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Abbey, Kentish Town

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user reviews of the Abbey, Kentish Town

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

It's still called The Abbey Tavern, not "previously called", beer in the evening dot com.
pubbitch - 23 Feb 2017 12:50
My first ever visit here on a Tuesday evening for a quick pint and to pay some money for a party I was throwing 2 evenings later.

This large open plan street corner pub is pretty dark inside and has a full wooden floor. To the back of the pub past the kitchen is a small single room that hosts private events, this opens on to the large courtyard garden with heaters and covered areas for diners, drinkers and smokers.

On the bar were 3 hand pumps that had 2 ales on these were Sharp’s Doombar & Sambrook's Pumphouse Pale. I instead opted for a pint of Five Points Brewing Company Five Points Pale @ 4.4% on keg, a nice pint with a price tag of £4.40.

The open mic evening was being set up while we were here so we sat out in the garden area and then left before it started.

My visit back here 2 evenings later for a party was very good and again the Five Points Pale was on good form.

I like this pub.
lezford - 2 Nov 2016 09:18
Don't recall this pub, perhaps previous reviews indicate why...
zabadak - 18 Sep 2016 12:52
Have to own up and say that I came in for a sit down and to log some geocaches. Don't mock me. The beer was OK. It was quite busy. The music made me want to stay and see what the next track would be.,
Mappiman - 16 Nov 2011 23:59
Great food at a good price (especially with the genius that is the WEDGE CARD).
Good Garden for Summer.
Occasional decent live music of an evening.

However, cretinous bar staff that specialise in ignoring everyone whilst they text pals and fold napkins. Too many potentially pleasant sunday afternoons ruined by this to ever go back.

Sorry, you've had too many chances. ...
Stroppy74 - 7 Jan 2010 17:03
Peculiar service at this fairly dear 'gastro'-style pub. Sometimes good, sometimes downright rubbish.

Food, as others have commented on, is at best average and at worst, pretty poor.

Decent selection of beers and wines, if a little expensive (especially if you have a girlfriend who orders by the vat).

trickynick - 4 Jan 2010 09:44
You would have to be pretty desperate to go to this place for food. And not too hungry at that. Bar staff only interested in chatting and going and sitting with mates. Wrong drink bought to me twice. Both times the coke was also flat despite me telling the staff each time. Birthday meal ruined byt the fact that orders took an hour and a half to arrive, 3 of them wrong, all bought out with about 10 mins between in one. Then some of them bought out cold. Some of our party went home early and demanded a refund instead. Thanks guys at the Abbey formaking this one of the worst nights in London in 13 years.
crackpot - 28 Sep 2009 13:33
Nice atmosphere, but the food is far from digestibel!.
If you hang there on Sunday enjoy the garden for few pints and take some bags of crisps as the food is typical avrage food in a pub priced as a bistro.

luc - 2 Aug 2009 21:43
This pub has improved recently - the staff are getting better at noticing the people the other side of the bar who aren't their mates, and are getting round to serving them too.
The Sagres on draught is an OK pint, as is the Heineken, nothing special though - and no ales last I looked.
OK for a pint after work to read the paper.
Gets very busy with the Camden overspill late on a Friday and Saturday, but that's to be expected.
The 'Caribbean' menu has been consistently disappointing every time I or friends have tried eating there - can't undertand how they keep getting it wrong - perhaps me and my chums are being too polite - so the chef has no idea...
Nice decked area out the back.
hufty - 27 Jul 2009 16:09
I concur with others comments about the abysmal service in this place. The staff seemed to have no grasp of how to spot who had been waiting the longest and just seemed to serve whoever appeared in front of them. After waiting almost 10 minutes for service I decided to cut my loses and go elsewhere.
Strongers - 20 Nov 2008 09:03
Been going to this pub for years and have seen it change hands several times. Love the food - the Jerk Chicken is great, good selection of drinks and the music on the whole is great ! Loved the fact that one of the bar staff had an MC5 T-Shirt on ! As everyone else says though the service is the only thing that lets it down. Some of the bands they have on acoustic nights are well above the average standard.
Loretta_Lush - 1 Aug 2008 16:04
Amendment to review below - I was in last night and received sterling service from Gerald (I think). The other people on the bar were as hopeless as ever though.
Dannysigma - 29 May 2008 16:26
Another identikit bar that ticks all the boxes: exposed brickwork? Check. Large, ornate mirror? Check. Overpriced food? Check. All trace of interior history and character excised? Check. What really sets this place apart from the many, many others, however, is the service. It is monumentally, astoundingly and breathtakingly bad. It is so bad, I seriously wonder whether or not they are doing it on purpose. Surely nobody (and it isn't just one of them, it's all of them) could really be that incompetent? I have been here a few times (heaven only knows why) over the past couple of years, and occasionally pop back thinking that the rubbish and attitude filled bar staff must have changed by now. And indeed they have. Every time I return, they seem to have gotten worse.
Quite a pleasant atmosphere and a decent garden - is that enough to balance up the down sides? I don't think so.
Dannysigma - 27 May 2008 17:20
Re: "lad_newton": Dear pub landlord or landlord's agent, you really need to disguise your postings about your own pub a little better than that.

The Abbey was half-decent when it was last converted (it's still a great venue). Unfortunately the current landlords really don't know anything about food, drink or music. Really, nothing. I can't begin to describe how hard it must be to produce such dirge from the kitchen when there are so many decent examples all round Camden and Kentish Town to learn from (The Engineer, The Crown and Goose, The Junction, The Lord Palmerston to name just four). Avoid the Abbey and let's hope that the current management jack it in sooner rather than later and are replaced by someone with a level of understanding about running a decent pub.
fenster - 27 Dec 2007 14:11
I dont know what's happened to this place

After ordering a 'chicken ceasar salad' for 8 and receiving a plate of diced ice-burg lettuce, mayonaisse and a couple of bits of chicken I wasnt impressed! I questioned the chef who said they couldnt make a 'proper' ceasar salad because that would contain bacon and this is a 'vegetarian menu option'.... lucky its got chicken meat?!?! I was then told they cant cook bacon because it would offend other people at the pub (???)... Only to find my partner's burger arrived with bacon. How they managed to cook this piece of bacon and not the other is a mystery!

A very bizzare experience to say the least and will unfortunately never return for food again. Such a shame as it used to be a great place to spend a lazy sunday afternoon with great food and a nice beer with friends.

Oh and they also now let in the trash from 'The Church' up the road on sundays - just a warning...
anonymous - 21 Oct 2007 22:25
Not a bad pub - certainly the best but most expensive in the area - the staff are friendly in here (trust me, I know kentish town- have lived here a long time and like a drink and this is the nicest of the them all) dont bother with the unicorn (the management is wierd, auntie annies - despite the name suggesting you will be visiting somewhere friendly - its unfriendly in the extreme and the Oxford has stinking toilets) although this pub is over priced for kentish town - Its the nicest pub in the area
summersun11 - 15 Oct 2007 01:19
What is happening in Kentish Town that people have become so uptight? Bar culture clearly isnt what is used to be! I came onto this site to express my great joy in the positive experiences I've recently been having at The Abbey and found a bunch of moaning minnies! My review speaks for myself - 25 year old female professional and all my friends and aquaintences ranging from 25-35 from all walks of life: banking to graphic design, accountants to musicianseveryone I've spoken to feels the same way! As far as I am concerned, recently The Abbey has gone from strength to strength with it's amazing new menu (not your average pub grub!) and delightful staff. The staff are friendly, relaxed and most importantly to a camden pub: interesting!There is accomodating, no-attitude service offered by barstaff with their own unique sense of style - fabulous! The dcor is cosy and eclectic: a feel of tradition with a shake of style! I'm really not sure what all the other reviewers are moaning about - we're not exactly at the Ritz - The Abbey has everything to offer and more in a trendy young pub: good food, good music good atmostphere and good bar staff. From my quiet Mondays there to busy Fridays I've never waited more than 5 minutes for a drink and 15 minutes for my food. If I had one request (or maybe two) it would be to have another of those great fete daysand loads more live music parites! This place is keeper and I'm holding thumbs that this bar is given the opportunity it deserves to become a Kentish Town institution - well done guys you've captured our market!
anonymous - 1 Oct 2007 14:01
After waiting a totally unacceptable length of time for our food to arrive, I found a member of the bar staff rude and obnoxious in dealing with my complaint. As a local, I certainly will not be going again in a hurry!
anonymous - 27 Aug 2007 20:20
on a day like today the best thing about the Abbey would be the roof terrace and garden!!
Rob.Carver - 3 Aug 2007 17:02
I wonder if the pub did take the comments below into account - when I went there last Tuesday the food we'd ordered arrived pretty quickly (I think it took 15 minutes to arrive which isn't bad considering it was dinner time) and although my boyfriend bought the drinks, he never seemed to be gone for very long! The best points about the evening were the food (sea bream was delicious) and the live music!
Nicky_Holden - 31 Jul 2007 17:50
Just a quick message to let everyone know that The Abbey is now under new management. We are open Midday to Midnight Sunday-Wednesday and until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays (with DJs on these nights). We now have a Jamaican menu on offer, and still have live music every Tuesday and Sunday.
Let us know what you think by leaving comments, we take all of them on board!
The Abbey Tavern
Elodie_Abbey - 25 Jul 2007 14:15
Really well layed out place, great interiors and exteriors. But whoever runs this place, please, please, please, I beg you, replace the staff, that or kick their arses. They are more than useless. The service here is consistently the worst I have ever experienced, ever. Even early, when it's empty, it takes multiple suppressed sighs to get served. I've never seen such fannying about. Mind you they can clear tables quickly enough. Had ours cleared rather previously on Sat, clearly a full compliment of unfinished drinks, full packs of fags, the lot, to which a shrug of the shoulders was the only response once staff were alerted. If the service here were anywhere near approaching average I'd drink here all the time. Such a waste of a great venue.
Seano - 11 Jun 2007 19:04
Poor beer selection when I went in.
Fairly useless staff- the barman couldn't make a customer a white russian despite being given instructions.
They were a little overwhelmed by a saturday night bar rush of ooh, six customers?
Having said that, the staff are friendly and decor is pleasant. Will ineviatbly return.
anonymous - 30 Apr 2007 18:34
Called in last weekend after a day in Regents Park. Nice & comfy interior and a lovely outdoor bit with roof terrace type affair. One of the best in Kentish Town without doubt.
Jackietreehorn - 16 Apr 2007 16:10
Lunchtime portions of some meals on the menu are very small indeed. I had pasta for lunch today, which turned out to be a starter portion advertised as a main. However the manager was very friendly and took the dish back to the kitchen to be increased in size after I asked for a change.

Given this is more than he had to do I was pleased with the outcome and enjoyed the meal, but do beware - before you place a food order, ask whether it comes in a normal or reduced-size portion!

Staropramen on draught - fresh and hoppy - was good alternative to real ale as none at the Abbey.
lad_newton - 16 Feb 2007 18:20
Decent enough pub. No real ale, but a nice selection of Belgian beer. I didn't eat in here, but the friends I was with who did recommend the burgers. There is a smallish back room which you can hire. Open late at weekends (not sure about week nights).
Crow_Valley - 8 Jan 2007 21:05
Nice food.Excellnt selection of beers.Quite comfortable and very friendly and they also have live music now which is good.I am quite often there in a sunday
diana_fiddler - 7 Nov 2006 08:46
Went to the pub on my birthday before heading off to to Camden. A really nice friendly pub, and it didn't feel jammed like the Oxford up the road.
Bar Staff were nice and friendly and very patient.. Especially when I serenaded one particular barmaid just before we left..
stu_CP - 13 Oct 2006 13:52
Yeah, top place. I went here for a works do on a Friday and hired the upstairs room. You can bring your own music and you get to have your own roof terrace. Good spot
anonymous - 7 Oct 2006 22:28
Not been in since an unfortunate nut allergy incident 18 months ago which was handled very poorly by the staff, but they seem to be making an effort with live music now. Still no real ale on.
Shelders - 22 Jan 2006 14:53
The abbey has a late licence. Midnight closing week days and I think 1 or 2 o-clock fri/sats. Prepared in advance for new drink licencing law.
jamie.nakin - 24 Oct 2005 17:38
Beware of service times if you have less than one hour's lunch. The staff are friendly and professional, and the food is very good, but you could wait up to 40 minutes for a main course. Having to eat a plate of fish & chips in 2 minutes and sprint back to the office took the edge off what would have been an enjoyable meal.

Also note that a service charge is added to your bill as standard when paying by credit/debit card. Future customers who prepare themselves for the above should have a good time here.
anonymous - 5 Oct 2005 14:48
Free wi-fi, superb food and impressive look and feel! The Abbey is a brilliant low key business lunch destination that will be certain to impress your clients. They even have a superb private dining/meeting facility that is totally unique to anywhere else in London that is available by prior appointment.

On a non-business front I have found The Abbey a superb and friendly pub to have a post work drink for a long time now. The pubs opening hours (midnight Sun-Thurs and 1 a.m. Fri & Sat) also provides a more relaxed drinking environment i.e no 11 p.m drink guzzling. And finally....the staff are all gorgeous!

philfriendly - 19 Sep 2005 11:54
Fantastic beer garden. Excellent service especially by a waitress called Eleanor. Very friendly and helpful lady. Was disappointed in some of the promises made and not met though. No fault of the staff on the night but if you ever book the place for a private party - make sure you get all the "promises" in writing. For example, I was told that we could have the dinner area at the back together with the beer garden from 7.30pm. But on the night, we were told that the restaurant was being used until 10pm and in fact we still didn't have use of it until 10.30 (after nagging several times). I shudder to think of what might have happened if it rained - fortunately it didn't. Great venue though!

anonymous - 5 Sep 2005 11:50
Humungous beer garden and reasonable range of Belgian beers. Bar snacks seemed a little expensive, but definitely worth stopping by of a pint or 3 if the weather's nice enough to sit outside.
mrfrisky - 28 Aug 2005 14:36
Yes, it's a gastro-pub, yes, the drinks are preposterously-priced and yes, it does take forever to get served, whether they're busy or not. But the sizeable surroundings are very nice, the beer garden and terrace are well-appropriated.
Seano - 23 Aug 2005 13:43
This place has ideas way above its station. 4 for a pint of White Kronenbourg!!! Mind you it seems to act as a magnet for all the KT wannabees and keeps them out of the decent places, so cheers for that.
jamesleek - 18 Jul 2005 12:47
what a load of rubbish - i had to wait for 30 minutes at the bar while a too cool for school barman waddled about burdoned no doubt by a massive ego and an actual inability to serve drinks - he regularly poured half a pint away while serving others but could open a bottle of wine which he did with a flourish.What a prat.The regulars are a mix of scum and slightly posh and the atmosphere rottern.I wouldn't go in here again unless I wanted to actually die of thirst.
Morganno - 16 Jun 2005 14:08
Overpriced, takes ages to get served, and a bit too pretentious for Kentish Town.
maxy - 27 May 2005 13:53
Cool - liked it - went in one afternoon for a beer and some lunch and wobbled merrily out at 8pm - the staff were friendly and relaxed - no one pushed us off our table when we hadn't ordered a drink for about an hour - the food was really nice and worth the money - all in all - a great place.
starfish160 - 27 Apr 2005 17:23
High quality food, great selection of wines, speciality beer, friendly staff, jazz & smart people.
Such a lovely spot in Kentish Town! I had a great X-mas party there, all my friends were well impressed.
Decent but casual, you can really chill out. cannot wait till the summer comes, I'm going to spend all my nights in the Abbey Garden! Kronenbourg Blanc - seriously good
TonyClark - 27 Jan 2005 01:59
imo, the abbey is a quiet nice place, but i did like the older one, though. that was more like a regular pub. the current one, as the name says, its more like a bar, but still good, nice staff, large space and good music:)

SteVeO - 21 Oct 2004 18:20
If you are looking for a casual night out down your local pub, then the Abbey probably isn't your deal. It has now been refurbished from a previously seedy gentlemans pub into a more upmarket bar/restaurant which to me is exactly what the area needs, especially down that side of Kentish Town. Embrace the change and go in and have drink, you might like it, you might not but thats life, some people don't like the finer things in life except a boring old stuffy pub.
Jessica S. - 13 Oct 2004 09:03
I am regular drinker at the Pineapple and The Boston Arms so was excited to try a newly opened pub in the local area.

The moment I walked in, I wanted to turn and go. It's way too upmarket and pretty for my tastes. If you like pubs that want to be an expensive bar and restaurant at the same time - this is for you! Having said that, the beer garden and roof terrace were actually quite nice.

If you prefer a more modest environment, try The Pineapple. If you prefer a pub that's pretty much at the bottom of the ladder, try the The Boston Arms.
Stevie B - 30 Sep 2004 12:50
i'm now a happy "regular" in the abbey,lovely food cool beers and fantastic friendly staff
james - 5 Sep 2004 14:30
If this is the one I'm thinking of, then it's the one where I begrudgingly walked in, saw both ales were off, and happily walked out again. Typical horrid gastro pub nonsense.

If it's not, then I apologise.
travis - 31 Aug 2004 16:08
Easy place to be....nice food...good drink....friendly staff....great garden and cute terrace....a little rough round the edges...but still just what Kentish Town Road has been waiting for - a decent local night out
Justine - 20 Aug 2004 14:38
newly re-furbished as a gastro pub. Big beer garden and roof terrace. Food good. Worth a look.
JonN - 11 Aug 2004 18:54

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