Proud Camden – Restaurant Review
by Jen Grimble
Famed for its ultra-cool location and alluring live cabaret, Proud Camden is an icon of London’s trendiest borough. The 19th Century former horse hospital, situated just off Chalk Farm Road, has been transformed into an eclectic venue with a style that could be described as “hipster- grunge”.
Sitting above the world-famous Stables market, Proud Camden offers live music, bespoke drinks in private horse stables’ and burlesque, drawing in both tourists and young professionals. The bar has a unique, all-welcome vibe that only Camden seems to offer.
There is no fuss or glamour to Proud Camden, it’s a little rough around the edges and it’s happily unsophisticated, yet their latest summer offering, the Camden Roof Gardens, delivers a bit of charm amongst the rock ‘n’ roll façade of the area.
“A chef works his magic on the grills”
Picture comfy garden furnishings set upon a roof-top terrace above the bustle of the market below. Wooden tables sit on a square balcony next to a pop-up bar, while heat lamps and comfy seating can be found down a narrow side terrace that offers a more private setting, ideal for larger groups. The bar is small and looks as if it were built overnight using planks of spare wood; it’s a sort of contrived style that works so effectively in Camden. Arrive early to grab a seat and get a round in, or reserve your slot in advance, because once the crowds come, you may struggle.
The highlight of a visit to Camden Roof Gardens, though, is the food. The tiny open kitchen, Burger Bear, situated next to the bar, may appear off-putting at first, but here there is a chef working his magic on the grills. A soft brioche bun encases a 100% Sussex beef paddy, grass fed (courtesy of Flock and Herd in Peckham), ground daily and served with an assortment of toppings, from oak smoked bacon to extra hot sauce.
“Best burgers in North London”
The Grizzly Bear (£10) is the ultimate choice, with bacon jam smothered over the top it’s a feast for any meat lover. Burger Bear also offer a spicy bean burger for the vegetarians among you, topped with American cheese, avocado, salsa, coriander and lime yogurt (£7.50). Their fries (£3.50) are another winning order.
Head to Camden Roof Gardens to introduce a friend to the eclectic night scene of the Borough, or to sample one of the best burgers in North London right now, but expect a bit of a wait at the bar and leave your inhibitions at the door!
More info: proudcamden.com