The Rose & Crown has been hailed the ‘Best Pub in Kentish Town’ - so you know you’re in for a good night. This local pub does everything - craft beer, street-food, free open-mic comedy nights, live music - and it does everything very, very well. We headed down on a Thursday night to watch their open mic comedy night Freedom Fridge - here’s what we thought…
Nestled on Torriano Avenue, a residential backstreet between Kentish Town and Holloway, The Rose & Crown is the definition of a great local pub. But don’t stop reading if you’re not a Kentish Towner - this hidden watering hole is certainly worth the trip.
We arrived at the pub a little before eight, giving us just enough time to order a drink, some food and have a little nose around the place. The staff here went out of their way to make us feel welcome, and insisted we took a seat while they poured our drinks.
The soft sound of Dire Straits played in the background as we relaxed into a vintage armchair and felt the cool breeze from the courtyard door which had been left ajar. The craft beer menu is a chief selling point of this north London haunt, so we opted for a pint of The Kernel (awesome) and a burger from the “da ja chicken” menu. I decided on the Konnichiwage (a chicken burger with crisp iceberg, cucumber, spring onions, kewpie, mayo and katsu curry gravy), with my plus one opting for the halloumi, panko and sesame version. The comedy was about the start, so we made our way down to the cellar with our beer and food in hand.
The Freedom Fridge is a weekly showcase of new and established comedy talent that’s completely free to attend. It’s very popular and the room gets absolutely rammed, so get down there early if you want to get a seat near the front. That said, we were near the back and still had a great view of the stage.
Our compare for the evening was fiery Stella Graham, who got everyone laughing with her rantings of growing up in Coventry with her belligerent Indian mother. We were shovelling in bites of burger in between laughs - the crispy chicken was deliciously tender and its accompanying Japanese curry sauce flavour-packed.
Stella introduced comedian after comedian to the stage, each act very different but equally as hilarious. Highlights were Canadian-born Shawn Hoult, who had us in stitches with his ‘Australia isn’t real rant’, as well as Cathal O'Riordan, whose dry and macabre humour made his analogies about his catholic father’s drinking problem just hilarious. The showcase was a fun-filled two hours, with a break in the middle to refill our drinks and nip to the loo.
Overall, fantastic pub, fantastic free comedy and a fantastic evening - we’ll be back next Thursday for more laughs!
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