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Dark Horse, Camberwell

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user reviews of Dark Horse, Camberwell

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

I have had a number of Sunday roasts here which I have enjoyed, including extra gravy :-) I have also popped in for drinks on a number of occasions, both under the new name, and previous encarnations of the pub. The service is always a bit of a mixed bag, which I find disconcerting. I have had a number of long conversations with the management, but then get ignored when I have returned, with friends! Even when I reported the toilets out of service, no thanks and a degree of pomp and surliness put me off. After again mentioning returning with friends later. When I did , no greeting and mediocre service ,which doesnt enthuse me to return often. Although the quieter aspect and outside benches are nice in the summer and the decor is not bad. Trying to aim for the wealthier ,middle-class types, but falling very short on service, and possibly appreciating where their income comes from.
richardlionheart - 12 Apr 2010 18:18
This has closed and turned into Le Petit Parisien, a French bistro.
Kake - 1 Oct 2009 10:30
Been twice recently - one time it was split into restaurant and small lounge bar area, most recently the whole pub seemed equally given over to drink or eating.

Prefer the second, more laid back approach, the rest of the pub is not big enough if a large portion is taken up by a dining area.

Shame it's out of the way - the Castle always seems busy when this place is dead. Good beer, and very much reflects the name of the pub. Should do better once the new development opens up.

Compared to the other decent pubs in Camberwell that I have visited, prefer this over the Castle and The Grove, but is pipped by Hermits Cave.
Pavel_G - 24 Feb 2009 11:03
I'm afraid its all changed now. I've been coming to this pub since it was the Kerwell. The Dark Horse was a change for the better, up until recerntly. Gone is the decent cocktail list. Gone decent bar food. Gone are any long serving staff. And acvtually that's part of the problem, tucked slightly out the way, with no free parking until after business hours, yummy mummy's join the bar staff for a glass of Pinot Grigio during the day and off and on the pub fills up in the evening. Bar staff come and go, and the quality suffers. The Bramble that used to be made there replaced by a pale shadow, the meat ball bar snack, oxo flavoured cardboard. I'll give it 4 rather the 2 my last experience tell me to, as mayeb they'll pick themselves up again).

Ho hum, maybe Camberwell just hasn't got enough people (or moneyed people) coming to it consistently to support The Bear (nice atmos, but quiet), Dispensary (difficult), B2B (better before as stude pub, failing as a posh nosh pub), Dark Horse, Castle (so so, big screen dominates the noise), Funky Money (dreadlocks and groovey yoof), Hermits Cave (proper calm pub, my fave), Silver Buckle (indifferent), Cadogan (nice apart from stinky chip fat smell all the time), the one above the railway station (character free bar staff, funny tasting beer) and another 2 or 3 towards the hospital.
declan88 - 15 Feb 2009 18:59
Maybe I just happened in on a bad day in the kitchen, but the food in this pub was utterly terrible: my steak was overcooked and covered in a salty, sweet sauce that I suspect had come from a packet, and bore no resemblance to the description on the menu; the risotto was tasteless; and the chips were undercooked. If the bar staff had been more receptive I would have complained but I didn't fancy my chances of getting things sorted out.

The wine wasn't bad, and not too expensive, so this may be a great place to come for a drink. But the food was a complete let-down.
tomst - 26 Aug 2008 16:51
A grower this one. At first I thought bland but actually its really very good indeed. Great beers here, even better cocktails. The food is very good too.

Nice atmosphere and the music is inobtrusive enough. Played at just the right volume, nice place to eat, chat and chill or both!

Much better than Blakes. RIP
glasshalfull - 1 Mar 2008 17:36
kenspubs55 - 14 Dec 2007 19:40
I say this tentatively but Dark Horse could quite possibly be the best bar Grove Lane!
kenspubs55 - 14 Dec 2007 19:39
Great bar... best in Camberwell by far. Great food great the place.
SteveA - 7 Sep 2007 23:10
The Horse is where its at!
Great beers, wines and food

Very pleasant and trendy but not overly so - even includes one drunk regular single man who is always there whenever we go.
EmilyBr - 27 Jul 2007 14:15
Only been during the day but a really nice spot with friendly attentive staff, could do with a better ale selection but probably wouldnt sell that much of it. Good addition to Camberwell
paddypint - 26 Apr 2007 15:39
Much better than the newly reopened Grove across the road - warm, intimate generally posh pub where you dont mind paying a bit more for your drinks
mooose - 28 Feb 2007 11:06
I used to go to Blake's before it closed and was pleased to see an alternative to the Phoenix / BRB spring up. Haven't been there in the evening yet but have been twice for lunch.

So; nice interior, comfy seats, plenty of space. Nice selection of drinks, and good service. It's usually deathly quiet though so I'm worried as to how long they can stay open at this rate! However without the revenue drain that was Blake's "fine dine" restaurant it could still be viable.

Two things: First, the food is a bit expensive and they could do with giving you some free nibbles whilst you're wating. Second, the portions are stingy for the price. Chunky chips quite nice but you only get nine of them with your burger. I've heard good things about the giant mushroom burger for veggies too. See you in there Friday lunchtimes =)
Wixy - 3 Feb 2007 12:51
Agree with previous review - is good for sophisticated drink and also food. Always plenty of room and table service, very good. Prices are not the cheapest but no more expensive overall than Castle, F Munky etc.
sophiett - 1 Feb 2007 14:43
Always good for a sophisticated drink - BRB/ The Grove seems to have let itself go so this pub is a very welcome alternative
trousers - 29 Dec 2006 12:56
A great addition to the area: great beer (Dark Horse, Leffe), cute attentive bar staff and a beautiful dining area. Never busy (which is probably not what the owners want!) but 2 things might help - a) add a little heating and b) for the prices charged maybe a little more generosity with the portion control? Excellent food but where quantity is concerned, not really good value for money. But hey ho, I'll be back!
homeboy - 28 Dec 2006 01:32
This place is real Camberwell asset - although not perhaps everyones cup of tea its worth the trip.
se5live - 17 Dec 2006 12:42
Good for breakfast/lunch at weekends - although slightly on the expensive side my cooked breakfast was excellent
mooose - 9 Oct 2006 11:08
An awesome pub full of the good good people. I could have stayed all night on those comfy cushions and my word those cocktails sure have a deliciously hefty kick! Bar staff were super quick and know how to pour a decent pint well. I'll be back, oh yes, I'll be back.

boozemutt - 21 Sep 2006 17:21
What a nice surprise this place was. A friend took me to The Dark Horse and we had a brilliant time. The atmosphere is extremely relaxing, the bar staff are a delight and the cocktail menu has the ability to put you on your back. Didn't try the food, but the plates that I saw being dished up to the table next to us made my yin-sack jingle. Conratulations - I'll certainly be back again soon.
Denzil_Destrange - 21 Sep 2006 17:11
I went there for dinner and for drinks a few times now and was most impressed with not only the high quality of the food but with the prices which, for what you get, present better value than most restaurants serving inferior menus.

The cocktail list is second to none (especially the house cocktails which i haven't seen anywhere else)as is the wine list and i found the staff very welcoming and of a high standard.

It seems to cater for all as I've been there on a couple of dates as well as with groups of friends and enjoyed myself equally on each occasion. Just what Camberwell needs and what Camberwell has been lacking for so many years.

Great decor, great atmosphere, great drinks and food and great staff. Get yourself there!!
AllyThor - 21 Sep 2006 17:10
This place is exactly what Camberwell needed. Elegant dťcor, with friendly and polite staff. Itís set far enough away from the main road to avoid the hustle and bustle and has a really relaxed feel to it. All round good selection of drinks and the food is top notch.

It really adds something new to area with Funky Monkey never really getting its atmosphere back after the refit and The Castle fast becoming a bit dingy and dilapidated.

Itís one horse that I would back to be a winner.

Grant1 - 20 Sep 2006 14:13
Visited The Dark horse for the first time earlier this week and was very impressed. A very good cocktail list, I tried a couple and they were fab. Smiling, friendly staff, pleasant, relaxing surroundings. Haven't tried the food yet, but hope to give it a go soon. All in all I think this will be a great new bar for Camberwell.
Amanda_Fuller - 24 Aug 2006 12:45
I was one of the customers at the table next to johnna and quite frankly I am appauled that your table reacted so badly and outright attaked the manager. A few of us at our table were taken aback by your lour out bursts of laughter especially as we were a group of 8 and you only 3. We felt he handle the situation with grace and decorum and it is a shame you good people are so quick to judge. Dark Horse is a credit to Camberwell deserves a visit to make your mind up for yourself. As a resident of Camberwell we had a wonderful time there and I have returned on numerous occassions and felt relaxed and well looked after. And although the dishes lack some consistancy in portions they are always of highest standards of presentation and 12 out of 10 on taste. Dark Horse is not for all it's selected choice of beers, and cocktails proves that but if you are looking for your niche in the wall, check out Dark Horse.
Michaelamberwell - 23 Aug 2006 01:40
Just been, having seen local flyers and looking forward to new choices in Camberwell. First impression was good - looks nice, but similar to before as Blakes House. Good service, decent choice of wine and ok looking if limited menu. Unfortunately, after some half-decent grub and preparing for more drink and a dessert, it seems we laughed louder than acceptable in such a 'non-prententious' venue. The manager was rude and lied blatantly to us about apparent reaction from other pub customers (he was caught red-handed in conversation but had no real answer). Lost us - won't be going again. Back to sun & doves, castle or the funky monkey for us - for true class and non-prententious attitude - see flyers for details...
johnna - 18 Aug 2006 22:25
Just taken advantage of the opening 2, 3 course meals for £10 flyer. Yes, the menu could be seen as slightly pretentious. However, from what we tried, it's superb. We were outside, so did not get to appreciate the decor. I just hope it's not too posh for Camberwell and does not go the way of the Blake House.
ferguskane - 15 Aug 2006 16:17
Not bad as these kind of places go. Trendy, dark wooden furniture look, not really much different from previous Blakes although several pictures of dark horses, lots of wines, standard pub selection of beers with Black Sheep bitter. Menu looks a bit pretentious - roast guinea fowl anyone? - but overall good. Prices are standard trendy pub prices: ie around £3 a pint, £5 a large glass of wine.
mooose - 4 Aug 2006 14:17
Indeed did reopen as Dark Horse on Friday - initial impression is that its gone down the trendy leather sofas route. Too early to give a more detailed review
mooose - 31 Jul 2006 17:13

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