The Camberwell Arms review

The latest addition to Camberwell’s growing gastro scene, The Camberwell Arms, has finally opened, so I went there last night for dinner and to see what all the positive buzz is about.

There have been some pretty big interior changes since its days as The Recreation Ground; the bar has moved to the left as you enter, and the site of the original bar is now an open kitchen and dining bar. It gives the place more atmosphere and makes it much more inviting to spend time in — both bars were pretty busy when we went in at about 7.30pm. At the rear is a dining area, which was quieter and we got a (shared) table with no difficulty — which was good, as they don’t take reservations.

The menu was fairly small (for mains, at least) but interesting, and there were a few shareable plates on as specials. I ordered slow-cooked goat, the Mrs. had pork belly, and we shared a charcuterie plate. The food was very good, certainly worth going back for, although I’m not sure it’s quite in ‘destination’ territory; I’d say we’ve eaten as well in The Bear, and perhaps slightly better in The Crooked Well and Angels & Gypsies. But it was really good, and I’m still very keen to try some of their dishes for two.

Two courses and a bottle of wine came to about £70; each main is in the £15 region. Not bad for the quality we had, but over the amount we’d comfortably spend for a quick after-work dinner. Your mileage may vary, of course.

Anyway, in summary: The Camberwell Arms is well planned, has great atmosphere, and the food is really good. A very positive start to life in SE5, and I’m really keen to see where they go from here.

Author: Peter

Long-time resident of Camberwell, author of this blog since July 2004.

8 thoughts on “The Camberwell Arms review”

  1. Thanks for the review, Peter. I’ve yet to visit the Camberwell Arms and your thoughts are useful.
    A planning application has been submitted for the redevelopment of the petrol station site (and the yard at it’s rear) on Peckham Rd.
    Only found out about this yesterday and the consultation has now closed, but if you’re interested, here’s a link to Southwark’s website:

  2. I went the other night too and really liked it. Much better layout — the front bar space feels cosier. Food was good and the service great.

  3. Chalk this one up to, er, impending middle age and utter pointlessness…

    On the “Col du Camberwell Grove” I currently place 268th out of 726 bike riders on Strava. Being a main commuter cycle route it’s quite a popular and competitive segment.

  4. Here’s an actual local-area question:
    Does anyone know anything about the housing development called Camberwell Fields between the Ethiopian Church and Burgess Park?

  5. Gabe — yes, I live next door to it, so have been following it closely. What do you want to know?

  6. Hi Robert, you know, I don’t really know what I want to know, but…

    Is it a good development in terms of quality of architecture, materials, etc.?

    Are the homes big enough and well enough designed that people will enjoy living in them for a long time? Centuries?

  7. Hi Gabe,

    It’s a mixed tenure development by Notting Hill Housing. The majority is for private sale, though there will be social rent houses and shared ownership flats too. It’s on land which has been derelict for 6 years or so because the previous plan for it was only half-completed before the recession hit.

    It’s a mix of houses and blocks of flats ranging from 4 to 7 stories. The design’s not bad — the buildings will all be brick-built, in the same kind of style as the Albany Place and Oval quarter developments. Given most of them will be sold and the developer (Ardmore) is one of the big ones, I’m guessing the end result will not look thrown-up.

    East-west routes through from Edmund Street to Caspian Road and Southampton Way are also being opened up, which will be a bonus.

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