105 Stoke Newington Church Street, Stoke Newington, N16 0UD
A long skinny shard of a place, ringing with laughter, hard drinking and live music, the Auld Shillelagh is an Irish pub to die for. The slow-pulled (and we mean sloooooow) Guinness is good, the regular live music is great (bluegrass, Americana, Irish fiddle) – although the elongated room means that, unless you’re right next to them, you may well not actually be able to see the musicians – while the DJ nights have a raffish, in-the-know edge (the past has seen regular ska, Bowie and Sinatra nights). It’s a rumbustuous, high-spirited place, with a nice mix of people, youngsters and old-timers, barflies and musos. For those who need a bit of breathing space, there are a couple of benches on the street at the front and a paved beer garden at the back. Things are quieter during the day, when diehards while away afternoons watching the racing on the big screens.