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Crown and Goose (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Crown and Goose in Camden, London

100 Arlington Road, Camden, London, NW1 7HP
Cuisine: Modern British
Tel: 0207 5833443 | Email to Crown and Goose | Transport: Camden Town | Write review

Crown and Goose Review

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So, what exactly is a ‘gastropub’?

A gastropub, defined in the dictionary (cheers, Wikipedia), is a pub that “concentrates on quality food”. The name ‘gastropub’ is an amalgamation of the words ‘gastronomy’ and ‘public house’ – essentially, a pub that serves tip top, mouth-smackingly delicious grub. Think pretty and neat presentation; combinations of ingredients that side step the ordinary; waiters and table service – not your average boozer.

I love pub food. But even more than that, I love gastropub food. In actual fact, I love everything about the British pub. Traditional or more modern, I don’t care. But I like a pub to be what it is. I am not a massive fan of pretence. If a pub’s in a dodgy area of East London, and the paint’s peeling off the walls, and you have to push your way to the bar to be served by a surly faced bloke who looks like he’d rather hit you than give you a drink – I’m a fan. I’m a fan because I’m not under any illusion that it’s anything but what I thought it was when I opened the door. Which is why I was slightly disappointed when I visited the Crown and Goose in Camden.

I say slightly disappointed, and it really was only slightly. The pub looked sort of decrepit from the outside – some of the paintwork was chipped off, but I quite liked it. It was cosy inside, lit with soft lighting and candles. The restaurant was separate from the main bar, which had a smattering of people when we got there and was absolutely heaving when we left. Large artwork adorned the walls – interesting pieces, all for sale. (On a side note, we enquired about the art when we left and the cheery guy behind the bar informed us that they invite artists of residence in every so often, and sell every piece they show. We took the artists card we were so impressed). However, on closer inspection, the ornate fireplace and dilapidated walls were tampered with only to achieve the effect of neglect and age. It just wasn’t as cosy as it looked from the outside peering in when you sat down to eat.

The food tried and sort of succeeded. There were hints of high-end skill in the kitchen, but the menu seemed confused. British classics such as braised lamb shank and roasted guinea fowl sat on the menu next to a tostada of roasted sweet potato and chilli beans, accompanied by guacamole, salsa and sour cream. I ordered the latter dish out of sheer curiosity, and unfortunately was served what I sort of expected (but rather hoped it wasn’t) – posh nachos. Looking around the restaurant it appeared that the most popular dish on the menu (we didn’t spot anything else being ordered) was the venison burger with redcurrant jelly and brie, which looked absolutely delicious and made me resent my choice even further. A thick hearty burger, decorated with hand cut chips, sat on the plate proudly, assured of its popularity. Obviously the people who frequent this pub preferred the staple of a burger and chips; and boy, what a burger!

But as I said before, I was only slightly disappointed with the Crown and Goose. My starter of grilled tiger prawn marinara was packed full of flavour, if slightly cold, and our pudding of Baileys crème bruleè was delightful and sweet. The service, also, was second to none. There was only one waitress who served the whole restaurant (a rather foreboding task alone), and she did it calmly and confidently, with never an order late or incorrect. When we finished our glasses of wine we were offered another immediately, and we had water regularly topped up from a jug she brought around.

All in all, it was a pleasant (if not slightly forgettable) experience. Just like the pub itself, the food had a façade that didn’t quite live up to its reality. It all felt like this little pub in Camden was trying to be something it wasn’t. There are things to celebrate. The Crown and Goose is intimate and cosy, if a bit staged in its authenticity, and it’s a definitely popular choice with the locals. It’s friendly – the bar staff have huge smiles and happy customers, and the wine is quite cheap at about £14 a bottle. However, the food was nothing to write home about, and the prices were expensive.

I left not sure where I’d been. Was the Crown and Goose a gastropub, like it claims on its website? Or was it just a pub like every other pub – serving extraordinary ideas but slightly above average food? I’ve given it a long think and I’m still not entirely sure.
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Customer Reviews for Crown and Goose

Average (based on 2 votes): 2 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Crown and Goose.

“As a long term local of the goose I whole heartedly disagree with this review! 1- the goose has never been doctored the decaying walls are all au natural! 2- I think miracles come out of the tiny kitchen! 3- We quite like the goose being Camdens hidden jem so go back to your shabby east end pub and keep your opinions to yourself!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
seebill, Camden (9 years 6 months 7 days ago)

“This is one of Camden's smallest pubs but it's also one of its best. Crammed full of indie Camden types, this little boozer is a good option for pre-Koko drinks, in favour of some of the more well known pubs around the area. A pint will set you back £3 and they have a nifty kitchen doing some top grub too.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Leigh, Tooting (9 years 10 months 3 days ago)

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Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: Modern British
  • Dress Code: Not Specified
  • Group: Camden Bars

Crown and Goose Hire Details

The whole venue can be booked for exclusive hire for 200 people or small function room available for 30 people offering FREE hire.Late license available

Updated 02/01/2007

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