How-to-guide: Love it or hate it, Camden can be the best of times or the worst - here is our guide on how to enjoy a night out there.
Nowadays, to enjoy Camden you either have to be a tourist or sentimental for the good old days. Or maybe you just enjoy being robbed? Whatever your reasoning, the relationship between any sane person and this rundown punk rockers paradise is most likely a love/hate one. So when you accidentally find yourself in this beautiful sh*thole after hours, is it possible to still have fun? Without being ripped off, urinated on or kicked to the ground? One of the above WILL happen. But here’s how to at least ensure a good night…
Start at a decent time. Aside from this being essential to any night out, you’re going to need it in Camden more. Come 9 pm on a Saturday and half the population will already be sprawled outside The Camden Eye at the bottom of their fourth pint - and you don't want to experience this sober. In the summer, starting a night early in Camden is bliss, as you'll have the market to leisurely stroll through before getting absolutely trollied.
Come with an open mind! You’re in punk territory now. No one’s judging you for turning up in your coffee-stained work shirt, so leave the green mohawk sporting, tattoo cladded leather junkie alone. They are peaceful creatures just like you and I, but with added face metal. Which leads me to…
Give The World’s End a chance. Yes, it is super loud in there, and no, Rammstein may not be your cup of tea. But come Friday night after a torturous week at work and I guarantee the supposed witchcraft tied to this place will have you ready for the weekend. And the best bit? I absolutely promise you won't hear Shape Of You played. Not even once.
A mini pub crawl is essential. Many pubs in Camden don’t have the capacity for the number of people thrown at them on a Friday/Saturday night, so either arrive at 5pm and be that dick that keeps a table for 5 hours straight, or hop from Brewdog to Ice Wharf (who doesn't love a good Spoons?) to Lock Tavern and walk off the weight of pint after pint of Camden Hells sloshing around in your stomach.
Go bask in the glory of the early 2000's in The Hawley Arms. Although its heyday might have passed, its spirit remains alive and well within the Hawley. An old favourite for the likes of Noel Fielding, The Libertines and of course the late and great Amy Winehouse. Razorlight even did an album launch party up on the terrace. The staff are great and one time I was even overchanged (I don't think that's a word but you know what I mean) by £20. Basically, it's a museum with beer.
Avoid all street corners. Camden does have its very own special aroma. And that is one of piss. The smell of piss is basically everywhere. But with the smell also comes the thing… you just really don't want to be falling over in these streets or wander into its corners. That’s all.
Switch Proud Camden for The Blues Kitchen. Proud Camden is only fun for the first couple of visits or when it’s payday. The rest of the month, this place will cost you Central prices for your entrance AND drinks. Blues Kitchen will give you a better deal, plus it’s less known and funky as hell in there.
Wear easy getaway shoes and accept the possibility of being punched. After all, it is Camden. But hey, sometimes seeing your other half/best friend being knocked in the face might be what you need to have a good night.