Courtesy of @AlbertTrinker and his review of Camden Pubs:
Why has it taken me so long to go to this pub? I've walked past so many times, thinking to myself "I bet that's a charmless dump..." but as we've found time and time again judging books by the covers makes an ass out of u and me!
Ok, so this is based on one visit and therefore I accept accusations of hyperbole but I think this could be the best pub in Camden. Let me explain.
As I approached I peered in the window by the door and it looked pretty dead so I went round the corner to the other door and went in kind of expecting everything to stop and everyone to turn and stare at the stranger in town. Not a bit of it - well there were only two people in. And the door-choice was irrelevant anyways as the three original bars (a saloon bar, public bar and a private bar + a separate off-licence and what looked to me like a snug) had been knocked into one. But no matter as it doesn't feel like one huge empty room, and the bar is still kinda-partitioned. I'm not a fan of open plan.
The decor is pure "1970s proper pub". Wood panels, carpet, foliage, pvc banquettes, trophies, photos of locals and a huge stuffed pike. Despite the telly being on, and fruit machine flashing (albeit quietly) and then the telly being replaced by behind-the-bar music that was a mix of easy listening and Rod Stewart's greatest post-Faces hits, it was a wonderful cosy comfy place to be. Some would describe it as "tatty" or "shabby" or "in need of improvement", but it really really doesn't. And what do those people know about anything anyways? They'd want everything redecorated every few years according to their fads and whims - a recipe for a pub and heritage disaster. It felt like being in a pub in some unspoilt sleepy Cotswold village, not in the middle of a north London housing estate.
Read more here: http://camdenpubs.blogspot.co.uk/