Wednesday, 31 March 2010


The Hawley Arms
2 Castlehaven Road
London NW1 8QU

Having already entered Camden's Lock Tavern looking for a Guinness on St Patrick's Day only to leave in short order after finding it crammed full of young people shouting over questionable music, our beating hearts sank when we realised exactly the same was occuring at The Hawley Arms, which I thought had burnt to the ground a couple of years ago, but is now evidently back up and running and being patronised by people in tight trousers. Asking ourselves, in effect, What would Saint Patrick do?, we ordered a couple of Guinnesses anyway and found a quieter spot near a fire escape on an upstairs landing. I can't imagine how many pints of this thick, creamy stout I've put away over the past 15 years or so, but it's more than a few. I like the density of this drink in the winter and the burnt, coffee-bitter sharpness in the spring. If it isn't quite a meal in itself, it makes for a damn fine starter, and it really is good for you.

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