I went with Lucy to the Rosemary Branch, a pub and theatre in the eastern realms of Islington, with a bag of wing sauce for her sent from my friend, Frankie, in Orlando.
The Rosemary Branch is a theatre and pub, providing drinks and nosh for people prior to, in the intermissions of and after performances in the theatre. I didn’t watch the play being performed that night, but I did sample the drinks at the bar as well as a burger, which I’ll talk about. I should say the Rosemary Branch was voted “Best Theatre” in the 2010 FringeReport Awards, so I would eventually like to make a visit to see a show there.
The interior of the Rosemary Branch is very nice, with a tree illuminated with flowery lights and a little airplane hanging in the corner. The place was crowded when we initially arrived, but as soon as the show began to start, people hurriedly finished their pints and gave their tickets to the charming young gent at the entrance to the theatre (who also happens to be Lucy’s boyfriend), leaving us with our pick of a few tables vacated by the theatre-goers.
Lucy got the first round of drinks at the bar, and I asked for a pint of Litovel, which I drank as Lucy and I commiserated. We hadn’t seen each other in a while, so we had quite a bit to talk about. It’s good to spend time with friends one hasn’t seen in a while, because there tends to be a lot to chat about. She told me about her upcoming anniversary with Jim, and talk of upcoming birthdays. I told her about my Valentine’s Day weekend.
When I got the next round, Lucy’s Corona and my pint of Seafarer’s ale came to £6.55. The prices at the Rosemary aren’t the cheapest in London, with the costs of drinks being from £3.20 onward–making it about average when not factoring in Sam Smith’s pubs and Weatherspoons. The Seafarer’s ale was quite good. I let Lucy have a taste of it, and she agreed that it was pretty flavourful. The text “London Pride” on one of the entrances into the pub, along with the selection of drinks, indicates the Rosemary Branch gets their ale from Fuller’s, although there was two or three guest ales on tap when I was in, and the Rosemary Branch isn’t listed on Fuller’s website as a “Fuller’s Pub.”
My burger at the Rosemary was kind of so-so. The Garlic Mushroom Burger I ordered tasted overall very grilled–it would have been nice if there was a bit of guacamole in the burger to provide a different, contrasting taste to the smokey burger. Still, I did eat all of it, and Lucy seemed to enjoy her burger con carne.
The atmosphere of the Rosemary Branch is quite nice, and its location on the fringes of Islington, near to Shoreditch and Dalston, make it quite easy to get to if you’re in North or East London. I heard the show currently playing is supposed to be really good as well.