without a shred of pretension, then the Bailey is your venue. Throw in a superbly priced Thai Curry and a warm, friendly atmosphere and you have one of the unsung heroes of the London pub scene.
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Customer Reviews for The Bailey

Average (based on 2 votes): 2 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of The Bailey.

“Good food, good beer, great atmosphere.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Fiddlesticks, London (12 years 3 months 22 days ago)

“Now under New owners and what a difference they now a regular supply of beer most of which is thoroughly enjoyable. The Regular bands I wonder when and where Guy saw them have long gone. The Thai lady and your family still provide the most excellant and reasonably priced food around. The intermittent quiz has run every Monday night for the last 8 or more years and over the biggest cash prizes anywhere and its free entry. Lots of TV screens showing sport and they also have a large screen. It has been smartened up but still has that lived in feeling. Good value for money with many cheep offers on varing nights.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Edwin, [ Unknown ] (13 years 8 months ago)

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The Bailey Food & Drinks

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Venue ID: 1967

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Loved

"Décoration pas terrible à part la terrace sur la Tamise. Repas cher et sorti de table en ayant encore fin. Il y a beaucoup mieux à Hammersmith comme pub." Which venue is this?

Hated

"Décoration pas terrible à part la terrace sur la Tamise. Repas cher et sorti de table en ayant encore fin. Il y a beaucoup mieux à Hammersmith comme pub." Which venue is this?

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