It’s surely one of the liveliest watering holes on the border of Euston and Camden. And it has an impressive mix of draft beer, live music, quiz nights and a chilled-yet-vibrant feel about the place. But we’re guessing some of you may not have heard of it.
The Pack & Carriage is completely independent: Aussie Chris (pictured right) has been running the pub for four years. Well, he first ran it as a backpackers hostel, but it was a 24/7 job and “just too much to handle,” he says.
A couple of years ago he decided to downscale but keep the pub – without letting it forget its traveller’s roots. Some walls have been slathered in pages from Lonely Planet travel guides, there are countless maps of the world dotted around the cosy boozer, and the place is coated in beer mats from all over the globe. There’s table football, a dartboard, games nights and huge communal tables for stoking conversation. We grabbed him for five minutes.
Who designed the interiors?
I did: I clearly like maps.
Was the upstairs hostel a party hostel?
No, it was really chilled actually. The atmosphere felt the same as it does in here today, with the same number of people coming in and out, and focus on live music.
Live music, you say?
Yeah, we have acoustic on Thursday, all-vinyl Northern Soul on Friday and a line-up of live bands every Saturday. Every other month we manage to squeeze Orquesta Estelar – a 25-piece Cuban orchestra – in here. We clear the space to create a dancefloor; preparing for these nights and deconstructing the room after is like playing a life-size game of Tetris.
We hear you used to have a goth night too?
That was a monthly regular, people would go crazy for it. It was called Vampire, and we’re not talking your Twilight crowd: this was the full leather-and-latex Blade Runner lot. It was quite surreal checking people into the hostel on those Fridays: backpackers would walk in and be like, what the hell’s going on here?
When should first-times come here?
Wednesday quiz night is probably the best, the quizmaster’s got great banter.
What makes a good pub, then?
A sense of community and informality. You’ve got to feel comfortable enough to chat to anyone really, our big communal tables help with that. I don’t want it too polished, it needs to feel lived in. We take our beer seriously too, but don’t try and be wanky about it.
Thoughts on Euston?
I really like it. Somers Town is a particularly interesting place, it feels like a little forgotten part of London that no one even knows is there. I guess that is what makes it beautiful.
And the weirdest thing you’ve seen here?
A woman came in with a snake wrapped around her neck, forked tongue flicking away as the woman sipped her G&T at the bar.
Do you go to other pubs in the area?
I’m a regular at any craft beer place in walking distance. You’ll most likely find me at Brewdog in Camden or the White Mustache, near Regent’s Park, if I’m not here.
What are your prices saying?
We keep it reasonable – house lager is £4 a pint, and a four-pint pitcher a tenner more.
Pack & Carriage, 162 Eversholt St, NW1. Open Mon-Sat, 4pm-midnight. More here.