Camden is somewhere I usually avoid. But I do have fond Camden memories from my teenage years, hanging around the market and the rancid pubs feeling oh so cool in ripped jeans and DMs. However last night – partly for old times’ sake and partly because we had tickets to see Fuerzabruta at the Roundhouse – He and I with our neighbour-friends gave Camden another chance.
I remembered an email I was sent by a PR last November about the launch of Camden Eye’s pizza restaurant. We walked through the buzz of the packed pub up to the pizza restaurant on the first floor. The silence and emptiness were overwhelming. And the waiter, if possible, was even more vacant. We requested he put some music on and set about trying to make the best of it.
I should add that, as a crew of 4, we know our pizzas. We happen to have an AMAZING pizzeria on our doorstep* and, when the cupboards are bare, it’s not unheard of to find both families feasting there – especially as they’re so reasonable.
Camden Eye Pizza’s were less reasonable and less delicious. Not quite hot enough (in temperature) and lacking in detail (no chilies on The Spaniard), we gave them a mere 6/10. But the beer was fine.
Next stop was Shaka Zulu. Charmed by our mixologist, Tony, and the vast South African-themed
restaurant, we ordered a cocktail each. Two of us choose the ‘healthy yet alcoholic’ Bao-Bab cocktail. With a promise of high levels of vitamins and minerals, Baobab (taken from Africa’s Baobab Tree) also has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any fruit in the world. Tony mixed this potent supplement with Cognac, Port, Red Bush Tea, Cardamom Syrup and garnished the glass with a cinnamon stick. So much effort and yet it disappointingly just tasted like a fruit herbal tea.
The other two had a Shark Alley. Which prompts me, I have a cocktail-axe-to-grind. Please, please, please listen up all cocktails bars up and down the country. It is NOT ok to charge £11 for any cocktail which looks like this one after 4 sips. Not ok.
Finally, last stop, the Roundhouse for the dazzling acrobatics, wild music and bonkers hurling of bodies, Fuerzabruta. Jammed into the centre of the standing crowd, all 5ft 2in of me was a little uncomfortable. And, more than that, I was aware that a man was on a treadmill, but I just couldn’t see him.
Edging back though to the outskirts of the circular crowd, I enjoyed this memorable, yet alternative, visual and musical experience with a little more space and less craning of the neck!
Stumbling home on the 31 bus, we agreed that we should continue to give Camden a miss… I’m happy to leave the dodgy hoodies and the au pairs (who ALL loves a little Camden action) to their playground.
Fuerzabruta is on at the Roundhouse until 26th Jan. Book here.
*Nona Pizzeria 9 Fairhazel Gardens NW6