Crooked Well

Bars and pubs, Gastropubs Camberwell
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(29user reviews)
125 Love It
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Crooked Well

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

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:23
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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Sylvia C

A must go!

Nicely decorated pub to eat outside and in, nice ambiance, the manager was on service and was extremely helpful and attentive.

The food is so reasonably priced and really delicious, we ordered the burger and the lamb and they were both large portions and extremely succulent.

Nice touch is the free bread, all in all fantastic service, food and venue.


After all the positive reviews I feel bad for thinking the whole set up is a bit pretentious. This place tries very hard to be unique, with unheard of drink brands and food that's a bit rich for my taste, kind of fancy for the sake of being fancy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for food experimentation and unusual flavour combinations, and it really is a beautiful pub/bar, but sometimes twists on classics don’t work so well. A place probably more suitable for hardcore foodies, hipsters and spirit connoisseurs.

Laura B

Great team offers warm welcome to this Victorian gastro pub where the food is reliably good.

Sarah C

The food, drink , the atmosphere and the fabulous service make this place a must when in the area. Great Menu and good management. :-)

Anne B

super great food, amazing beers and lovely lovely lovely atmosphere
fun for family, girls night or date night

Nadia Z

Excellent food, lovely staff and beautiful atmosphere! A bit of the countryside in South London.

Soso T

Mmm finally got the roast I've been craving for. It's actually quite difficult to find roast in London not on a Sunday! Meat was good, veggies were good, potatoes were good... overall roast was pretty good. Then again it's pretty hard to mess up a roast

Elisa R

I'm knowned to be a massive snob when it comes to South London and decide that I dislike everything there out of sheer ignorance. But I must say, Camberwell surprised me last night. The Crooked Well was everything I look for in a pub: super friendly and helpful staff, beautiful decoration, relaxed atmosphere, tons of drink options AND delicious fancy food. On a sunny Friday evening, we naturally chose to sit at one of the tables outside. We were given FREE APRICOT, FIGUE AND ROSEMARY BREAD AND BUTTER! I'm not sure the capital letters are enough to describe how happy we were about this. I mean, nothing comes free in London, especially not home made bread! Then, we both had a juicy bacon cheeseburger that was incredible and left me eager to go back any time I'm in the area!


Sunday roasts are mighty-the best I’ve had in a long-time! The staff are really nice, knowledgeable, and accommodating, and even if it’s busy they don’t seem to be rushing or manic. If you don’t fancy table service there is a more casual side of the pub. It’s not cheap, but is worth it if you want a calm, cosy atmosphere, especially on a Sunday…

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 Writertastemaker

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!