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  • 5.0 star rating
    27/7/2011
    Listed in Favs

    I seem to get trouble when I write reviews on here... they show up on my Facebook and I get told off... I like it.
    The Abbey Tavern. Must have been past the place millions of times, on my way to cash converters or the job centre... I never noticed it until one lovely summer evening my friend said to come down to Kentish Town... "KENTISH TOWN" I always seem to echo someone when I have a certain displeasure about somewhere... YES I am a Post Code snob, even though I was first chasing the ladies in E17 (don't go there)... where was I... oh Kentish Town, lovely place, NOW, but it always had a very bad rep, kids from school would say they were from Kentish to seem "well-hard" and even the biggest of fellows would take a chill pill... or sniff tippex, I'm not sure. Nowadays due to the expansion of Camden, Kentish is getting a more positive name for itself...

    I really liked it. the reason I was there was a secret but I got free food, and boy do I know how to abuse a friendship, in the nicest possible way. The was an acoustic night on in there and that was pretty sweet, quaint little technical problems that are just adorable. The quality of mostly everything was good and the staff very relaxed and not stressed about numbers or had to be concerned with the local dregs.

    I was and still am confused about the garden.. as lovely as it is, something within me tells me that I shouldn't go to the upstairs bit and chat to whoever's there, so next time I will venture up there, as for the rest of the garden, spot on.. enough tables, chairs, standing space, a little canopy, lights twinkly enough... the bogs are a maze, but all part of the fun. It is what you would call a "Tardis" bar, very unassuming on the outside, awesome on the inside... The only thing is for me, getting home is actually a mission. what would be a 15-30 minute walk is not possible because of Hampstead Heath, the hill around it, no more busses, and a sleepy cab controller, which means a walk to Camden to get two buses... but that's not the Abbey's fault.
    Anyway... Enjoy!

  • 4.0 star rating
    24/7/2013
    1 check-in here

    The Abbey Tavern is one of those gold-standard British pubs that I would meet friends at. It's not touristy but it's not such an old man-pub that I feel out of place by not knowing every bartender's name. The perfect blend of the two.

    It's also gigantic, with a large open space as you walk in and long wooden bar, a beer garden in the back and a surprise semi-hidden upper deck of this garden with even more (covered) seating for those warm but rainy days.

    The beer selection is good, nothing amazing but nothing horrible either. They can do your basic cocktails but anything fancy, nope, as I once watched a friend try to order something and get a blank look from the man behind the bar. Stick to simple, you'll be fine.

    They have a kitchen and usually a pop-up will be working hard behind there. When I went last time, they had the amazingly named Phileas Hog (with an image of a pig in a top hat in a balloon) cooking up meat. I got the poutine, yes, poutine, but it wasn't as wonderful as I had hoped. Great chops, great cheese curds, bad gravy. Ah well. My friends got pork sandwiches and devoured them, said they were amazing. I know what to get next time.

    This place also holds fun nights, like open mic nights every Tuesday. There's a good space up front for live music so if a show or something is going on and you walk by, it's worth stopping in.

    A great pub indeed.

  • 4.0 star rating
    24/7/2013

    I really enjoyed the time I spent at The Abbey and will go back again. The staff were friendly and efficient. The roof terrace is a lovely spot to chill and enjoy some food and a cider on a summer's day. As a Canadian, I jumped at the chance to enjoy a poutine (chips, cheese and gravy). I regretted it immediately. I am not picky about cheese and gravy on chips in anyway, so I was shocked that I found this version very hard to eat. It was way too salty and the gravy was way too thick that it became this overly thick and goopy version of a poutine, that no one in our party actually enjoyed eating. I really regret not getting the pulled pork. However when the poutine is on the menu in London, a Canadian girl will always jump at the chance for a taste of home.

    Another bonus was the live music on Tuesday night. I don't alway enjoy the live music in pubs, however I really liked what I heard at the Abbey. I will be coming back again to try the pulled pork. I hope it lives up to the expectations from watching other people in our party wolf down the pulled pork sandwiches. They looked huge, so I would say it seems to be good value for the money. I will report back if I am disappointed the next time I visit.

  • 4.0 star rating
    5/5/2011
    1 check-in here

    Wanna know how much I love the Abbey Tavern?

    I was recently there for a show (Ahab, I love you. Marry Me. All of you.) and in between songs I managed to slide up to the bar. Noticing that they did have a few interesting cocktails on offer, I quickly switched from a beer mood to a spirits spirit, so I asked for a whiskey sour, to which the bartender replied: "Hmm? A whiskey what?"

    That's funny... it's not loud in here... maybe it's that Americaness in my voice. so I tried again:

    "No worries, just a WHISK-EEE-SOW-AH, please."

    "What's a whiskey sour?" the bartender replied, completely straight faced. I gathered myself, did another check to make sure they do, in fact, offer cocktails, and rattled of the ingredients. I even broke down sweet 'n' sour, just in case. But as soon as I saw the spoonful of sugar drop into the glass and the lemon being cut up, I had to stop this eager bartender as the whiskey might have just jumped out in rebellion upon first drip.

    "Actually, I'll just have a whiskey ginger beer, thanks. So sorry for the trouble." This also caused confusion.

    But you know what, I was so in love with The Abbey Tavern by this point that it didn't even phase me. The staff is hilarious, kind, chatty and good spirited and the bar is the type we all wished we lived near. Whiskey-sour-ineptness just became their 'awwww, cute' factor, as something annoying always does with those you love.

    Maybe I should have asked for a whisky sour instead... (arg... those blasted Scots triumph again!)

  • 5.0 star rating
    28/11/2009

    I am a hardcore rocker trapped in a sporty, ravers, love to shake my booty body. There is a goth rock guitar legend waiting to burst out of me I tell you.

    I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to The Abbey Tavern. The darkened surroundings of this well designed shotgun bar are lit up by red spotlights and a long line of lampshades giving off a warm orangey glow. Atmosphere is cultivated by the deep rock tunes that seemed to resonate with a decidedly hip and cool crowd I have never until now witnessed in Kentish Town. With cheap drinks on offer behind the well stocked bar, free wifi and a guitar enhanced track list played at the perfect volume, the Abbey Tavern has the potential of becoming a regular haunt of mine.

    Oh I didn't mention the garden and West Indian inspired food menu did I? I only caught wind of these tit bits of information as I left. I stopped briefly to grab a takeaway menu and salivated all the way home. Plantains, goat curry and the fabled jerk are just a few things that may make The Abbey Tavern my new-found best friend.

    Great bar, great tunes, great crowd and seemingly great food.

  • 5.0 star rating
    19/7/2009
    First to Review

    The Abbey Tavern is one of my all-time favourite pubs in all of London. A cool, funky vibe, wonderful ambience, great service, and really killer food all combine to make some sort of shimmering, invincible robo-pub where everything rocks.

    The garden in back is my very favourite things about The Abbey. They've got a wonderful, large street-level area with big wooden picnic tables and umbrellas, and some gigantic trees also provide some lovely, cool shady bits as well. Heat lamps are plentiful, and the shared tables make it easy to meet some new friends if everyone's had a few pints. There's also a lovely roof garden as well, with shade, sunshine, and a bit of a tropical vibe going on. A warm, lazy evening out in back with a pint and a group of friends is a seriously wonderful way to spend a night.

    The food is great, especially for those of us who prefer our chips nice and crunchy. The Abbey Chicken Sandwich is my particular favourite, though I've heard that the Jerk Burger is also especially nice. They also have posh-pub fare as well, such as salmon fillets, pumpkin soup, grilled halloumi, and mussels. I've never gotten more adventurous here beverage-wise than a pint of cider or a glass of white wine, but they do both of those just fine.

    The service is friendly and efficient, and they do a great £10 plate-and-pint deal which the bar staff helpfully remind their customers of in order to help save them a few quid. Catchup and mayo can be a bit hard to come by at times, but I've never really had a less-than-pleasant experience with the service.

    While my husband was out of the house all day yesterday, I took myself out for a little treat. I went to Owl Bookshop just up Kentish Town Road and bought myself a wonderful new book, then meandered down to The Abbey to grab a table under a tree and read over a delicious lunch. The combination of my really exciting new book, my crispy-crunchy chips, icy-cold pint of cider, and having a few moments to myself to sit under a tree made for a deeply satisfying and decadent afternoon.

    A+, Abbey! You rock my heart and my soul.

  • 4.0 star rating
    3/10/2010
    6 check-ins here

    A funky bar and pub with a great patio, cool music nights, and nice food. They have good, interesting burgers with a wide variety of toppings--the Kentish burger with horseradish sent shivers right up my spine, it was so, uh, horseradish-y (but the beets were a bit weird). Chips are so-so. Bartenders have always been nice and chatty with me.

    I've been here when they have open mic night during the week and you get a really interesting mix of contenders from outstanding vocal artists plugging indie singles to odd, eccentric locals singing self-penned romantic ballads that make you want to laugh (but that would be mean). The DJ nights are also a lot of fun, though people won't start dancing until well into their third or fourth beer past 11:30.

    And did I mention the cool roof patio?

  • 5.0 star rating
    31/7/2010

    Inside and out, this bar is my go-to when anyone comes a-knockin on my Camden town door! Far enough away from the bloody tourists, it offers some amazing food, like burgers, jerk chicken and other caribbean-ish food.

    I brought co-workers here one friday night and now it's officially become our 'work pub' as everyone always suggests we come here, even if it's further a walk than the other nearby pubs. The staff are really good about reserving areas if you call ahead, and there's no charge for doing it.

    The garden is quite swanky, with its mismatched chairs and low-hanging foliage everywhere...very shabby chic. There's also an upper bar, decorated in hawaiian themes, that I haven't been to but shall endeavour to go and write back! It's usually a fight for seats from about 6 pm on, so get there early or put your fightin' gloves on! It's totally worth it!

  • 5.0 star rating
    10/6/2010
    Listed in Open Air Drinking

    Oh Abbey! You're like a mirage in the desert... the desert of Kentish Town... I always think there's going to be more going on up here since there's an HMV venue closeby and you're on the outskirts of booming Camden Town, but the bars seem to be a bit sparse. Luckily, I found exactly what I want out of a pub here. They do pretty massive burgers and have a great relaxed but trendy vibe.

    I haven't made it out back yet because it was quite chilly when we were up there, but I do want to see this garden I keep hearing about!

    • Qype User scotti…
    • London
    • 57 friends
    • 88 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    28/6/2008

    Good place The Abbey - just round the corner from me as well, so probably as close to a local as I have. It's a decent sized bar and has a garden out back with heaters - fortunately for the 11 months of the year that England is too cold to sit outside.

    They play a decent mix of music and also have plenty of live bands on as well. It is a bit on the loud side from time to time for a quiet chat with someone, but most of the time it works well.

    Good place for a Sunday with the papers as well - it's pretty chilled out and feels spacious.

    The food is tasty too - nice mix they have on the menu now as they have brought in some great Caribbean dishes.

    Oh and finally it's got late night opening which always makes for a good pub.

    • Qype User peterb…
    • London
    • 27 friends
    • 73 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    19/11/2008

    The Abbey is what I would call a good pub on Kentish Town High street. The drinks and food are good and there is often live music should that be what you are loking for.

    There is also a large outside space and raised balcony area. There are heaters too and even a small room next to this balcony area to pop into if it starts raining. Overall I would say this is one of the better pubs in Kentish Town.

  • 3.0 star rating
    2/4/2013

    I came to this pub some time ago to watch a friend play on an open mic night. I remember it as a nice place, but perhaps short on decent options to drink. That had definitely changed recently with Redemption Trinity and Adnams Lighthouse now available. My friends were strongly against the refurb the place has had which surprised me as I didn't notice too much difference from my first visit. It is obviously a cleaner looking, shinier place today.

    • Qype User nightf…
    • London
    • 7 friends
    • 41 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    27/12/2009

    A clean, yummy place.

    The live music too loud but free.

    Probably the best burger I have had in London. The bun is a home made sesame seeded with just the right amount of white fluff space. The meat has been hand rubbed by virgins from Babylon. If you know what I'm saying.

    • Qype User EmmsPu…
    • London
    • 1 friend
    • 2 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    31/1/2011

    The Abbey (124 Kentish Town Road) is actually really pleasant. I say 'actually' because nobody I know goes there regularly, although, on the rare occasions when we do, we will inevitably comment on its red-lit, wooden-floored, rather elegant long bar and interior. Its winning card is a very shady secret garden, with hidden treehouse and private heaters.

    They need to sort the food out though. It's not terrible, but you'd never actually go there to eat  scran is always a default option. But there are other pleasures: live music nights and other arts-based events, and a chilled-ish KT crowd.

  • 4.0 star rating
    30/4/2012

    Yay! I'm a fan, as my star rating suggests. This funky pub is enjoyable at all hours. Serves good pub grub so you can pop in for lunch or boogy till the early hours in the evening. The staff are friendly, the atmosphere is alive and the beer garden is large enough to fit plenty but intimate enough to feel like you're chilling outside in the garden at a house party. A great pub all round.

  • 4.0 star rating
    6/5/2012
    1 check-in here

    A really nice pub, one of the best I've been to in Camden. Was here for the Camden Crawl and it accommodated lived music well too. I shall be going back!

  • 4.0 star rating
    29/8/2011

    Always have a good time in this pub, normally has good live or DJ music, great beer garden. Food is decent and has a slightly more interesting selection than most. You can sit in here for hours.

    • Qype User curvy_…
    • London
    • 3 friends
    • 77 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    17/12/2007

    I absolutely love this little pub. I play gigs here many Tuesday and Sunday nights, and it is always really buzzy, warm, and atmospheric. The lightings really cosy, with a big bar, and lots of big wooden tables. The food is great, with a new improved big menu with lots of Jamaican dishes, but pub food too. It is fairly cheap as well. The thing I love about this pub is the massive outside area. There are tables and chairs on two levels, with fairy lights, so this is great for the smokers! They have live music on the newly build stage, and now there is new management, the sound system has been replaced and sounds wicked. Definitely come here if you want some warm pub food, and a pleasant night drinking, chatting and watching some live acoustic music.

    • Qype User lace11…
    • London
    • 11 friends
    • 100 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    25/4/2008

    A charming establishment, with a healthy selection of wines to complement the excellent gastro-pub fare. Cosy and relaxed, the setting is great for the ace Soundbites acoustic sessions. Staff could a bit friendlier at times but no matter this is a great place to kick back for an intimate drink with friends

    • Qype User nisper…
    • London
    • 8 friends
    • 93 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    26/5/2009

    The Abbey Tavern has probably one of the best beer gardens in Camden Town and Kentish Town area. It has been refurbished recently and it has a very nice interior with tables and long sofas; food is good and there are weekly gigs, as well. Outside they have a large garden with tall trees, a lot of heaters and even a lovely upstairs area.

    • Qype User Dougla…
    • London
    • 3 friends
    • 7 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    3/12/2010

    Excellent venue, great atmosphere, friendly staff, fabulous music

  • 2.0 star rating
    12/4/2013

    Opted for Farmer Tom's Kitchen at The Abbey Tavern for a Sunday roast. I was really looking forward to it, having heard great things. Hugely disappointing. We had a horrible little pub table on a stage with uncomfortable seats (despite booking two weeks in advance). This would have been instantly forgotten had the food been as good as I expected it to be. But alas... the portions were tiny - we were both still hungry after cleaning our plates. Bland, uninteresting veg, and not enough. Two small potatoes. And overly fatty meat. The pork was better than the lamb. I suspect that if you're a larger group and can order a cut for 4-6 people you would have a better experience. But I'll never know because I won't be going back.

    • Qype User Fin…
    • London
    • 1 friend
    • 1 review
    5.0 star rating
    11/2/2011

    Beer garden here is amazing, as are the fit boys who work behind the bar. The food is always great especially the fish finger sandwich. Best local pub EVER!

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