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The Three Crowns (London)

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Address: 175 Stoke Newington High Street / London N16 0LH

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      25.07.2012 15:29
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      An average pub and restaurant.

      The Three Crowns is a pub and restaurant on the corner of Stoke Newington Church Street and Stoke Newington High Street in Hackney, London. It's a cavernous place with an additional downstairs space for club nights and live music. Weekends sees it get incredibly busy with local hipsters and standing room only applies. Weekends, particularly Sunday lunch, the small restaurant area also gets very crowded and often getting a table can be difficult at peak times.
      The interior decor has no real outstanding features and is relatively smart having been recently-ish decorated. It is often dark despite the surround of windows and although not drab, largely undecorated. The pub itself contains an eclectic mix of furnishings often with a slightly battered feel. The dining room is slightly more organised with tables and chairs neatly packed in. It's a small area but yet makes the most of the space meaning unfortunately you are often elbow to elbow, or back to back, with the neighbouring table.

      The mix of furnishings is equally aged as the pub itself but more uniform. In the evenings candles are lit on each table offering a pleasant ambience and during the day the imposing windows offer great people watching.
      I think reserving a table is possible but we have never done so. Once or twice this has been to our detriment and we've not been able to get a seat but this has been rarely.

      The service is usually friendly if perhaps a bit scatty and forgetful. I also find the staff could be a little more attentive. They are good but sometimes getting their attention can be tricky. They also fall foul of my pet hate of asking if everything is ok with the food minutes after bringing it.
      The menu itself fits neatly in the classic gastro pub mould. Mostly it's fairly conventional, sometimes it's a little too clever for it's own good but on the whole it's good quality. I've eaten several times there ranging through fish and chips to salads and my only real disappointment has been with their Sunday Roast. This arrived so quickly it was obviously from the microwave and even then was sent back for not being hot enough. The roast beef was fatty but the pork faired better avoiding being dry but the crackling wasn't edible due to being too chewy. The roast potatoes could have done with being crispier and the veg a little less limp.

      The roast was a blip though and maybe an off day as it was very busy. Other meals have been very good. Fish and chips were excellent with a very crisp batter and succulent fish with triple cooked chips.
      Price wise it's on the expensive side with mains ranging from £12-£16 which I would regard as high end for a pub. The wine list is decent with a good range of wines from various territories at again high end but reasonable prices.

      As pubs go I found it to be fairly decent in terms of cleanliness. Tables were cleared efficiently and kept clean. The bar was relatively free of stale beer spillage. The toilets fared slightly worse and I think still felt the brunt of the night before as the smell wasn't pleasant and although clean felt grubby.

      This place isn't top of my list for places to go. I've never really got into the vibe here. Someone once described it as The 'Hollyoaks' pub and I can see why. There's alot of hipsters here 'being seen'. I can't get into the atmosphere in the same way I can other places. Other than the roast, the food tends to be good and given the area tends to not be well served by excellent pubs we find our selves here more often than probably we should through lack of other options.

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