Picture the scene. It’s starting to get dark, you’ve discovered a new pub, it’s not that expensive, you’re with your two best mates, they have a pie only menu, non of you have anything to do tomorrow….what would you do? If the answer isn’t ‘grab the copy of monopoly from next to the bar and strap yourselves in to get blind drunk’ then you’re reading the wrong blog and I think you’d be happier reading something about making cakes or taming weasels. Otherwise; read on.
The Camel is one of the oddest shaped pubs I’ve ever encountered. It occupies a slither of space on the side of a building and consists of one long room dominated by a bow shaped bar protruding into it. There isn’t really anywhere to sit that doesn’t have a downside. Your options are thus.
- Door seats – More chance of personal space and avoiding elbows in heads but guaranteed draught.
- Opposite the bar – Near enough to order drink without standing up but probably cant stand up if more than four people are already at the bar.
- At the back – No draught. Less people. But adjacent to bogs.
Despite this I still rate The Camel highly. The boon of being small is that it generates atmosphere even when not particularly full, much like the Lincoln Lounge. It’s also a favourite with the locals and a bit of banter emanating from the corner ensures there is always a pleasant, friendly vibe.
A few guest ales accompany Suffolk ciders and exotic continental lagers as well as being backed up by a strong choice of bottled beers in the fridges. As mentioned earlier there is food, the greatest of all foods; pie. If you’re not a fan of pies then you do have a choice of bar snacks. But in honesty if you can’t extract pleasure from gravy soaked meat parcelled lovingly in pastry and accompanied by dollops of creamy mashed spuds then you’re dead inside.
The enamel cream and maroon tiled exterior are entirely original and are vaguely reminiscent of The Birdcage; another east London pub that has weathered the storm and remains a proper local pub. Whilst The Camel isn’t perfect it is fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed my ale soaked game of Monopoly (I blame the third pint for the dodgy deal where I sold off Park Lane) in its warm confines. It’s certainly worth popping down to for a pint of two and given it’s less than a minutes walk away from the equally magnificent Florists Arms you could easily make an evening of it.