Pub #14: The Horatia, Holloway Road

I went to The Horatia, a relatively new venue on Holloway Road, not quite a month ago, but it’s been a few weeks.  It was the last weekend in February when I went to see what this new place was like, as well as to attend the Jumble and Pearls event that was going on there that weekend.  The Horatia opened up at the end of January this year, so it’s a very new establishment on Holloway Road.

I went at a very early time of the day, because the Jumble & Pearls event was occurring in the early afternoon.  I wasn’t in the mood to drink, really, but I did get a half of Strongbow, as I had gotten hot walking from the Holloway Road Car Boot Sale at Bowman’s Place.  The half of Strongbow was £1.70.  I drank it as I waited for the Jumble and Pearls event to start, as one of its organisers (Rosalia, a very lovely lady, I might add) seemed to still be organising.  I lent her a marker I happened to handily have on my person so she could make a sign for the event, which she stuck on a naked mannequin which was then situated in front of the bar on Holloway Road.

Jumble and Pearls is an interesting event for those of us who like to rummage through old clothes.  Since the vintage market in London is generally much more expensive than that of Orlando, I hadn’t expected to find anything I would be keen on that would be affordable.  But actually, I did wind up getting an all-white Fred Perry jacket for £10, which isn’t bad.  Fair enough for a jacket, although with it being all-white, its unstained days with me are numbered, since I am notorious for marking white clothing.  If you’d like to find out more about the women behind Jumble and Pearls, here’s an article from last year about them.  There’s going to be another Jumble and Pearls vintage sale, again at The Horatia, on 10 April from 1 pm until 6 pm.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend, as I’ll be in the US during that time, but if you like pawing through vintage and used clothing, why not have a go?

Although The Horatia sits on the former site of the apparently infamous Lord Nelson, then it became the Ashburton, I would probably hesitate to qualify The Horatia as a “pub” from my visit.  For fans of CAMRA, The Horatia did not have any real ale available to drink from what I could see, although I should say that this may have changed since I had been there weeks ago, or it may change in the future, as their Facebook page indicates:

The importance given to quality of drinks is absolute and in addition to finest British ales and continental brews a delicious range of world wines and spirits list will be available to make any Holloway resident proud of calling The Horatia their local.

Hmm.  I’ll have to pop in again to see how far along the place has developed.  So far, the website for The Horatia is still under construction.  But the interior of the space is quite nice, and it has a lot of potential.  If The Horatia hasn’t already developed all that it promises, it hopefully will soon, and it would be a welcome addition to that part of Lower Holloway.

Those of you who may be familiar with Horse & Groom , aka “The Disco Pub” in the trendy area of Shoreditch may be interested to know that The Horatia aims to be the N7 counterpart to Horse & Groom.  My friend Lucy happened to go to see a DJ performance at night on the same Saturday I had gone to check out Jumble & Pearls, so it’s already beginning to get people from other areas of London into Holloway.

Will The Horatia turn Holloway into the next Shoreditch?  Ah, let’s hope not.  But let’s hope they’ve got some food and real ale available the next time I drop in.

The Horatia is located on Holloway Road between the Highbury & Islington and Holloway Road Tube Stations.  For those of you who bus it around London like yours truly, the 271, the 43 and the 393 all run past The Horatia, and it’s an easy enough walk from Islington and from Nag’s Head.


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