Sometimes you need to convince someone that rather than being a lager addled man-child with a predilection for kebabs, you’re actually a suave social chameleon with a penchant for the finer things in life. This blog is meant to help you take people to bars and other venues that reflect well on you; secret underground drinking-holes that only people who really know the vibe and pulse of a city could know about. But really you got it off this blog. Good luck!
Friday, 5 April 2013
The Crown and Goose (Obituary)
When we started this blog, we rather grandiosely
decided that we’d keep our favourite bar secret, so that we were the only
uncool people in it. I think this may have well been vastly over-estimating the
popularity of this blog, whose viewership I think is pretty much confined to
‘me’ and my increasingly-disappointed parents. NO MUM I’M STILL NOT A LAWYER
That said, we recently found out that despite the best
efforts of a dedicated core of great people, our favourite
watering-hole in the whole of London is to be torn down to be converted into
luxury flats and a high-end restaurant. I mean, in a way, I understand, if
there’s one thing London needs it’s more people being priced out of the areas
they grew up in so fucking City Boy yuppies can sit around thinking they’re
Gordon Gekko meets Pete Doherty. No wait, that can fuck right off.
Unfortunate though it may be, we’re generally decent
people (court decision pending) and so we wanted to write about this place to
give you a chance to visit one of London’s last proper boozers before it shuts
its doors forever.
This Shangri-La, this Valhalla, this Oasis amongst over-priced cider with stupid flavours like ‘bubblegum’ that was what your sister
drank that year she went to V Festival and those twats who book all the tables
in the beer gardens from like 4pm in the summer (you know who you are, you
overly-organised wankers), is the Crown and Goose, Camden.
The Crown and Goose has a very special place in the
heart of all the people who write for this blog; it’s a great little place with
loads of character and really nice people, plus, fittingly for this blog, not
as many people know about it as they should. It’s a small pub tucked away near
Mornington Crescent, on a quiet residential street.
When you first walk into the Goose (it always seems to
be called by the latter part of its name, rather than the former) you’re immediately
confronted by the bar: ideal. Get to it then and order some lagers. The Goose
doesn’t have cocktails made out of mermaid scales or that taste like a Sicilian
sunset or whatever other bollocks I’ve half-remembered from cocktail menus when
I’ve bothered to read them. It’s a pub that does a damn good drink, there’s a
good selection of lager and cider on tap and there’s all your other standard
stuff like G & Ts and wine and Jesus I’m even boring myself now. It’s a
pub, you know what you drink in pubs, if you don’t I think you’re trying to run
before you can walk on this one to be honest.
The interior of the Goose looks like it was once an
old shop or house, and I’m reliably informed that once it was indeed just a
humble beer-shop. It is, however, very very cramped. I’m talking tube-level
cramped. It can get extremely busy, and I mean that type of busy where you have
to hold your pint at a weird angle so you look like a trainee contortionist,
and apparently if you’re short it can get very claustrophobic. Not that I give
one about that; suck on that short people.
However, and this is one of the great things about the
Goose, despite how busy and angular and weird it gets in there, it never ever
gets aggressive. In quite a lot of the pubs and bars in Camden you’re likely to
leave with quite a lot of glass lodged in your oesophagus if you politely ask
someone to ‘excuse you’ while you’re heading for the toilets. Now this may
sound like faint praise; ‘yeah, the Goose is great, I’ve never taken an
absolute pasting there even once’, but it really does make a difference, plus
for someone who acts like a total twat quite a lot of the time, the assurance
that my night isn’t going to end with me picking my teeth out of the gutter
with a broken arm is a big lure.
The Goose is a genuinely friendly place, even the
staff there are brilliant, they’re all good at what they do, are happy to have
a chat, and don't mind when you get so drunk you spill candle wax all over the
fucking place like some sort of confused bee.
Although I hardly feel qualified to review the food,
as I'm the kind of man who thinks a restaurant is fancy if the chairs aren't
bolted to the floor, I think I should mention that the food there is absolutely
delicious. Every single time I've eaten there it's been incredible.
Finally then, this review is a farewell to the Goose,
an obituary if you will. It will be sorely missed by all of us, and by many,
many others. I urge you to check it out before Barclays Bank swing a
wrecking-ball through it build another stainless-steel and glass cathedral to
the worst excesses of capitalism.
Go and have a pint in the sun outside and try some of the food before it comes
down: you’ll never find a pub quite like it.
Goodbye Goose. We love you, and you'll live on in our
memories. This can be your swan-song. Or goose-song. Do geese sing? I don’t
know what I’m talking about now.
The Crown and Goose 100 Arlington Road, Camden, London NW1 7HP