The Regent, Kensal Green


Your local pub is a bit like a pair of house pants. Close at hand, easy to get to and will just about do if you absolutely have to leave the house. They should also be comfortable which may not necessarily mean they fit but as long as they are functional they serve a purpose. If you are lucky enough to have the Regent on the final trip hazard through your door, then damn it, not only are you wearing your house pants out and about with pride, they are also fitted, cool and funky.

So I find myself here on a fresh and wet Sunday afternoon (still in my pants) with the aim of taking a snapshot of this very familiar and comfy pub that is anything but pants. All looks quiet on approach, a lot to do with the fact its tucked down a narrow one way lane called Regent Street( No not that one but if you want to mess with The Knowledge….) Its a little obscured which may alienate the walk in crowd but once you’re in you’re very happy for them to keep walking. On entry there is an instant buzz for I have hit Sunday lunch. I knew that but still clearly the place to spend an afternoon with friends or family.  And lets face it Sundays are precious.

So to service, well its instant which is always a plus. I am honing in on one of the Swedish sisters mind so perhaps my enthusiasm is slightly biased. The staff are industrious and busy as bees and they multiply according to volume of punters, a basic formula that so many pubs get wrong. On a busy Friday or Saturday you will see up to six staff snaking around inside the square bar like..well..a game of Snake. Today I go Guinness- its good, its cold, the 2 stage pour is fine, glassware needs renovating but so far so good.

Looking around I see dull green/meets gun grey painted interior, blackboards (with random messages rather than quotes for a small point of difference),eclectic furniture, wooden dinner tables, lovely old fire places, crazy chandeliers, fat iron radiators and wooden floors. All standard gastro pub fittings but it seems to work well here..maybe its because its a bit gritty.My fellow Publocator would suggest a good deep clean so it may lose a couple of points but it works well for me, its not clinical like most of the newer gastro pubs and there is no apathy or neglect here. There is a semi enclosed garden that I used to find too busy with table and chairs and rather cramped. I am pleased to see they have fully decked the area now and fitted new leather covered benches along the walls so they will fit more punters in. It still amounts to a minimal view of the sky..nice for smokers. You can sit at the bar or sit out the front. At the bar is pretty annoying in any pub unless you’re the one there. Nice clientele generally funky, professional, young family folk, the kind who dress like this every day of the week.

The story; well it has one. Site of the original green-as in Kensal Green-not far from what used to be the Plough Inn right back in the days when the Royals would use the Harrow Road as a horse and carriage drag strip; and some have now come to rest in the nearby grand old Kensal Green cemetery.

I find my perfect spot as a sea of feasting punters open up before me Moses like…two big old red leather arm chairs. Comfy, functional and room for a bite. By the door so a slight draft and if the odd punter in and out the door will drive you to distraction then move further in for the half square of comfy sofa delight in front of the fuel effect fire place..perfect for papers. There are no pool tables or TVs so forget the big match, but then that wouldn’t work here. Funky music always on the go but come in on a Friday and Sat night if you want to see it belting.

Grabbing a menu, most of which I’ve done before, and the waitress is here within three minutes enquiring if I am OK. Good stuff. Sunday is roast day with beef sirloin , chicken or a vegetarian gratin to choose from and all with the usual veggie trimmings, Yorkshire pud and loads of gravy. Dessert is more classic fare- apple crumble, brownie, Eton mess and a cheese board. Any other day of the week go for a burger be it beef or chicken with any topping you want.

A base covering if not extensive range of reds and whites from 14.50 to 28 quid a bottle with a definite new world bent..so if that’s your bag. Beers on tap include Guinness, San Miguel, Red Stripe Becks, Amstel and one standard ale. There is also mix of eclectic bottles from around the world all left over from the last tasting if you feel like being a bit weird. Don’t count on it lasting. There is also a big wooden bowl of popcorn continuously perched on the bar. if you’ve read the stories about the human by products and general E.coli fear that go with, it may make you sick…but wait for a fresh batch or dig low and its irresistible after a few pints.

I am asked another three times by the friendly staff if I need anything; so I finish my second pint with a warm glow that my old friend has not let me down.

Where: The Regent, 5 Regent Street, Kensal Green, London, NW10 5LG
When: Sunday 1st November 2009, 3pm
Grab a red leather armchair, a friend,a cold lager and make mine a burger for Tuesday’s best friend night(half price food)
Tel: 020 8969 2184
Website: http://www.theregentkensalgreen.com
Menus: See website. Week days burgers, Sunday roasts
Interest: Paradise Bar opposite


Welcome to Publocation.

This is a blog for any and all lovers of the institution of good drinking in great places. It attempts to serve as a beacon for all that is right about the beautiful global convention of meeting in comfortable surrounds and consuming intoxicating liquor with a select group of worthy friends.

Our mission statements:

1. We will accurately recommend, refer, repudiate, suggest, scorn, enlighten, promote and abuse all that we come across with the aim of showcasing the best our fair Isle (and the odd distant shore) has to offer in venue, drink and food to local and traveller alike.

2. We will accept no bribe and give no quarter in making our recommendations, we have no agenda other than honesty and accuracy (and finding increasingly desperate reasons to go down the pub more often).

3. We will venture out, to this end, EVERY week. Hell, high water, locusts, whatever.

4. We will clearly revise these mission statements, without notice, at the drop of a hat, as and when we see fit, to suit whatever we feel is in our best interests at the time.

This is Publocation.

Let’s get on with it.

Bobby & J