With its doors having swung open for the first time back in 1849, when Wi-Fi was simply a pleasant greeting to one’s better half, the Old Crown Public House strives to provide something of the old in an ocean of modern mediocrity.
Having said that, it is not the nineteenth century it seeks to emulate, but rather the 1990s – when pubs were pubs (not cocktail bars), music was constructed with heart and angst (not autotune and semi-nudity) and money was spent at the bar (not at the door). It adds to this a trim of tasty trend with gorgeous gourmet burgers and hearty hot dogs.
The Old Crown’s rejection of the new is carried out with balance and rationality: there is, for example, free internet, a pristine pub interior and classy cocktails. The food is quality, with the burgers having recently been voted London’s best by burgaffair.com, and live music or DJs play quality music up until 3am each Thursday through to Saturday.
Located in North London, between the Tottenham Court Road and Holborn tube stations, we headed down to the Old Crown one early evening last week. The downstairs was cosy and comfortable, and the staff friendly and attentive. It was already filling up by 6pm, but having been able to locate a table we were more than happy to soak up the atmosphere.
Despite the menu being more extensive, it is the bespoke burgers and posh dogs that really leap off the page. With a great variety of choice, including fish and vegetarian options, this section alone presents a plethora of potential repasts. After much deliberation, we decided to go for the Satay Burger, OC Beast Burger, Pulled Pork Hot Dog, Weiner Hot Dog, Hand Cut Chips and Whitebait. All were delicious; served on healthy buns and with unique flavours. The quality of the ingredients was top notch and the presentation and punctuality splendid.
On top of the burgers and posh dogs, the pub also serves up a beautiful brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am. There are several rooms upstairs that cater for large parties or group bookings, and even a room with its own bar and projector screen.
Although not really the place for a quiet drink on a weekend, the Old Crown does provide an attractive balance between party and conversation, and with good food and music thrown into the mix, it is difficult to go wrong. For anyone with a sense of loss over a good ole nineties shindig, the Old Crown is definitely the place to be – whether for a breezy brunch or late night nostalgia. Even if it is simply a fine burger you are after, the Old Crown is sure to deliver beyond your expectations.