Pub grub gets a spruce up in Camberwell; The Crooked Well is a lovely light, airy, neighbourhood gastro pub just off the bustling high street. It has been open just over a year and has already been included in the Michelin Eating Out in Pubs Guide 2013, commended for its culinary offering, service and setting.
What we actually loved more than anything was this establishment’s story of independence and chutzpah! The team behind this set up have some balls, as we got chatting to one of the floor staff – who actually turned out to be Jen, one of the owners, we heard more of how Jen the Front of House sweetheart – previously at Babylon (and actress) with Hector the Head Chef, previously of Petrus, Babylon and Hotel Du Vin along with Matt also of Hotel du Vin and St John, decided that after years of slogging it out in other peoples restaurants, they decided to do it for themselves. With much passion and little sleep or personal lives they now have their very own endeavour in the hospitality world.
The space is stylishly eclectic yet comfortable, with clear bar area and restaurant space, all displaying charm and character. There are oak floorboards, traditional wooden wainscoting, stunning Spanish floor tiles, botanical influenced wallpapers and a Victorian style bar area with intimate, token low hanging pendant lights… yet there is a homely feel with shelves filled with homemade pickled vegetables, jams and chutney lining the walls. This is somewhere you could pop along after work and unwind. We did.
The Menu: You can clearly see that there is a genuine passion for what is on offer here -British food is the main focus for the menu but ingredients, inspiration and dishes are also borrowed from the continent. Dishes include; starters such as Guinea Fowl, Chestnut, Apricot & Rabbit terrine, Beetroot, Capers & Balsamic and Rose Harisa toasted Cous Cous, Pati Pan & tzatziki and mains include Rabbit & Bacon Pie, Stonebass with Mussel Linguine, Olive Tapenade & Coriander Cress and Roast Venison with Braised Red Cabbage, Celeriac Puree, White Pudding & Jus. This is making me hungry again just writing this. We hear the Sunday lunch is meant to be a mean feast too with all the trimming.
The drinks menu has clearly also had some thought with choice wines, beers and cocktails on offer. The attention to details is translates in its own range of infusions, cordials and syrups used in the cocktail menu that offers both innovative British drinks, such as the Earl Grey Martini (this was fresh, light and very dangerous!)
Entertaining: We say get upstairs to those beautiful private dining rooms with large windows and coloured glass ceiling feature. There are two spaces that can be connected, a standalone bar and open kitchen that all add to the atmosphere in the private dining/ event space. Contact us to organise your event here. We have some wonderful ideas for these spaces upstairs.
We only nibbled but estimate dinner here around £40-50pp
www.thecrookedwell.com/ 16 Grove Lane, Camberwell, London/ 0207 252 7798 Opening: Mon: 17:00—00:00, Tues-Thurs: 12:00—00:00, Fri-Sat: 12:00—01:00, Sun: 12:00—23:00