Skip to main content

The Clissold Arms (Bar)

Picture of The Clissold Arms in Finchley, London

115 Fortis Green, Finchley, London, N2 9HR
Cuisine: Gastro Average Price: £40.00
Tel: 020 8444 4224 | Email to The Clissold Arms | Transport: East Finchley | Write review

The Clissold Arms Review

Best for: Paying homage to The Kinks.

Great: Feasting on meat and hiding from the cold.

A trip to East Finchley is like stepping back in time to 1960s London suburbia. Endless rows of Edwardian style terraced and semi detached houses with immaculately trimmed hedges line either side of the litter-free roads, and no doubt in the early hours of the morning, a milkman can be spotted whistling to himself contently.

It is precisely the sort of scene that first captured the imagination of Ray Davies, inspiring him to form a band with his brother Dave and sing about the quirks and drabness of British culture. Although The Kinks never reached the same giddy heights and acclaim as achieved by fellow 60s greats The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, the band's sharp social observations, wit and kooky charm has left a deep and lasting legacy on British music; particularly in the 1990s with Britpop.

The Clissold Arms was an essential backdrop during the Davies brothers’ early years, with the house adjacent to the pub being their childhood home and the pub itself providing the first venue for an early incarnation of the band called the Ray Davies Quartet. The Kinks were eventually formed in neighbouring Muswell Hill and their affinity to the local North London area is documented in the 1971 album Muswell Hillbillies.

The Clissold Arms management recently cashed in on its rock and roll heritage by opening an entire room dedicated to the band. Although their approach hasn't exactly been innovative - i.e. stuff a room full of Kinks themed posters, photos and paraphernalia - it’s a sweet shrine to a band that perhaps sometimes hasn’t got the recognition they truly deserved.

Thankfully the pub's management didn't go as far as a Kinks themed menu (although a suitable dish suggestion would be a 'Dedicated Follower of Falafel') and instead what we find is an exceptionally thoughtful gastro pub menu, which also happens to be the perfect antidote to a deadly cold winter’s night. Big hearty food is the name of the game here, even if it is served on rectangular plates and garnished artistically.

Over in the US, The Kinks were regarded as a British invasion band, and - if this menu were to be served on their home soil - Americans would most likely consider this British invasion food. Braised beef, chicken liver parfait, parsley sauce and oxtail read more like the ingredients found at a 19th century British monarchy’s royal dining table, but the Clissold Arms has lovingly given them a gastropub makeover, and the results are generally fantastic. The tenderloin pork, for instance, comes with two other cuts of pig; the belly and cheek, as well as a black pudding with a quail’s egg buried deep inside. It leaves the brave diner panting for breath and sweating like Santa in a sauna.

As with all good meat feasting experiences, hours and bottles of red slip idly by and suddenly you realise its approaching the time to reluctantly grab your coat and brave the not-so-great-and-ruddy-freezing outdoors. Perched precariously by the edge of a main road, the Clissold Arms’ old stone walls offer intimacy – allowing lovers to hide behind candlelight in the corner or friends to cluster over long dining tables. In the summer, it’s easy to imagine the pub taking on a wholly different feel. The generous sized conservatory at the rear and adjoining garden offering sun-starved punters plenty of space and light.

The sedate winter atmosphere, with diners huddled together concentrating on their fine food and intimate conversation, is no doubt a sharp contrast to the rowdy local boozer of old, which would have had Ray Davies sat at the bar curiously observing the interaction between its most lively characters and dreaming up background stories to their lives. That local identity has been erased from many of London’s former drinking establishments as the gastropub revolution marches on, and it would be intriguing to learn what Ray Davies would think of his old haunt serving bottles of Chateauneuf-Du-Pape.

For North Londoners, the Clissold Arms is a great spot to shelter from the long cold winter nights and feast on generous slabs of meat or seasoned fish with the added bonus of learning a thing or two about a seminal 60s band. For Kinks enthusiasts, this is worth the trek just as much for the food as it is the nostalgia.
...read more

Leave Your Review of The Clissold Arms

Your name:
Email address:      
Home Town:
Atmosphere:
Value for Money rating:
Quality rating:
Your review:

Characters remaining: 2600

Subscribe to the Fluid e-newsletter: Get the hottest special offers, bar info and restaurant news first. You can unsubscribe at any time. We take your privacy very seriously and will never share your details with third parties witout your consent.
Complete

Your review has been submitted. Once you have verified your e-mail address, it will be displayed on the site.

Additional Information

The Clissold Arms Food & Drinks

  • Cuisine Type: Gastro
  • Average Price: £40.00

Email The Clissold Arms

Name *
Email *      
Phone
3 + 2
Please prove you're not a machine by adding this simple sum.
Subject
Message
I agree to the Terms & Conditions
If this is your first message through the Fluid London, before your enquiry is sent to the venue, you will recieve a message asking you to confirm your email address. This is to prevent fraudulent enquiries and bookings.

Sending...

Mail sent!

Your review has been submitted. Once you have verified your e-mail address, it will be displayed on the site.

Please note that Fluid London has no affiliation with any venues listed on our websites

Send a link of The Clissold Arms to a friend

Your Name *
Your Email *  
Send to email  
  Confirmation Code
Enter the number shown above:
Message
I agree to the Terms & Conditions
If this is your first message through the Fluid London, before your enquiry is sent to the venue, you will recieve a message asking you to confirm your email address. This is to prevent fraudulent enquiries and bookings.

Mail Sent!

A link to The Clissold Arms on Fluid London has been sent.

Send another message

Please note that Fluid London has no affiliation with any venues listed on our websites

The Clissold Arms Map

Nearby Venues

Nearby Pubs & Bars

Nearby Restaurants

Venue ID: 2398

Venue Managers: update this page

Edit the information we hold on The Clissold Arms or learn about upgrading today.

 

Loved

"We really enjoyed the Jamboree Club when we visited to listen (and dance to) the wonderful Dom Pipkin and the Ikos. Wonderful night - great people there too. But so sad to hear that the Club may not..." Which venue is this?

Hated

"We really enjoyed the Jamboree Club when we visited to listen (and dance to) the wonderful Dom Pipkin and the Ikos. Wonderful night - great people there too. But so sad to hear that the Club may not..." Which venue is this?

Log in to Fluid London

Login with a Fluid username and password
Email:
Password:
Remember Me

Forgot your password?
Register as a new user?

Or login using FaceBook

Login with FaceBook
;