As if it was planned, we arrived at the North Pole in Islington on a blustery, cold and wet evening in early October. Coming in from the rain, we instantly appreciated the warm and darkly atmospheric setting. We were greeted by some very friendly (and we were soon to find out very knowledgeable) staff and led to our seats.
The bar serves a vast selection of ales, craft beers and cider, which we certainly had to try out. After all plumping for the Canadian Moosehead Lager (a light golden beer, with a good bitter and sweet balance) and the Flying Dog Doggy Style Pale Ale ( a citrusy ale)as a more than satisfactory session tipples, we began sampling some of the more specialised beverages available.
Our favourite was the British Innis and Gunn Original (6.6%), which offers a really smooth flavour and hints of vanilla. A really great drink for the colder months and perfect for the meal we were about to embark on. We also tried the rather acquired tasting Bristol Brewers United Smoked Porter (6%). This had a really peculiar Chocolate and smokey flavour; however, one of our party really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to the more adventurous drinker. This is only the tip of the North Poles vast and comprehensive drinks range and I would really recommend popping down there to see what could suit you.
The food at the North Pole is generous, rustic and packed full of hearty flavours. If you are looking for a location to take hiding in this winter, then this probably cannot be beaten.
There aren`t typical `starter dishes`, but a range of snacks which more than fit the bill for a starter alternative. The pricing of these starters is excellent value, with 1 for £4 / 2 for £7.50/3 for £10.50 / 4 for £13. An absolute bargain, especially when you come to realise that they are jammed full of flavour. We tried a good selection of these snacks and loved them all. The pint of prawns option is a great way to begin for the fish lover and it offers a great option to the otherwise more meat orientated options. The finger lickin` chicken strips were large and sinfully tasty! We also tried one of the North Pole`s homemade scotch eggs and it was delicious; the beautifully seasoned casing fell apart to reveal and oozing egg within – yum! We were also lucky enough to be the first to taste their new corn dogs and they were delicious too. It was very hard to find fault with any of these dishes!
But it is the mains were the North Pole really hits a home run! The menu takes a heavy influence from American dishes; such as Pulled Pork, Whole racks of ribs and great Beef Burgers. Firstly, the pulled pork melted in the mouth and tasting brilliant – our favourite dish of the night. We enjoyed every mouthful of this and I will have to go back for more in future! Secondly, the ribs are also fabulously tender and rich in BBQ flavour. The meat fell off the bone and (again!) just melted in the mouth. In short, great rustic and wholesome food. We left full, content and with a smile on our faces.
To be honest, the only worry I had when entering the North Pole was that, from the outside, it is slightly lacking in aesthetic finesse. However, when you surrender yourself to the cosy atmosphere, the warmth, the drink, the food, then it all begins to make sense. I can see myself making a trek to the North Pole in the near future.
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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