Kentish Town’s Southampton Arms set to reopen after refurbishment

Peter Holt, the owner of the Southampton Arms in Highgate Road

Peter Holt, the owner of the Southampton Arms in Highgate Road - Credit: Harry Taylor

“It stank. It smelt like the goat pen at London Zoo.”

For Peter Holt, who reopens his Southampton Arms pub in Highgate Road tonight, the work couldn’t have come soon enough.

“We had six layers of lino and the beer had got between each layer. It really stank.”

At the venue, where he has been hard at work for a fortnight, Peter believes regulars won’t notice too much difference.

The 42-year-old, who has run the pub for nearly a decade, said: “We’ve kept the old Victorian bar, but have created some better storage space behind it. We have put some tiles down behind the bar as well, and refitted the beer cellar.”

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Otherwise, the old-fashioned pub, complete with a piano, will stay the same – aside from some new beers. He said: “When we opened you couldn’t get ale and craft beer in keg – it was all cask. So we’re changing two of our 10 cask pumps.”

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