This famous venue is really two pubs, a small rather traditional affair with a cavernous glass-roofed addition tagged on the back. It can be as busy as a rush hour train at times which either equates to a great night out or a living nightmare depending on your point of view. In our experience it is the crowd themselves who tend to shape which camp the night falls into. At any time you may get a gaggle of goths, a sprinkling of tourists, and some townies wearing short sleeved shirts and shiny shoes -- it's the latter we're most keen to avoid. Just be aware it's a get a few beers down your throat kind of place (and possibly a few shots) rather than somewhere for a quiet philosophical conversation. That said, there are a couple of more private spots in the slightly worn out pubby section and a seat on the mezzanine above the main bar also provides a chance to escape from the throng if not the noise they create. It can never be accused of lacking atmosphere and the unique row of fake shops adorning the walls is an interesting touch, but it would never be our first choice in Camden. However, for a meeting place it couldn't be better positioned, especially if planning to head downstairs to the Underworld club.
Reviewed by squirrel
15 Sep 2011