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Monarch, Chalk Farm

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user reviews of the Monarch, Chalk Farm

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

A works outing on a Thursday night in mid October was my reason for visiting this ex Wetherspoon's pub near Chalk Farm station.

My only previous ever visit was in the early 2000's when this was a 'spoons. I am unsure when this pub changed into private hands but it doesn't retain much of the previous incarnation with the pub being a music venue with 3 bands playing the night I visited.

On arrival at 6.30pm the pub was filling up nicely and by 8pm was pretty packed this included the group of 20 I was in. We reserved a couple of booths and ordered food. Most went for the burger and chips option including myself, it was decent & not too filling.

The only cask ale was Doom Bar which I didn’t fancy so I opted to drink Greene King East Coast IPA on keg. Every pint was good so the lines are obviously clean in this pub.

The pool table provided good entertainment for an hour or so and then my group got into the music when the bands started at 9pm. Small garden to the rear acts also as a smoking area and the addition of heaters helped as it was getting a bit chilly outside.

We stayed all the way to closing and I personally thoroughly enjoyed my time here, maybe I’ll visit again next year when I’m working in the area.

lezford - 12 Nov 2015 13:44
When the Metal Works band got moved here for their Sunday night gig, that was when I discovered this place, and I am glad I did. It is a big pub and has an ideal layout for gigs; with a stage, balcony and plenty of floor space. It is also a nice pub during the day, although it is rare that I venture that far from Camden station on a crawl, unless the Metal Works band are there to tempt me there. Lazy, I know.
Serlo - 5 Jun 2015 13:34
When there's no band on, this is a typical old Camden pub, great for a pit-stop. I tend to have cider in here so can't comment on the ale or if there is any. Nice little yard out the back with a few tables and a lot of ivy.

No idea why it's rated 5.0 at time of writing, it's a perfectly decent place and has a lot more character than some of the posher Camden pubs nearby (Dickensian, it styles itself - not a bad effort at it too). Not necessarily somewhere to spend all evening, though I can attest that their sporadic Friday night indie thing is excellent (and free).
cid - 13 Jul 2012 21:36
only been here once met some friends to see a certain band.nice pub nice lager complaints only i saw a man run over by a bus outside god bless !
easystep73 - 17 Jun 2012 13:30
Popped in here before going to see a band down the road. The band were running late so came back to kill an hour.

Lot's of room out the back and very comfortable. They were starting a quiz when we left and had posters up advertising all sorts of other events. It seems more interesting than most pubs around here and caters for a variety of customers, not just the Camden set every other pub aim for.

Will definitely go back when in the area.
Loki - 8 Feb 2012 15:23
no real ale,empty on a got sunny day when everywhere else was packed,quite run down,opted for Guinness and a aspall cider,8.00 5/10
fat_beer_badger - 26 Jun 2011 17:02
Initially went to meet an old friend there recently, as we used to frequent it back in it's wetherspoons days when Camden was our local drinking hole.
Although I was a little disappointed they hadn't kept the range of ales, their guinness was clearly well taken care of which is a big tick when you compare it to standards generally these days.
We left to see what else had changed around Camden, but can't say we were too impressed with the cooler-than-thou attitude you get from the average bartender around town, so returned to the Monarch and they let us come back in for free because we'd been in earlier, even though the bands had started.
I'm not sure what the last guy was talking about, the food was well above par, clearly not microwaved brakes brothers food which seems to be what most places push. And I found the toilets to be quite clean especially considering how busy it was. There was soap, even though they'd just bought the cheapest stuff from what I presume was the nearest supermarket.
I don't get back to Camden very often, no doubt it will have changed hands again by the time I do, but if it hasn't, there's a high probability I'll give it a look in.
jake_illar - 8 Apr 2011 15:40
This bar is large, with rather old-fashioned decor.

But never mind that: they don't serve ale!

I didn't dare try the food after being warned off by friends who know the place.

The gents toilet often has no soap.

I haven't been to any of the live music, so it might make up for the above, but I currently don't plan to go here unless I have a special reason to.
xeremy - 14 Sep 2010 14:59
Loads of live music on here with some great bands. Much much better in there now than when it used to be the Misty Moon! Worth a pint during a Camden pub crawl!
spike45 - 1 Apr 2010 15:08
Have been on a few Saturdays when they play movie soundtracks all night, which is quite cool. Not sure it would be any good on a normal night though.
lennie384 - 8 Jan 2010 06:39
cool vibe. went to a magazine launch thing a couple of weeks ago. it was 3 on the door but you got a load of free stuff from the magazine people. great atmosphere and great music.
ginners - 18 Jun 2009 12:55
a lot nicer since it was refurbished. I've been there a couple of times at night and during the day. They've got some really good things going on in between the general Camden stuff. During the day it was nice and relaxed and has good food. :)
jwg - 18 Jun 2009 11:42
I came here after the My Bloody Valentine gig at The Roundhouse and they had the most ridiculous indie disco I have ever seen. And I've seen 100s. The DJ actually threw some hula hoops into the dance floor at one stage of the evening. On the plus side, no pretensions, everyone was friendly and the beer was reasonably priced.
JohnMcC - 6 Jun 2009 03:46
major refurb, less of a boozer now, no handpumps, no real ale.
andyross - 6 Apr 2009 11:29
Fairly busy, loud music, early twenties crowd and open late The exact opposite to the last time I was in here when it was a Spoons.

Some nights there are bands on so expect to pay an entrance fee.

I'm not a fan and will not be returning.
Strongers - 26 Jan 2009 10:29
no the photo is correct if old. This was the Man In The Moon. It is now The Monarch. Same dreary interior but with mega-PA and loud bands. Incongruous but good :)
uptoeleven - 16 Oct 2008 17:46
The photo is clearly wrong! It's the Man in The Moon which is a Weatherspoons pub just down the road!

The Monarch is a band venue pub. I used to go there a lot in the late 90s to see bands and go to club nights.

Can't say what it's like now.
Plastique_Bertrand - 5 Oct 2008 23:18
Semi decent range of drinks, decent size for live music. Fairly good atmosphere. I went on sunday especially to see a band called Metalworks, although they were advertised to come on at 8 o clock but after the pub had a guest band on, our band was ready to come on til about ten o clock and my friend and I had to leave before they started. Shame
IMG1975 - 12 Aug 2008 15:59
I was a regular in the early nineties before I knew better. About the best thing you can say now is that you could probably pop in to use the loo when shopping in the area without being molested...probably. The most scandalous aspect is the appropriation of a nearby, much better pub's name.
BoehmBawerk - 1 Jul 2008 22:03
I have never had a pint in this pub, however I am forced to walk past it everyday. I often arrive home in tears due to the lewd comments i am subjected to from the clientel who drink on the pavement outside. This would never happen outside the bar fly or The Loch tavern. Chalk farm would be better of if this blight on society could be removed.
Toastmonkey - 7 Dec 2007 10:23
Not as bad as everyone makes out to be. It's cheap place in camden, use to have the BEST barman, but not anymore (left few months ago). Great metal band on sunday's so what more can you ask.
sidman23 - 8 Oct 2007 16:25
Came in recently with some friends and met the most miserable bar man ever. Dont think I will be returning.
bee26 - 17 Jan 2007 15:41
tis the misty moon now and a great place to go before a late night visit to the bar fly
maxybog - 20 Dec 2006 15:50
great cheap independent pub near to the barfly. 3 a double jd coke? YER HAVIN A LAUGH!
raziqrauf - 27 Jun 2006 14:17
Its Not A Wetherspoons Anymore
Bigyoungon - 8 Jun 2006 22:07
Went in here last Saturday. The pub was dirty, the toilets were disgusting. Wetherspoons usually pride themselves on keeping the loos clean, yet it looked like nobody had been in there for weeks. It's good for cheap beers, but that's about it.
anonymous - 7 Jun 2006 10:45
Horrible! council estate tenants in a Butlins holiday camp. Geriatric drinkers half of whom may already be dead? Atmosphere of a smelly, smokey morgue!
anonymous - 31 Dec 2005 15:41
Despite all appearances, this pub isn't actually a Wetherspoons anymore. Consequently, their beer's not quite so varied (no Baltika for me), and they don't take credit cards.

The pub itself is nothing special, but a relatively quiet place to have a pint and a chat if you find yourself in Camden on a Friday night.
nonstick - 22 Oct 2005 14:54
Never been in as too many people have warned me off the place. Walking past (quickly), as I regularly do, is more than enough from what I've seen through the windows.
davecamden - 1 Aug 2005 15:59
More of a day centre than a pub...
anonymous - 11 Feb 2005 14:46
A typical Weatherspoons pub, no soul or atmosphere.
gerry - 26 Oct 2004 15:58
I go here quite often because of gigs at the barfly, so much so that I take to ducking out in between each band. The ale is excellent and cheap (recently had a special on Old Bob for 80 pence) but the people can be on the scary side of clinically insane, whilst the old guy who blew his nose and then deliberately let his snot run off his hanky and onto the floor is surely one of the most distrubing things I've witnessed.

Also, only eat here if you're a gambling person. Have an accumulator on 1) how long it will take to get there 2) how many times you'll have to take it back 3) how often the staff will apologise 4) how edible it is and 5) how sick you'll get.

Despite all of that, it still gets a 6 out of 10. Just for the range and quality of the ale.
travis - 31 Aug 2004 15:16
It canot be denied. Man in the Moon is simply the best pubever to have existed and probably the best pub which will ever exist. I am no alcoholic but this place is my second home. It's relaxed, has a great atmosphere and the bar men are very cute. Cannot reccoment this pub enough
jessie - 27 Jan 2004 17:34
One of the better Wetherspoons pubs in London. Decent bar service and you can usually get a table. Good place to meet people before going to the Barfly.
Chris - 24 Oct 2003 13:02
The Man In The Moon isn't that bad at all - for a Weatherspoons. If you want to avoid the young media types at the Lock Tavern and would rather have a quiet/cheap pint, this is the place for you. Mixed crowd and ok decor. Enjoy!

P.S. The beer garden is not so much a garden but more of a very small patio.
Steve - 21 Oct 2003 17:47
Pretty basic Wetherspoon boozer - not ideal, but often it's a reliable bet for a half-decent drink in Camden.
Darryl - 11 Aug 2003 13:48
Now, this is from the old school of Wetherspoons and previously to tonight owns the trophy for the worst food service I have ever experienced. I had to wait two hours for a boil in the bag curry once. This pub has lots of old men. No sexy dollies and cheap beer. The men are funplenty of stories to be told so just go in there, wrap yourself around a pint of Duggies Dozen or Bulldozers revenge (Fictional beers!!) and get chatting to the wrinklies
Doofer - 6 Aug 2003 13:03
Its full of old men and there is no Music
bob - 15 Nov 2002 16:04

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