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250 Camden High Street,

(020) 7428 5875

The ViewLondon Review

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Review bySiobhan O'Brien19/08/2010
This bar/cafe on Camden High Street offers good music, imaginative dishes and colourful cocktails with a conscience - but if the being green isn't your bag, you might feel a little out of your depth.

The Venue
InSpiral Lounge looks so enticing from the outside it practically reaches out and hands you a smoothie. With a giant wooden tree decorating the shop front, tasty food and drink in the window and, depending on your angle, an amazing view of the canal, you’re drawn in, whether you’re interested in saving the planet or not.

Inside is colourful and especially pretty at night when candles light up the tables. It’s rather small though and can get crowded, so if you’re heading here after work or for Sunday lunch, you’ll want to turn up early to nab a seat. You can enjoy your meal while gazing out at the canal boats behind you, or pop downstairs to get a better look at the Lock or to sit on the outdoor jetty.

The Atmosphere
InSpiral Lounge is very much a health food haven. If you’re vegetarian, vegan, wheat intolerant or just on a bit of a detox, you’ll be safe here. Predictably then, you’ll find a lot of hippy types as well as students and tourists, tapping away on their laptops or sprawled across each other in what looks like deep thought. The vibe is chilled out, laid back, environmentally conscious, and there’s also a real sense of community; knowing that everybody around you probably shares your value can be pretty comforting. If you’re not in the eco-club though, you just might feel a little overwhelmed, as though the do-good ethos is being slightly shoved down your throat.

But it’s not all hemp porridge and ornamental stones (although they do have these.) There’s a DJ booth and stage and there are free events on most nights - pop along for an open mic night or live jazz evening.

The Food
Eco-warriors will be pleased. Everything on the menu is either vegan or vegetarian, and a lot of it is raw, organic, seasonal or generally packed with as many nutrients and ‘superfoods’ as possible. Realistically, although meat-eaters shouldn’t be put off the venue completely, they probably won’t be salivating over much of the food on offer: mushroom pasties, avocado boats and edible flower salad won't exactly get the pulse racing unless you've got a love of veggie food.

The Drink
If you think InSpiral are a bunch of teetotal goody two shoes, you’re wrong. They have a decent menu of cocktails (organic though, obviously), like Kok Mojito (£8.50), Raspberry Royale (£6.50) and Organic Orgasm (£8.00). There’s also plenty of beer (including fruit beer at £3.80 and ‘Freedom Pint’ at £3.60) and wine – try a glass of merlot for £3.50 or a tasty Horsmonden dry white from an English producer, for £5.50 a glass.

The Last Word
If you’re an environmentally-conscious vegan, InSpiral is a nice little place to head for a healthy bite to eat or a tasty cocktail. And the chances are your carnivorous friends will probably enjoy the novelty and relaxing vibe. Either that or they’ll be sneaking off afterwards to devour a greasy burger.
InSpiral Lounge has been reviewed by 11 users
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