Back to all Posted 10/07/18

Area guide: Camden

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Camden Lock

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Gino D'Campo

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For the last 50 years, Camden has been a bastion of the London music scene. And while it’s counter-culture clout may be waning – high-street giants and tourists are usurping one-of-a-kind shops and brooding musicians – the physical reminders of its gritty heyday somehow sustain Camden’s cool mystique. This, after all, is the neighbourhood that launched punk in all its anarchic, explosive glory with a gig by the Ramones in the Roundhouse in 1976.  

In the 1990s, Camden became the epicentre of the burgeoning Britpop scene. Songs were written, feuds played out and intimate gigs sparked an entire movement.

More recently, Camden and specifically the Hawley Arms pub became the unofficial HQ for early-noughties Indie darlings. The Kooks did secret gigs here and Kate Moss and the late Amy Winehouse were regulars. The pub’s proximity to the MTV studio made it the place to be.

The whole area has a little more polish these days, though it has lost none of its originality – you can watch the canal boats coming through the lock or stroll around the Stables Market in search of the perfect outfit. It’s an exciting blend of old and new, that never ceases to amaze.


The location

Camden is situated in London’s zone 2, in the north-west. It is bordered by Chalk Farm, Hampstead Heath and the fashionable Primrose Hill. Camden Town underground station is in the heart of markets and shops, while Chalk Farm and Mornington Crescent stations are but a short walk away. These are served by the Northern line (both Bank and Charing Cross branches) from central London.

The area is also a major hub for London buses. And Camden Road is a London Overground station at the corner of Royal College Street and Camden Road. It is on the line from Richmond in the West, to Stratford station on the Olympic site in the East.

Camden can be typified by its slightly shabby, history-laden boozers, iconic music venues, bustling stalls and leafy canal walks. No longer ‘underground’ but rather decidedly mainstream, Camden sees swarms of tourists daily. And the once struggling musician is now a multi-platinum millionaire. So, restaurants and eateries certainly can do well here.

World cuisine on a plate

KERB Camden Market is open seven days a week and is brimming and bustling with 35 different food stalls where people can grab a delicious bite-to-go from every corner of the world.

There is also a selection of established restaurants serving up interesting cuisine. At Shaka Zulu, for example, adventurous diners can try South African game like Kudu, Ostrich, Springbok and Zebra. The experience is enhanced by the restaurant’s wooden-muraled interiors and warrior statues. A champagne bar and cocktail lounge appeal to a fun and sophisticated clientele.

You’ll find authentic Argentinian fare at La Patagonia, where they use a charcoal grill to cook all the meat and vegetables, creating the unique atmosphere that can be found in the popular ‘barrio’ restaurants in Argentina. Mouth-watering steaks are your go-to here, which can be washed down with a selection of wines from Mendoza – the famous wine region in the foothills of the Andes mountains.


Raise a glass

There’s no shortage of watering holes, either. Fest Camden (formerly Proud) has an enormous terrace perfect for summertime people-watching while sipping on a spritz above Stables Market. If you prefer New Orleans-inspired neon and bourbon cocktails, Blues Kitchen is the place to go – their wings and Cajun popcorn squid are unforgettable.

Camden has several legendary haunts, known throughout London for their storied history and unrivalled atmosphere. You’ll find your new favourite band playing at Camden Assembly, an Indie institution located on Chalk Farm Road and a great place to enjoy a pint of Camden Pale Ale. Alternatively, you can head to the renowned Jazz Café for an intimate soul or reggae gig and a Negroni.   


Rockers and high-rollers

You’ll still find your punks, rockers, heavy-metallers, and odd-balls in Camden. But with the average house price estimated at being over £1 million in this area, there are many families and wealthy urbanites as well. Being so close to Primrose Hill and so cool in its own right makes Camden a very desirable postcode. There is a gaggle of celebrities and rich, media types in this area who send their children to creatively-minded schools.

An area of NW1 known as Camden Parkway, located between Camden Town and Regent’s Park, is similarly swanky, with high-end retailers and eateries moving in all the time. Artisan bakery Gail’s has chosen this location as home to one of its branches, as has Gordon Ramsay’s York & Albany, a stylish four-star hotel with an excellent restaurant serving the best of British cuisine.  

Camden has always possessed an undeniable air of cool and will continue to attract musicians and creatives for years to come. There is much opportunity for growth here, both for would-be restaurants, cafés, and bars, and those that want to continue – or expand – their empires.

Suggested Properties

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Marylebone, London, W1U 3DB

Use: Class E (Restaurant)
Rent: £134,000 per annum
Premium: Offers Invited
Total Size: 2,253 sq ft
Rateable value: £101,000
Rates payable : £49,591 per annum

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Property image


Use: Class E (Restaurant)
Rent: Upon application.
Premium: Upon application.
Total Size: c. 9,680 sq ft

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Rolls Passage, Holborn, London, EC4A 1HL

Use: Sui Generis
Rent: £64,250 per annum.
Total Size: 2,200 sq ft plus outside seating.
Premium: On application

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