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“Mixed reactions” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Clissold Arms

Clissold Arms
105 Fortis Green | East Finchley, London, England
020 8444 4224
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Ranked #9,589 of 17,039 Restaurants in London
Price range: $26 - $40
Cuisines: French, English
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Transit: We are on Fortis Green which is a 10 minute walk from East Finchley tube Station. Bus routes 102 & 234 service fortis green whilst we are just a short walk from both Muswell Hill(43,134,299) & East Finchley (143,263 H3)
London, UK
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Mixed reactions”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014 via mobile

I went here for my birthday with my immediate family. Due to a hearing loss we had booked and asked for a table against a wall, corner if possible. The corner table was occupied but we were offered another table I told we could move later when the corner table was vacated.

The first courses were great although I was a little surprised how small mine was, however, it was surprisingly filling as well as a little rich. The main course was not so great. Whilst I and one other person had the porcini mushroom ravioli which was great, two others were given lamb dishes which they were very dissatisfied with. The staff were great and sorted everything to everyone's satisfaction.

They had arranged prior to my arrival to bring out a cake with candles that my sister had baked.

I thought the service was second to none and we didn't get the normal enquiries about 'is everything okay?' Which I would have found too intrusive at this meal.

Visited February 2014
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148 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Bigger and better than you would imagine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

From the street, this old building has the appearance of a sleepy little pub, but it is actually a large, friendly and very high class eatery.
The service is efficient, it is encouraging to see into the kitchen and be greeted by the kitchen staff as well as front of house, and both menu and wine list live up to rising expectations. Starters are well presented, dishes arrive hot, and the ambience, with myriad LED lights that would look tacky anywhere else, is upbeat and warm.

Small wonder then that the energetic management have organised jazz evenings, comedy nights and much more, and the large restaurant is complemented by an equally large outdoor area for the warmer months. Starters include tender salt and pepper squid, roasted fig salad with chicory and endive. Mains include duck, excellent steaks aged to 28 days and served on wooden platters, pork loin cooked to just the right point with an excellent bright apple sauce. Deserts include a generous but faultless pistachio creme brulee and ferrous apple crumble. Definitely a place to try.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
158 reviews 158 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Very disappointing. Expensive.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2014

I decided to revisit the Clissold Arms after a long time, as this used to be a special place, but was left feeling very disappointed. To start with, the picture that the place presents is confusing. This no longer is a cosy gastro-pub but all the tables are covered with tablecloths and glasses and you have to wait to be seated. However, it is not clear where it is you have to wait and staff walked past me totally ignoring me even though there hardly were any customers around. Eventually, I was seated. But the service remained slow and inattentive throughout, the biggest part of it was completely mute. It almost felt like staff were angry or could not be bothered to speak. Throughout my meal I had to put up with chairs being constantly moved across the floor making a lot of noise, rubbish bags being taken out but also...the "office". There is an "office" in the restaurant area which is in full view of customers, complete with files, desk and computer screens. I actually saw people work while I was there and they seemed troubled by what was on the screens. Overall, it felt like sitting in the midst of a busy work site and that people had more important things to do than to make an effort for you. I really couldn't wait to go. The food was good but nothing special and everything was slightly overpriced. In the end I was even charged £3 for the service, which I thought was unreasonable compared to the experience. The toilets were disgusting and in need of a refurb. This historic pub once offered a special experience. Now it is completely stripped of the character of a traditional English pub and does not come anywhere close to the standard of a smart restaurant either. Service is poor and food average at inflated prices. A big shame but, unless I hear that something has changed, I will not be returning.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Private Event - Faultless”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

After eating here many time with friends and family and having never been disappointed, my partner and I chose to have our wedding reception (105 guests) here on 5th January.

I cannot praise the staff highly enough.

For the food we chose French Onion Soup, Goats Cheese & Fig Salad, Chicken Liver Pate followed by Roast Beef, Pumpkin Ravioli and Sea Bass then a selection of desserts. The food was wonderful and we have received an abundance of compliments to this effect. The staff were attentive throughout the evening ensuring drinks were topped up and all needs were met.

Sonia, the events manager also pulled off an amazing feat with the amount of decorations we provided her with only the day before. The place looked absolutely lovely and set the perfect scene for our relaxed, easy going wedding.

I would not hesitate to recommend the Clissold Arms whether it be for a Sunday lunch or a private event.

Very happy customer.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Fine but should be better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014

This is our local gastro pub and it used to be great, but now it's just ok. The pub, restaurant and outside area are still lovely, but the food really isn't good enough. The vegetarian ravioli my wife had was lovely, but my main was overcooked and potato cold. It wasn't busy. No excuse. Shame. Just need to up the quality of service and food by 10% and it would be good again.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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