Crooked Well

  • Restaurants
  • British
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It’s a good sign if you’re waiting for a pal in a restaurant for half an hour, with only the menu to read – and the more you look at it, the more interesting it gets. The Crooked Well gets a resounding thumbs up for this, and for the friendly and attentive service to the solo customer.

This much-refurbished pub, then gastropub, now bar-restaurant is under new ownership, and, boy, are they trying to make an impression. The elegantly reworked dining space has a whiff of the modern Edwardian about it.

Tall, upholstered bar chairs perched on Mediterranean ceramic tiles at the wide wooden bar encourage lingering over an aspirational collection of gins and whiskies – cocktails are a special feature of the drinks list, which includes a well-priced selection of less commonplace wines.

The British-with-a-twist menu mixes updated gastropub staples with more exotic game and fish dishes. Starters were a tad disappointing: ‘crisp polenta’ chips were less than crisp, with the polenta more mushy than grainy.

Sliced pork belly rolled into whirls with tuna crème fraîche was tooth-coatingly dry. We skipped the rabbit and bacon pie (£22.50 for two) in favour of a tender duck leg partnered winningly with tomato and saffron aioli, chorizo, chickpeas and butter beans.

The chargrilled William Rose rib-eye steak was flavoursome and perfectly cooked, served with Café de Paris butter (herby, spicy) and roasted tomatoes – though the chips were disappointing.

The cheese selection was tempting, but we only had room to share a dense, flourless almond cake, with plump, baked gooseberries and a deliciously light elderberry pannacotta. We wished we’d ordered two.

Breakfasts now served every Saturday and Sunday from 9am. Last orders at 11am.

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Crooked Well says
Since we opened in June 2011 we have won Best Drinks offering by Harpers Wine & Spirits, a locals' favourite by Time Out London, shortlisted for Wine List of the Year by Imbibe magazine and are currently in our third successive year in the Michelin recommended pub guide.
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Venue name: Crooked Well
Address: 16 Grove Lane
Camberwell, London
Opening hours: Open 5pm-midnight Mon; 12.30pm-midnight Tue-Thur; 12.30pm-1am Fri and Sat; 12.30pm-11pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Denmark Hill rail or bus 12, 36, 40, 171 or 176
Price: Meal for two with wine and service: around £85
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Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:12
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening
Guy Parsons
moderatorStaff Writer

Had a banging (though not cheap) Sunday roast here. Definitely in no way 'pubby' despite the name. You'll probably want to book a table in advance, too. Still, very nice. You could definitely take your mum here!

Alex P

Beautiful Gastropub tucked away from the high street on calm and leafy Grove Lane

Staff Writer

I've finally found a reliable roast in Camberwell! I absolutely loved the food here on my recent visit. We got the Lamb shoulder for two to share (£38) with all the trimmings, the meat was perfectly cooked and served as a full joint to carve ourselves at the table which is always a nice touch.

Although its more expensive than your average pub roast it was miles ahead in quality, and worth the few extra quid. It';s hard to beat a home cooked roast but when you remove the dreaded washing up this is certainly a good alternative!

Drinks menu was good too. Although I will say it was very un-pubby... They mainly seem to like to do table service for drinks and there were no tables for walk up drinkers, atmosphere was a little dull for drinking... however this is all fine as there are plenty of good watering holes in the area, go here hungry and eat big!

Kakie A

The food is excellent and the service friendly and efficient. Very relaxed and welcoming vibe.

Tamzyn L

This is a rare little hidden gem - THE place to go if you prefer an atmosphere with a little more decorum where you don't have to shout at each other to get heard (and then get a sore throat). The quality of the home cooked food is consistently high and I cannot get enough of their soup and amazing home made fig, apricot and rosemary bread! If you are lucky they will also have some freshly made fudge to take away. Delish! ;)

Steve  H

Had a brilliant visit over the weekend. Great atmosphere and food. I can highly recommend a visit!


Our new local restaurant. Been over 5 times now and it has been excellent. Very surprised by the 3 star review as the cooking is very good (we have also had the pork belly and it was not dry). Atmosphere is great and relaxed. Desserts are fantastic (as is the cheese board). Look forward to going again!

Danie Mason

We spent a lovely rainy Sunday afternoon dwelling over a gorgeous Sunday dinner here. The service was incredibly attentive but not overbearing; the food was amazing. After a couple of Bloody Mary's and paté for a starter, we shared the roast lamb for two. We were too full for pudding, but didn't feel hassled to order more or leave. This is a lovely place to sit and linger over delicious food.

John Klien

Have been a fan of the place since its reincarnation as the Crooked Well, i've eaten a couple of times & spent a few late evenings going through the cocktail list. Food has been consistently great & service unobtrusive. surprised to hear comment about the pork belly as I loved it both times i've had it. shame you cant sit outside after 10.30pm, the neighbours I spose!