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I popped into the Haringay Arms last night and was amazed by its transformation into a cool new pub. They've taken down the old lace curtains, very welcoming and a nice Best Bitter. Ben

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I used to find pubs very seductive, but I've grown more resistant to their blandishments lately. The most seductive type for me was the pub with the net curtains through which you could see the vaguely yellow or vaguely pink lights - not too bright. You could imagine couples having intimate conversations, or mates laughing at each others jokes even though they've heard them a hundred times before, or putting the world to rights over the third or ninth pint. The Harringay Arms was one of these. With the high line of its windows it was particularly coy about its charms, offering just a glimpse through the door occasionally as it opened a little. 

Much less seductive are the big open functional bars with plate glass windows and a clear view all the way across - designed just for getting as much beer down your neck as possible - not seductive at all, just showing everything they've got. The Union bar at university was like that in 1970 and I've grown out of it (mainly). The bar on Topsfield Parade (Henry Reader Williams?) is like that - made worse by the occupants sitting around gawping at the big TVs. 

I rather hope "cool, new" incorporates an element of seduction.

Hear hear Adrian. I have a friend who lives in Norwich but hails from Sweden/Estonia/Russia (it's a trifle complicated). When she's in London she stays on my sofa, and we wander around Crouch End for the evening. A while ago I took her to the HA, just a couple of weeks before it disappeared into the chrysalis and afterwards she said it was the nicest and most proper pub she'd ever been to. Next time she's here I'll drag her back in to the new version to see what she makes of its new self. I haven't been in yet.


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