This great-value pub in the heart of Camden is good for sport and cheap and cheerful food and booze.
Formally a generic Hogshead branch, this venue has been rebranded, given a new name and the interiors have been revamped. With mock industrial piping on the ceilings, exposed brickwork, trendy lighting and large couches, as well as plasma TVs for sport, homely coving on the walls and feature wallpaper, the venue has the vibe of a modern bar with faux features of a traditional pub. It's vaguely split into two areas – with a modern brick and metal shelf-like structure dividing the two. There's nothing outstanding about the decor, but it's very functional. There's a large amount of seating for all occasions – with sofas nearer the front on the lower level and more-formal dining tables at the back. There's also an outside area where you can people watch and smoke while keeping covered.
While the staff in the venue look as if they'd be better suited to giving you style advice than pouring your pint, the punters are a little less trendy. Despite the acoustic night on a Monday where cool music types flock to the pub to strut their stuff, the pub has a chain-like feel to it and attracts a mixed bunch of shoppers, students and people who work close by. It's not uncommon to see a young-looking group picking at chips and downing Gaymers alongside a couple of suits who have popped into the bar for a quick pint at lunchtime.
There's nothing outstanding about the traditional pub grub, but it's very good value. Pub favourites include bangers and mash and lasagna as well as world favourites, such as Thai green curry and chicken tikka masala There's also an all-day breakfast on offer, grills and light bites, jacket potatoes and burgers. All meals are under £7, or you can get deals with drinks, or two meals for £8.95.
The bar is huge and takes up almost the length of one wall. It's also well stocked and great if you love cider – dangerously strong Heron Valley, Cheddar Valley and Westons cider is served from barrels at the back of the bar, as well as Scrumpy, Gaymers original and pear and Brothers pear on tap. Other draught lagers include Becks Vier, Heineken, Guinness Extra Cold, as well as real ales, such as Hobgoblin and London Pride. All pints are priced £3-£4. There's a large wine list and you're looking at spending around £14 for a decent bottle of wine, which is actually pretty reasonable when you compare it to neighbouring venues.
The Last Word
This might be a generic pub, but with cheap food and drink, an unusual range of strong ciders and a great space for watching TV, The Earl of Camden is always going to pull a crowd.