Charles Lamb

Words by Simon Difford on 10-Nov-2013

Address: 16 Elia Street, (corner Quick Street), London, N1 8DE, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 837 5040
Website: view Charles Lamb’s website
Door: Open door/walk-ins
Style: Gastro pub
Food: Tapas/plates & dishes
Established: 1839


The street on which this pub stands is named Elia, after the pen name used by the essayist Charles Lamb when he contributed to The London Magazine in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This corner local was built in 1839 and originally named the Prince Alfred, but after its refurbishment and gastrofication was appropriately renamed for Elia's creator.

Inside, this quaint little pub has an almost cottage-y feel with a stripped floor, aquamarine panelling and creamy walls. The bar takes up much of the lounge area: the adjoining 'map' room is filled with pine-topped tables reserved for diners.

Whether you're here for a snack (such as potted crab on toast) or a full meal (Sunday roast perhaps), you will appreciate the standard of the food. Drinkers are also well served with four regularly changing real ales, an interesting wine list (including 12 by the glass), a good range of craft brewed bottled beers and cider "served as God intended" - straight from a mini cask at the end of the counter. Unusually for a pub, the back bar line-up is equally impressive and eclectic.

Well-chosen background music and a friendly crowd from local offices and homes ensure a cordial atmosphere.