Camberwell Arms

Bars and pubs , Pubs Camberwell
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(8 user reviews)
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Camberwell Arms (© Ming Tang-Evans)
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This well-proportioned Victorian boozer has been revamped by the team that produced Waterloo’s Anchor & Hope and Stockwell’s Canton Arms – both of them excellent gastropubs. The de rigueur open kitchen has arrived with huge charcoal grill, and there’s a dining area at the back of the ground floor. This was a quiet spot compared to the front bar, where lots of enthusiastic imbibing was helping fuel the noise levels.


The menu is in a similarly rustic and seasonal style to the Anchor and the Canton. A blackboard listed ‘half a chopped rabbit + chopped black cabbage for two £28’, while the printed menu included ‘pork fat and scotch bonnet on toast’, and ‘ox tongue, beetroot and horseradish’ – this is food for adventurous palates.  


Kid had been slow-cooked until tender, and was served layered with (soggy) crispbread and a yogurt sauce tasting of mint and chilli. Despite all the searing and spit-roasting, the best dish was a simple leek and jerusalem artichoke gratin. The spiced rhubarb cake with crème fraîche was the happiest marriage, the sweet moments outweighing the sour.


Drinks include daily-changing guest ales – Skinners Betty Stogs and Sambrook’s Junction among them. There’s also a decent wine list and well-stocked shelves of spirits, though the rowdy mob in the bar appeared to be sticking to lager-lager-lager on our visit.

Venue name: Camberwell Arms
Contact:
Address: 65 Camberwell Church St
London
SE5 8TR
Opening hours: 11am-11pm Tue-Sun; 5pm-11pm Mon
Transport: Denmark Hill Overground or bus 12, 36, 185
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £65.
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|8
NaN people listening
Jack W

It's a nice little boozer. Food wise, I've only ever gone there for dessert before. The Silk Road's only a few doors away (and difficult to walk past if you're hungry and can get a table) but this is a good stop for pud. 

jeaniekarl
Tastemaker

So apparently this pub recently won an observer food monthly award. I went along with some friends for Sunday lunch and as expected, it was extremely busy. Most of us opted for the spitroast chicken to share and although it was nice, it was a little dry, there wasn’t much sauce and there was minimal salad and the roast potatoes were seriously lacking. Such a shame as was expecting much more from this well known pub. Looking around at what the other diners had though their dishes looked much more tempting, so perhaps it was a case of ordering the wrong thing on the day. The desserts were great and the sticky toffee pudding was moist and melt in your mouth goodness. The staff although friendly, seemed to be a bit overwhelmed by everything so the service wasn’t great when we visited. The open air kitchen downstairs I wasn’t sure about, as it made the pub really smoky and we all stunk of food after we had left. Maybe visiting again during less busier times might be wise next time.

Hong-Anh
Tastemaker

What used to be a rather tired looking pub on Camberwell Church Street has been taken over by the same people who run the revered Anchor and Hope in Waterloo. I've never been a fan of the Anchor and Hope due to the near impossibility of being able to get a table there and a poor experience with the bar staff there. The Anchor and Hope's sister restaurant, The Magdalen Arms in Oxford, restored my good faith with the winning combination of amazing roasts, pies and cocktails. Happily I can report that the Camberwell Arms is much more along the lines of the Magdalen Arms - it's a much more relaxed affair than the Anchor and Hope. Expect the same stellar cooking (think the platonic ideal of a Sunday roast). Pies with crusts so golden and crisp that you'd be unashamed to pick off the bits welded to the pie dish. The bar snacks are also worth a peek too - when I went for Sunday lunch a few weeks ago, it was a sublimely fiery dish of smokey, chargrilled sourdough topped with unctuous and salty pig fat spiked with scotch bonnets and set off with a sweet and mellow roasted bell pepper. 

Gnu G

Front of house bar atmosphere amazing, check. 


Food great, check.


Staff friendly, check.


All good then, and what's more the clientele who I loath at the Anchor and Hope are nowhere to be seen phew! (How long will that last?)

Raphael B

What a pleasure to have one of the best places in London for a roast right on my doorstep! Not to mention the drink and the rather dishy staff too!

Alexandra P

OUtstanding, sentational food. Mike is a genius chef .  Simple fresh ingredients perfectly cooked, what more can you ask for. A full page positive from Fay Maschler too!!

Ian M

"But don’t hold your breath expecting a Foxtons next door". Seriously, don't. And be thankful. While we in Camberwell have done well to hide Camberwell's hidden gems from Foxtons and their ilk, alas we haven't down so well avoiding the critical scrutiny of reviewers like the one above. This sniffy review, and its knowing thinly-velied snobbery, is appalling and deserves no place in the otherwise excellent Time Out. 


The quite costly overhaul of the old pub has delivered a good dining venue very much in the style of the Canton and the Anchor & Hope, but with a partially open kitchen. We had the spit-roasted chicken, with potatoes, watercress (not soggy) and wholegrain mustard last night, and it was great and reasonable value for 2 at £27. The lager-lager-lager crowd weren't apparent . Despite the bar serving a fairly mediocre selection of lagers on tap, the only thing ending up well "battered" was me after a few bottles of their very good Lake District ales.


There was a fairly constant stream of police vehicles outside; the local bobbies are very fond of the excellent F.M. Mangal across the road. That might not be apparent to you if you keep your head down and hurry fearfully back to your more salubrious neighbourhood. But don't do that, it would be a terrible shame. 


UPDATE: Since writing this review, the original TO review above by Guy Dimond, has been edited to remove the less-than-helpful remarks I referred to. I applaud TO for that, and hope you get a chance to visit the Camberwell Arms. 

ian l

So people never get stopped by police elsewhere? Honestly TO, please weed out casual, inaccurate and pointless comments of this kind.