'Wow, this place perfect. I'm going to make it my life's ambition to move to Crouch End, just so I can spend my remaining days propping up the bar.'
We've never had quite that reaction on stepping into an unfamiliar pub before, but the Earl Haig is an absolute beaut. We'll never fulfil the ambition — who can afford Crouch End any more? — but the area's sure to figure on our drinking roster a little more often.
This former British Legion hall, restyled by the Antic chain in 2013, is now an everyperson's boozer. It is immeasurably ambient. The walls groan with military leftovers fringed in bunting. Rescued tables are vivified with roses. The wood-block floor and panelled ceiling were last seen in our early-1980s primary school. Tatterdemalion decor recalls the Catford Constitutional — a sister pub at the opposite end of the city. It all comes together to make for a moody-yet-still-convivial atmosphere.
The bar — more of a glorified serving hatch — offers six rotating ales, though at least two were taken with the chain's so-so Volden house beer on our visit.
The pub was quiet on our early evening look-in, but clearly livens up at the regular music, DJ and quiz nights. A separate hall can be booked for parties of up to 120. To cap it all, the pub has table football and a pinball machine. Yeah, we could definitely lose years in this place.
Last updated May 2018.