Camberwell’s pubs: addendum

The bar of The Bear pub

A few brief additions to my post on local pubs a few weeks ago.

First, The Bear has (re-)opened, although not quite fully. It’s now a craft-beer focused pub with a kitchen. The interior has seen a spruce-up, no massive changes but a bit more bright and with more beer pumps. The space still looks a little sparse, but will no doubt improve over the coming weeks.

They have some 20 or so beers on cask and keg, including many locals. The staff are very knowledgeable about their craft beers, and this seems to be the intended differentiator between themselves and other local pubs. I look forward to revisiting many times to see them grow into the space, and wish them success — that’s a tricky location, but hopefully soon to be more popular due to the many new flats being constructed across the road.

Also re-opened is The Phoenix, at Denmark Hill station. They’ve likewise spruced up, with some nice new booth seating particularly noticeable — and it’s still the best place to catch the sun later in the day. There’s a new menu as of last week, which looks good albeit identical to at least one other pub in their chain, The Commercial in Herne Hill.

In my previous blog post I mentioned that The Crooked Well wasn’t the best place for drinkers, but that was out-of-date information; they’ve refurbished their lounge to have more seats and tables, and made the difficult change from being a tied pub to a freehouse which means they have freedom to serve the beers they want. So in addition to their nice restaurant it’s now also a decent place to sit and have a beer.

Finally, some pubs I missed from my round-up: First is The Amaryllis on Coldharbour Lane. I’ve been there once, about eight years ago, so fear I have nothing useful to add about it other than it’s still there so seems at least moderately successful. Then there are The Kennington, La Tavernetta/The Golden Goose and The Clarendon Arms, all on Camberwell New Road. You can tell by their omission that I don’t get out that way much.  Sadly, I also have nothing to report on them except that they’ve been through name changes in the past few years.

Perhaps it’s time I did a pub crawl through the places I’ve never visited.

Author: Peter

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

12 thoughts on “Camberwell’s pubs: addendum”

  1. A handy addendum. You have your work cut out to drink in all of them. I wonder has anyone ever visited all the pubs in Camberwell? Not on the same day, obviously, but ever, ever.

    1. Not sure what’s going on with La Tavernetta/The Golden Goose at the moment. Golden Goose was open for a bit but didn’t look like it was properly open? Was very odd. Both look like they’ve been having some work done and haven’t seen them both open for a while (might just be the time I’ve been going by them).
      I wouldn’t mind doing an update crawl. Especially as I doubt I’d brave the Clarendon Arms on my own.
      Great news about Crooked Well, might go and check it out now!
      Bear is still finding its legs but am very optimistic. Have started doing food and the tester is: how good are their burgers?
      I can report that they are very nice indeed and the chips were fantastic. Hope they keep the quality strong, I believe they will.
      Kennington is a popular pub, is all very clean and welcoming and modern and whatnot. Was packed the other day (weather was great), loads of people outside.

  2. I may have visted all the pubs in Camberwell, Gabe, I’m not sure. Some were demolished, turned into flats or never there in the first place.

    It’s interesting that the Crooked Well now welcomes drinkers. Will make a visit to the Camberwell Building Society and draw out some funds. How much?

    “The Kerfield, mate. They say there are bodies under this patio.”

    Let us always welcome change, indeed, ingest it.

    1. I suppose if you had, you wouldn’t remember.

      I’m probably getting close by now. Thing is, what about if it’s the same pub, but with a new name? The Funky Munkey I went to quite often, but I’ve never been to Stormbird (which is weird because I like beer). Hmm.

  3. Stormbird is fabulous, it’s beer heaven. They play incredibly well designed music there that lifts the mood of the place but doesn’t interfere. There’s a very mixed, upbeat, modern, young crowd. Hats off to the Hermits for coming up with Stormbird.

  4. At least when Brexit comes our pint measures will be safe 😉

    Inner London areas, like Camberwell, are very pro-Europe, apparently, according to the news. It is the hinterland that is more wary.

  5. God invented the pint so he could have a pint of beer.

    Millwall play Bradford tomorrow (Friday) in their second “leg” (as it is called in football) of the playoffs. We’ll be able to hear the Den from here. Pubs with Sky will be packed.

  6. Millwall play Barnsley at Wembley on Sunday in the playoff final. It may be wise to pre-burn your car if they lose.

    Talking of cars, has anyone seen the magnificent, derelict Jaguar XJ6 4.2 litre Coupé parked next to the old Labour Party HQ on the Walworth Road, now a student hostel?

    This motor is a proper piece of 1970s Britain and gives the international students a rare, unrusted-away glimpse of that shabby, chaotic era and an insight into the “British disease” of the time. British Leyland and its cars were known in German, in a rough translation, as “British misery”.

    The white car has a black vinyl roof, all the rage at the time, which made the car “racier”. Because the coupé had no B‑pillars, the roof tended to flex under the vinyl, making it liable to hidden rust, because the paint (of the time) cracked as the car literally twisted through the bends.

    The car’s two doors were elongated, virtually improvised versions of the saloon’s four doors and a were bit flappy.

    The car was launched at the 1973 London Motor Show but British-Leyland-owned Jaguar was not quite ready to manufacture it yet, so the beast wasn’t available to the public till 1975. When it did arrive, the 4–2‑litre, inline‑6 engine purring as it lapped petrol, problems began to appear almost immediately — water leaks and wind noise in particular, not ideal in a British car in British weather with its characteristic wind and rain.

    The car is P‑reg, 1977, the year British Leyland was closed by strikes, towards the end of the Jim Callaghan Labour government that ended soon after the “Winter of Discontent” of 1978 when bodies piled up in the streets.

    In 1977 Millwall were flying high, soon to be in Division One which it was to top for a few hours, managed by Gordon Jago who had played for Dulwich Hamlet.

    Well done to whoever keeps the motor there next to “Walworth Road” as the Labour HQ was called. It is a (potentially) wonderful car and a fascinating monument to human fraility, 1970s values and to unpredictability and tattiness in our increasingly perfect South London.

    Round here, in its day, that car would have been the guvnor.

  7. Well, Camberwell, here’s a turn-up. The Arts Festival is nearly here 11–19 June and begins NOW with an amazing free prize draw. The prize is I will not write the next post if someone else does.

    Arts Week coincides with the Euro 2016 football tournament in Europe. England may be pulled if we cede from the EU, probably just when Rooney is about to score the winner against Germany in the final. Was the ball over the line drawn in the sand? No.

    Camberwell Millwall fans have been subdued since the play-off final defeat at Wembley. However, Lyndhurst Millwall, the small contingent embedded in Lyndhurst Primary School, would like it on record that they congratulate the headmaster’s nephew, Adam Hammill, for scoring a practically Brazilian goal for Barnsley on the day. Indeed, it was almost as though Muhammad Ali had come on to lively up the game and change the rules entirely.

    Of course, Camberwellonline may be a bit Victorian-attention-spanny for many of the people now thronging our cafes and brasseries, but it would be nice to hear what’s happening there, what trends we should be following, whether asparagus is in, or holidays in Iceland are out, or whatever it is we should know as we hoe our allotments, weave our cobwebs into cardigans for craft markets or scan the obits for our own demise.

  8. I don’t have much (anything, really) useful or interesting say about Camberwell. So this post doesn’t count.

    There’s a quite a bit of local news (pop-up shops, open-again bars, stabbings, planning applications, etc.) on other Internet platforms owned by American corporations, by which I mean social media. But I prefer to read about things here. Camberwell Online has an unrivalled sense of place. Maybe Peter should add emojis 😉 « edit: he did

    We went to Maloko for the first time in ages the other day. It’s still good. In no particular order, my top three eating places locally are:

    1. Maloko (vegetarian + vegan)
    2. Persepolis (vegetarian)
    3. A new Rasta-style place in Peckham Indoor Market (full vegan)

    This must be gentrification, or something, because when we moved to these parts it was strictly meat or chicken.

  9. There’s a new post up about the Arts Festival. But, truth be told, it’s been quiet because I haven’t been around (it’s conference season in my industry, so I’ve been all over) and haven’t had time to write anything new, either here or on the social medias.

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