The Abbey Tavern seems to have it all: it’s located in one of the coolest parts of London, hosts regular open mic nights, has joined forces with a hog roast cooking team and has one of the best roof terraces in the capital.
You'll find The Abbey Tavern at the top end of Camden, where it bleeds into Kentish Town. The sprawling pub is typical of this part of London – the décor is edgy but clean with careful thought given to decorative embellishment, from the twinkling lights to the exposed brick and slouchy red sofas. The bar is huge and dominates the space and there’s a large staging area for the regular live acts and music that are hosted here. It’s a very well thought-out space.
Pubs in this area really know how to pull out all the stops when it comes to entertainment and The Abbey Tavern is no different. There are regular party nights, from ‘beach’ parties to blues nights and beer tasting events. Tuesday open mic nights have been well known for years and pull in some surprisingly good talent among the inevitable dross. The crowd here is therefore suitably eclectic and often steered by whatever event is on at the time, although it’s clearly a hit with the locals too - there's plenty of banter between regulars and bar staff, a pleasant sight to see.
Food at The Abbey Tavern used to be a non-event, until they joined forces with Phileas Hog’s Kitchen. These guys are all about cheap pulled pork and salt beef and the menu is, frankly, fantastic. Main dishes cost no more than £8 and the trademark Phileas Hog is just £6.50 for pulled pork in a ciabatta roll with smoky BBQ sauce, coleslaw, crackling and homemade apple sauce. And it’s delicious - the pork is soft and sweet and works well with both BBQ and sweet apple sauces, and the coleslaw adds a creamy, tangy flavour. It’s certainly worth more than the cheap price tag it’s been given.
Support is shown to local brewers and a handful of pumps regularly showcase unusual real ales. Most recently the pub has teamed up with new Hackney brewer Five Points, showing off their little-known pale ale, red rye and porter. It’s another string to the Tavern's bow as these beers are currently next-to impossible to find in London, particularly in mainstream pubs outside of Hackney.
The Last Word
The Abbey Tavern ticks all the boxes and really make an effort to keep supplying the best of everything, all for a low price. Entertainment, food and drink have all been carefully considered and the result is a frankly fantastic boozer.