It’s ten minutes before noon on Easter Sunday, and I’m enduring a terrible coffee in a Highbury tea shop. And I mean really, truly terrible. This stuff tasted like it was brewed using pencil shavings and filtered through used toilet paper.
Sadly, I’ve been told that the word “yeast” in the blog title means I’m forbidden from reviewing coffee shops. Fortunately the pub across the street promised to help scour the taste of burnt coffee from my mouth.
Inside, The Highbury Barn is all distressed wood and wallpaper printed to look like book shelves. Acoustic music plays at a tasteful volume from a high-tech speaker system. The staff behind the bar have man buns. Involuntarily, my mind leaps back to the Robert Pattinson line: “the most intense form of pretentious dishevelment I’ve ever seen in my life.”
I attempt to order one of the two ales available on tap – the third is off – and am asked for £4.60 in exchange. Just about managing to contain my shock, I hand my card to the barman for him to sneer “it’s a five quid minimum, mate”. Walking straight out starts to feel like an attractive option.
However, I manage to contain my rage and settle down with a pint of Trooper and a packet of similarly overpriced habanero flavoured pork scratchings. It’s fine, but I feel as though I’ve been cheated out of even more money through my unplanned top-up purchase.
Eyeing up the “brunch” menu, I see they’re selling a round of toast with jam for £3.25. I begin to wonder why I even bothered going to university when I could have earned a fortune by becoming a toaster.
The Highbury Barn is a pretentious restaurant hiding in the shell of what was once a pub. Perhaps the food is worth the money, but the beer and atmosphere certainly aren’t. 1/5