Hassrale Trips:- Camden Town

Date: Tuesday 22nd June 1999

This is a trip that we had been intending to do for some time in fact we first did a trial run in October 1997. As such a long period had elapsed we decided to have another look and found that some new pubs had opened plus Mornington Crescent is now operational again, I assume that the alien spacecraft has now been removed. The welcome news on the transport front altered our starting point, we now start at Mornington Crescent tube station and walk up Camden High Street till we find on our right the first pub.

1. Cobden Arms - Camden High Street [18:15]

Beers: Fullers London Pride, Greene King IPA

Pleasant 'woody' pub with glass frontage but quite dark inside due to a large central pillar. Two level bar area with back portion raised. There was plenty of seating on our visit. As with many Camden Town pubs there was a fairly cosmopolitan feel to the clientele. There were seats outside which may be useful at this time of year. If its very warm some may be pleased to note that they had draught Hoegaarden on. There appeared to be air-conditioning plus a large TV at the back (showing cricket on our visit). This must be a new conversion because it doesn't appear on any of our beer guides.

Leaving here we walked up Camden High Street, we looked in the Wheatsheaf but they were NRA. So we crossed over Camden High Street and walked up to the traffic lights then turned left into Delancy Street, cross over this and find on our right on the corner of Arlington Road then next venue.

2. The Crown & Goose - corner of Delancy St. and Arlington Rd.

Beers: Fullers London Pride

Something of a curiosity, it looks more like a restaurant from the outside (or the inside for that matter). Its quite small and busy in the bar area, we ended up seated outside on our visit we had an excellent view of the traffic going up Arlington Road. They were repainting the outside on our visit so we had to be careful what we touched. While the real ale selection was poor they had draught Leffe on tap plus some interesting Belgian bottled beers. My notes from 1997 mention that Drum & Bass music pervaded the atmosphere plus they didn't use beer mats but those continental style paper mats and they gave you your change on a plate.

Leaving here head down Arlington Road towards Parkway. Turn right when we reach this and we will find just a short distance away

3. Rat and Parrot - 25 Parkway

Beers:- Courage Best

This used to be the Camden Stores but has been extensively refurbished. You can still see the former name on the external facade. A welcoming array of no fewer than 8 handpumps greeted us on entrance but they all turned out to have the same beer. Large multi-level pub with a variety of banquette (?) seats, high tables and ordinary upholstered dining room chairs. This is a corner pub with the front opening onto the main road. Stained glass windows hark back to former incarnations of the place. The clientele were mainly young and there was a loud sound system but the beer was in good condition. Chalk boards outside proclaimed that food was served all day.

Leaving here we walk a short distance up Parkway past an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants till we come to the turning on our left into Albert Street were we find our last two pubs opposite each other.

4. Hogshead - Parkway

Beers: GK Abbot, Brakspears Special, Wadworths 6X, Marstons Pedigree, Adnams Bitter, Myrica, Spitfire, OSH, Boddingtons etc.

A former wine cellar now turned into a pub and also a gym (?). Quite a mish-mash of pub styles. No music, food served and a wide range of beer. Quite traditional seating up to a point. Built on multiple levels but incongruously exposed air-conditioning vents. High ceiling, several discrete drinking areas break up the large interior. The usual Hogshead paraphernalia such as ale barrels and traditional bric a brac are scattered liberally throughout. Though busy we secured seats without too much trouble.

Crossing over Albert Street we arrive at our last pub

5. Spread Eagle - 141 Albert Street

Beers: Youngs Ordinary and Special

This is a venue that Hassrale has visited several time before. Another popular and busy pub where the beer is normally in excellent condition. It was heavily renovated about 5 years ago and has had time to become comfortable with its image. There is only one long bar but partitions give the effect of several different drinking areas. Its always very busy and we made need to use the seats outside though on the actual trial we found seats without too much difficulty. I can't remember any music but the TV was showing football on our 1999 visit.

Leaving here you should walk down Parkway to Camden Town tube station for the return home. North Londoners will find plenty of useful bus routes here.

Trial Dates :- 21st October 1997,11th May 1999

Participants: J.Wright, P.Tiffany, M.Chambers, J.Featherstone, E.Featherstone

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