Camden Market has major makeover with new cinema, shops and food stalls
- Credit: Supplied
Camden Market has undergone a major redevelopment with the opening of Hawley Wharf, a 580,00 sq ft canalside complex of shops, bars, a food market, restaurants and entertainment.
The Regent's Canal towpath has been opened up for pedestrians, and the arches next to the famous Camden Lock railway bridge now house a boutique Curzon cinema.
In between is the three-storey Waterside Hall East and West complex of food and retail traders, housed – true to market spirit – in an industrial-style building open to the elements.
Labtech, owner of the site and the market, has further plans next year. Indeed top Irish Chef Richard Corrigan has outed himself as opening his latest venture there, taking over the roof and terrace with a bakery, smokery, craft beers and 150 plus covers. But in the meantime Curzon opened its latest cinema last week taking up eight arches including a bar, cafe and five intimate 30 seat screens where film lovers can see both arthouse indies and blockbuster movies.
The unusual layout means you have to return to the street, then re-enter the New York-stye bar to use the loos. For all other needs you can order food and drink from your seat via a QR code.
Curzon CEO Philip Knatchbull said: “We know there’s a huge demand for people to get back to the cinema and Hawley Wharf is a natural home for us with its incredible and eclectic mix of food, retail and leisure. We’ve loved seeing locals and visitors venturing out to explore the arches and the sights, sounds and smells of this waterside destination”.
The Camden High Street frontage has been spruced up with new outlets including WOW Beauty, organic, vegan skincare brand Sknfed, Skate shop Scum, and Camden natives Koko Art who will customize your clothes from shoes to T shirts. Inside, To Home From London is a creative studio and art cafe selling both souvenirs of London and an impressive rainbow stack of pancakes, you can get a trim at vegan hairdresser Butchers, or buy handmade children's clothes from Josiah Amari.
In the upper hall, innovative middle Eastern steakhouse The Black Cow has space for 40 diners. We enjoyed their on-tap cocktails (try the Moabet with raspberries, gin, elderflower and hibiscus tea) and feasted on delicious homemade cornbread in lamb butter (£4) their moreish twist on cauliflower cheese with a gruyere bechamel and dukkah, and the signature Casbah a Moroccan-inspired brik of pastry encasing pulled steak, Monterey Jack cheese and a runny egg (£13. Well worth the calories).
The charcoal-grilled medium rare steaks served with flaming herbs and oil are also a must.
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In fact you can eat your way around the world with something for everyone including flame grilled Afghan street food from 2 Lads Kitchen, Rudie's Jerk Shack, Khaao's cheesy Naan melts, Mexican tacos and tequila from Chingon, Longboys doughnuts, baked cheesecakes from The Great British Cheesecake Company, Cantonese steamed dumplings from Bun House, and pizza and pasta by Sugo.
2 Lads Kitchen founders Zia Haidari & Gul Ahmad, said: “Camden has a really diverse food scene, so we’re excited to bring a little taste of the Afghan streets to the streets of North London. We’ve felt so much love from Londoners over the past two and half years, and it’s always been our dream to have a permanent base where people can come and taste the flavours of home."
Future plans include more retailers, restaurants and culture, but in the meantime the Camden Crossfade Festival celebrates the opening of Hawley Wharf with free DJ sets until December 31. Still to come, Tony Rodriquez, Fat Tony, Judge Jules, and Soul II Soul founder and Camden original Jazzie B.