Lucy Warden, MA Near and Middle Eastern Studies
With its pastel coloured buildings, grand Victorian pubs and leafy streets, it certainly looks like a neater, better kempt version of Camden. Some could be seduced into thinking that Kentish Town is just another area of North London succumbed to gentrification. However despite its Victorian charm, Kentish Town offers the same as Camden Town, just without the large price tag and the pickpockets.
Where to eat?
By far and away, if you’re looking for somewhere to eat in Kentish Town, you have to go to the Queen of Sheba. About a thirty second walk from the underground, this Ethiopian restaurant is not only excellently priced, but gives you an opportunity to try something really different. As it involves eating with your hands, it’s a great venue for an adventurous first date, just give yourself a lot of time, as the service is far from speedy. If you’re looking for cuisine closer to home, the Kentish Canteen is another great restaurant to try out, especially for brunch. It’s best to remember that the Kentish Canteen’s manager is a bit of a character, but if you fancy some drama whilst you dine, it’s got an excellent Moroccan Lamb Burger.
Where to drink?
If you follow the main road down to Camden, you come across the Camden Town Brewery. I am not a beer drinker, but even I can admit that the Camden Town Brewery creates some truly excellent beer. If cider is more your thing, then the Southampton Arms have at least thirteen ciders and ales on tap, sourcing only from independent breweries around the UK. Whilst a tiny pub, the Southampton Arms is never empty, possibly due to their heady combination of good blues music and the fact the only food they seem to serve is meat… They also have a mean pub quiz on a Monday night, best to grab a table early!
What to do?
The Kentish Town Forum is a fairly well known music venue, situated only a few minutes’ walk from the station, and has a healthy mix of gigs at least twice a week. If you’re crafty, Bird & Davis is an excellent art shop just off the main high street, where you can also find London Bead Delicate Stitches literally just opposite the underground exit. The Oxford Pub is host to Monkey Business Comedy Club on a Thursday night; voted Camden’s best comedy club. With tickets priced at only £5 for a student, and 15% off if you decide to buy any food, it’s a great way to discover some new comedy talent without breaking the bank.