“ 142-152 Cricklewookd Broadway / Cricklewood / London NW2 3ED / Tel: +44 (0)20 8452 4175 / Fax: +44 (0)20 8452 0952. „
I live near a part of North London that is not really known for anything much except that its a bit rough and going out alone after 10pm is not really a good idea. However, Ive become very fond of it over the last couple of years and am delighted to be able to say that The Crown is definitely the highlight of the place and is superb even when compared to the nicer parts of town like West Hampstead and Hampstead. The pub has an Irish connection 100 years ago, Kilburn and Cricklewood inhabitants were mainly Irish and the area still has many Irish families, although mixed with every nationality you can think of.
Cricklewood Broadway is part of the A5, which leads up to the North Circular and can get very busy. Fortunately, the pub is set back from the road, so even if you choose to sit outside, the noise isnt too bad.
142-152 Cricklewood Broadway
London NW2 3ED.
Tel: +44 (0)20 8452 4175
Fax: +44 (0)20 8452 0952
The pub is part of and is right next door to the Crown Moran hotel, which I have heard is also very nice. The Crown Moran is the reason for the refurbishment of The Crown, which didnt previously feature in the list of good pubs in London. To the other side is Iceland and a NatWest Bank.
The outside of the pub looks fantastic. As you can see from the picture, it is terracotta-coloured and is a grade two listed Victorian building. This has not changed much since it was built on the site of tea rooms in 1889 and obviously will not do so now it is a listed building.
The décor and layout
This really surprised me. Other pubs in the Cricklewood/Kilburn area tend to be serviceable at best, but the Crown has been beautifully decorated. The bar is in the middle of a large floor area. To the front and sides of the bar are a variety of comfortable sofas and chairs in cream and brown leather, then to the back of the bar are a couple of nooks and crannies for privacy and a separate bar area, presumably for evening use because there was no natural light. There are a number of original features, including fire places, ceiling detail etc. The ceilings are very high, which give the impression of even more space. In the corner is the obligatory screen showing mainly sports. Outside the pub is an area cordoned off with tables and umbrellas and set back from the road.
There is also an upstairs section, which I didnt see, where the weekend carvery is served.
We just wanted a bar meal for posh nosh, there is the carvery upstairs and the restaurant in the hotel itself, the menu for which looked excellent. There is a variety of bar food the usual suspects really pasta, sausage and mash, pies etc, most of which is served with chips. The prices for the main courses are very reasonable for London, starting from £6.50. Starters such as potato skins are also served, as are deserts.
The day we were there, it was hot and none of the stodge above really appealed (although would love to go back in the winter and sit in front of the fire with sausage and mash), but luckily, they also did a variety of salads. I had a Greek Salad, with hummus, feta cheese, cucumber, tomato, olives and salad leaves. My friend opted for a Moroccan salad, with grilled and flavoured chicken on a bed of cous cous and salad leaves, with tomatoes and cucumber. Both were delicious the plates were huge, the salad was fresh and the flavours were spot on. There were about six varieties of salad available in all, including Tuna Provencale, with tuna (obviously), new potatoes and all the trimmings, and a German ploughmans, including cheese, cold meat, pickle and salad. Each was £6.50, which for the quality and amount, I thought was very good value.
I would definitely go back for the food alone. Id like to try the carvery sometime there is a choice of beef, pork, lamb and chicken will all the trimmings and salad.
Being a pub, pretty much anything was available, but if you want to be in, the flavour of the season is Magners cider with ice, probably due to the Irish connection.
There were two young girls behind the bar who were polite and brought our food over when it was ready. For a pub, I dont expect quality service, politeness and punctuality will do for me and I definitely got that.
I really liked the food here and will visit again just for that, but Id also go back just for a drink and the ambience. We visited on a Sunday afternoon, and it was pleasantly quiet, with plenty of space between us and the others. There are sometimes DJs and bands playing and every Friday and Sunday evening, there are traditional Irish musicians playing. Events are regularly updated on The Crown Moran Hotel website: crownmoranhotel.co.uk, choose the section on The Crown. Highly recommended.
The Crown Pub, which is first recorded in 1751 licensing records was an ivy-clad house with pretty tea gardens and a skittle alley, complemented by a horse pond opposite. Rather less idyllically, bare-knuckle prize fights took place in nearby fields. The Crown pub building, as it stands today, was rebuilt in 1889 by the Cannon Brewery and is a grade two listed Victorian building. The Crown Pubs terracotta exterior and period features may look the same on the surface but the ambience would be un-recognisable to the regulars who, after a hard days work building Britain, drank, sang and cashed their pay cheques there. Indeed, it's pretty hard to imagine glasses flying and Biddy's crying being a regular feature of the new-look Crown as immortalised in the song Mc Alpines Fusiliers by Dominic Behan.