The heart of Drummond Street. Photo: Dan Hall

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s its sole watering hole, and one frequented by an eclectic crowd of builders, office workers, students and even the odd tourist, The Crown & Anchor is arguably the heart of Drummond Street (and a perfect stop on a local pub crawl). On any given evening – even in the cooler months – its pavement terrace will be rammed with rowdy punters, outdoor heaters glowing red, tables filled with prosecco bottles and empty pint glasses.

A listed building from the 1820s, it’s an imposing corner presence, with a dark grey paintjob and, like many on Drummond Street, floor-to-ceiling Georgian sash windows. It has the elegance of a pub in, say, Greenwich or Hampstead.

And it’s particularly suited to autumn and winter, with a womb-like low-ceilinged interior, all nooks, crannies and leaded windows, perfect to nurse one of nearly two dozen real ales or beers.

There’s locally-brewed Camden Hells – served in the correct glassware – classic-yet-complex Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and smooth Bluepoint Toasted, as well as Tiny Rebel, Siren and Brewdog. The wine’s decent too, the house red well-priced and gluggable.

With nearly two dozen real ales and beers on table. Photo: Dan Hall

[dropcap]D[/dropcap]on’t expect a highfalutin food menu, but it’s still a notch above standard pub fare. There are padron peppers, chargrilled chicken ‘lollipops’ and handmade scotch eggs to start, and mains that include salads and heartier British grub.

They also make a thing of their Sunday roasts, should you find yourself in the area at the weekend. And you can always walk it off in Regent’s Park, afterwards.

The other midweek evening we opted for one classic main, cod and chips, and one trickier-to-get-right option, a vegan burger. The former’s line-caught white flesh was juicily opaque, the batter golden, served with a petite portion of mushy peas and triple-cooked chips.

And the latter was even better, a winning attempt at a meat-and-dairy-dodging patty. The combination of red pepper, quinoa, marmalade-roasted beets, lentils, sunflower seeds and pickled walnuts leant appealing texture and flavour, the “ancient grain” bun sturdy enough not to fall apart in the eating.

One, in fact, to return for. With another glass of that eminently gluggable house red, naturally.

[box]Open daily till 11pm, mains from £10. 137 Drummond St NW1, more here. [/box]

About The Author

Group editor and publisher of London Belongs To Me, a family of cultural guides to London neighbourhoods