An away fans pub guide to Arsenal
Hidden away from the honking horns and congestion of the Seven Sisters Road, Irish pub the Faltering Fullback is a north London gem secreted amongst the housing off Stroud Green Road.
A short walk from Finsbury Park tube, the Fullback is not closest pub to the Emirates that’s welcoming to away fans, but it’s by far the best.
An ivy covered building on the corner of Ennis and Perth Road, it first appears to be nothing more than a quaint suburban boozer, but further investigation reveals it’s anything but that.
Divided into three distinct areas, the Fullback belies its apparent size on first inspection, as it’s surprisingly vast.
The main horseshoe bar – accessed from the corner of the pub – sits beneath a trendy hipster style ceiling littered with bicycles, advertising signs and other sporting nick-naks, while the inviting cluttered feel of the surrounding stools and chairs give the room a cosy and bustling feel.
And at the entrance of one of two corridor-like snugs a TV that’s usually devoted to sport of some kind has been smuggled onto the wall amongst the memorabilia.
The vast hall at the end of these rooms though is a different prospect entirely, with the comfortable warm feeling replaced by a high-ceilinged hall, which entertains a louder and more raucous atmosphere at its peak.
Furnished in a much more minimal style – exaggerated by the garden benches – a pool table at the end of the room and a number of TVs are the room’s main focus.
If this in slight contrast to the bar area, then the outside is other worldly.
What was a tiny outside space, nestled in between the pub and a row of terraced houses, has been imaginatively transformed into a multi-layered area of decking that has smothered the side of the building and is reminiscent of something from Neverland.
Packed with flowers, palms and reeds, it’s the outside area that shines and elevates it above the raft of other pre-match boozers.
- And for a more vivid picture of the pub take the virtual tour.
Price of a pint and a snack
Guinness £3.50 and Golden Wonder Bacon Bites £0.75.
As is the trend with a lot of London pubs, the Fullback serves a range of perfectly adequate Thai food at a reasonable price, with main meals starting from £5.99.
This at first seems a little at odds with the cosy warmth of the traditional local pub, but it sits comfortably with the tropical decked area outside.
A number of flat screen TVs are dotted around the pub in both the main bar and the adjoining hall and they’re usually filled with Jeff Stelling’s face on matchday.
Outside seating area
Split over a number of different levels, the decking gives a fantastic feeling of space in a compact area that lifts you away from suburban London to a raucous tropical place filled with plants, beer and the smell and roll-up cigs.
It’s an idyllic setting to revel in green calm before the storm of an away encounter. There truly is nothing like it in London.
Travel to the pub
Finsbury Park on the Victoria and Piccadilly lines is the nearest tube station and is a few stops away from Kings Cross and Euston, and a few more from Victoria. Alternatively the London Overground from Kings Cross is a substitute for the crowded underground network, as is the 253 bus towards Aldgate, which stops at Finsbury Park station.
The Fullback is a five-minute walk up Stroud Green Road – which is easily accessible from both the station and Wells Terrace exits – towards Ennis Road on the right and the pub reveals itself after 100 yards.
Distance from the ground
1.2 miles (1.9km)
Travel to the ground
Travel on the roads surrounding the ground is slow going at weekends and the Seven Sisters artery becomes clogged on matchday, so walking is probably the best option and takes a leisurely 20 minutes from the pub.
Heading back towards Finsbury Park tube, turn right under the railway bridge and then left down Isledon Road. From there follow the throng of Arsenal fans marching left at the crossroads down Hornsey Road, under another bridge and the stadium will tower over you on your left-hand side.
Other pubs to consider
The Drayton Arms close to Arsenal tube station and Drayton Park railway is a popular watering hole for away fans, who seemingly enjoy the simple decor and the comfort of drinking lager from plastic cups. The Twelve Pins on Seven Sisters Road on the other hand has considerably more charm and is only 10-15 minutes from the ground.
Pub to avoid
Found on the corner of Isledon Road, The Tollington is a haven for home supporters where honest suggestions that Robin van Persie could well flourish at United might not be too well received.Tags: Arsenal, Premier League, The Emirates, The Faltering Fullback
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