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The Rose and Crown is a pub on Stoke Newington Church Street in Hackney, London. It is located at the far end of a busy shopping street filled with boutique shops and cafes. The area is not short of pubs with this road alone having 5 of them but there seems to be a lack of real quality amongst them, and this one is no exception. The pub is a dominating building on the corner of Church Street and Albion Road. It's standout feature is it's large bay windows along the entire rounded frontage of the building. This allows for a light and airy feeling inside and a great opportunity for people watching. Outside on the narrow pavement are also a number of tables and chairs for the rare occasions that the weather permits alfresco drinking or dining. The interior of the pub is fairly typical in terms of it's wooden furnishings, the only standout additional feature being the large fireplace allowing for cosy winter afternoons. In general though apart from this, it doesn't fulfill it's potential as the furnishings are tired, drab and in desperate need of an overhaul. The pub on paper should seem like a nice place to drink... But we just really didn't like it. The clientele were a strange mix of local hipster and imposing local drunks somehow co-inhabiting. This should give it a 'real' charm but it doesn't work. I found myself irritated by hipsters or obtrusive drunks ruining your peace, the former obnoxious and noisy and the latter joining you with incoherent and inane chatter when all you want is a quiet drink. I also found the pub to be a bit shabby and dirty. Aside from the tired decor and furnishings, I had a pint in a glass that wasn't clean, the toilets were grubby and bar surface wet with stale beer. This was great for the beer flies that swarmed, less so for us. The service was friendly enough but not exceptional. I also found it to be quite slow with the bar staff being forgetful and seemingly preoccupied. It was a Sunday when we went and we thought we might also eat. As is frustratingly the case in many pubs on a Sunday, the only food available was a full roast. It was a scorching hot day so not an ideal meal. Given no choice, we ordered anyway. The roast was quite obviously straight out of the microwave. Everything was limp and lacking in freshness. It arrived so quickly as to add the the microwave suspicion. The beef was fatty and chewy and the vegetables over cooked. The portion was big but largely unappetizing. Price-wise, it's not too bad. A roast was around £12-£13 which is about standard for the area. Drinks wise, the pub has a decent selection of ales with about 4-5 on offer, but I drank lager. A pint came in at about £3.50, again, not outrageous for the area. Apparently they also offer some guest rooms and I've read other reviews that rate them but can't comment myself as we didn't stay. It's a shame that the potential here hasn't really been met. This could be a great pub given the building and location but falls short. Not somewhere I have returned to in a hurry despite living close by.
I recently had need of accommodation in the Stoke Newington area of London, a couple of colleagues had previously found that a local pub called the Rose and Crown had a few rooms that they let out on a bed a breakfast basis. The pub was very close to the place I would be working so I thought I would give it a go. Being fond of the odd tipple or two I had fantasies of being given keys to a pub and sneaking down for a wee dram after the landlord had gone to bed, unfortunately (Or fortunately as I had to work in the morning) this was not to be. The Rose and Crown only has 6 rooms, so it is not suitable for large parties and they do not take credit cards so you need to make sure you have your cheque book or enough cash to cover your stay. When I arrived, I popped into the pub and spoke to one of the bar staff saying I had a room booked, they were very helpful, asking if I had been in the area before, when I said I hadn’t they told me about a number of local restaurants, parks etc. They gave me my keys and showed me to my room, unfortunately this was back out of the pub and along to a side door that took you round the back. Then it was up a couple of flights of stairs to the 2nd floor where most of the bedrooms are located. My room was of a reasonable size, I certainly did not feel cramped, but it was not as big as a good hotel. In my room I had a double bed, desk and stool, 2 chairs, a wardrobe and some drawers. There was also a shelf with a number of books (Nice touch as I forgot to take one) a good bedside lamp, Television (Standard channels only BBC1, BBC2, ITV, CH4, CH5), Trouser Press and Tea and Coffee making facilities. There was an on-suite shower room with a toilet, sink, light with shaver point, small shelf with bards of soap and sachets of shower gel and a shower cubical. I never had problems with the temperature of the shower there was always hot water when I wanted it. My only complaint was the state of repair, the wallpaper was peeling away in the bathroom this made it look very tatty. I was worried about noise, being above a pub and next to a busy main road, but it was never a problem, I always had peace and quiet when I wanted to sleep. The Rose and Crown does not do food in the evenings, so you have to eat elsewhere even that is not a problem. Church Street Stoke Newington has to have more restaurants and food shops than the average town has in its boundary’s. You will be spoiled for choice, within a 5-minute walk there are Chinese, Thai, Indian, French, Pizza, Fish and Chips, Kebab and more, but I can’t remember them. There is also a chemist and supermarket near by just in case you have forgotten anything. While I am on the subject of food, the Rose and Crown do food at lunchtime, and it is brilliant food, I had a steak pie with chips and I thought it was wonderful really good chunks of steak with a home made pie crust, loads of vegetables and lovely thick gravy. In the end I had a meal at the Rose and Crown at lunch time and went and got a sandwich for the evening (From a lovely sandwich shop called Petit Coin, maybe the subject of another opinion later) Breakfast is in the dining room on the 1st floor, this is quite small but again not cramped. Breakfast is normally available between 8:30 and 10:00am, but if you want it earlier then just let the bar staff know and they will arrange it for you. When I arrived for breakfast my table was all laid out, there was a nice jug of milk another jug of Orange Juice a Tea Pot and yoghurt. There was a table filled with quite a few different cereals for you to help yourself and an urn full of hot water along with Tea Bags, Coffee and Hot Chocolate for your drinks. There was a bell to ring for attention where Mick or Mabel (The Owners) would make you toast. There was another table full of things to put on you toast, lots of jams, peanut butter, marmite e tc. It was certainly enough to get me going in the morning. In Summary, the place is probably not where I would choose to go on holiday, but if you are in the area and in need of a place to stay then you could do much worse than this place. The price I paid was £40 per night bed and breakfast and for London I did not think it was bad. As I have said the only complaint I had was the decoration in the bathroom apart from that everything else was great. If you are in the area, give it a go.