Bars and pubs, Gastropubs Kensal Rise
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A firm favourite with Kensal Rise locals, the Chamberlayne is usually heaving with well-off thirtysomethings frequently sporting a dog/baby/toddler – and occasionally all three. It makes for a pleasantly lively atmosphere in the pub itself, where characterful décor (reclaimed furniture, designer lighting and the like) meets friendly service and an interesting drinks list starring some 20 whiskies as well as a strong selection of wines and cocktails.

But while the roaring volume feels apt in the bar, it makes for a distracting din in the snug dining room situated at the back. Efforts have been made to make this a serious dinner destination and the menu focuses on British beef, including rump steak, rib-eye, côte de boeuf and steak and kidney pie. It’s comfort food at its meatiest, and none more so come Sundays when the changing menu regularly features an Aberdeen Angus sirloin roast.

While the quality beef is juicy, perfectly cooked and well seasoned, it’s let down by its trimmings. There’s no gravy beyond the meat’s own juices, the Yorkshire pudding is neither light nor crispy and veg lacked variety, with a couple of lonely parsnip sticks among a sea of cabbage. The rotisserie chicken was also succulent and tasty, but again, was tainted by the trimmings.

It’s actually far safer to opt for weekday standards such as a generous chicken liver pâté starter or substantial Angus beef burger – though either way, you’ll have to be prepared to project your voice over the swimming pool-like clamour.


Venue name: Chamberlayne
Address: 83 Chamberlayne Rd
NW10 3ND
Opening hours: Open 5 -11pm Mon; noon-11pm Tue-Thur; noon-midnight Fri, Sat; noon-11pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Kensal Rise Overground
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £60
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

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1 person listening

Great pub, with a buzzing atmosphere. Quirky decor including a giant buffalo head make this place a little different from other pubs. We just had drinks, but I would be keen to check out the food next time.


Don't come here to view any sporting events, because there is only one small screen with no sound - the cacophony of upper middle class chit-chat and semi-skilled cocktail making take precedent. The Chamberlayne prices out the average session drinker, as a pints run at £4.80 and up. A no go, for students then, unless you're only having one or two. If you can splash out, however, then splash out you should; with their selection of taps and whiskies one could spend a week in there and not get bored.

Any sane-minded individuals will be forced to camp outside in the smoking area beneath the heaters because the verbose arguments about the best local dog walking services, taking place at several different tables, will eventually become too much.