Harden's survey result
“Cannot wait for this gem of a place to reopen!” – Kentish Town’s brilliant Heath-side destination has been closed for most of the last year, as it turns itself into a six-bedroom pub-with-rooms. Set to re-open in late-2019, here’s hoping they haven’t mucked up what’s ranked as north London’s top gastropub in recent years.
“Still setting the standard” for north London gastropubs (amongst which it generates the highest amount of survey feedback) – this “ever-reliable” Kentish Town fixture “has a lovely cosy interior, plus friendly staff” and “a delicious and varied menu”. Top Tip: “they produce excellent picnic baskets for taking advantage of a lunch on Hampstead Heath on those warm days”.
This “quintessential gastropub” in Kentish Town feels “more like a homely local than a high class place” but remains north London’s most popular hostelry – “the food is amazingly consistent” (“lovely for a big Sunday lunch” after a walk on the heath) and “served with infectious enthusiasm”.
“For a hearty meal after a walk on the heath”, this “beaut’ of a local” in Kentish Town, with its “spacious, shabby-chic interior” is a classic. However, even some who say “it sets the standard for revived north London boozers” feel “it’s getting expensive now”… “a safe bet, but it doesn’t reach the heights it once did”.
Bull & Last NW5
A pleasant but ordinary-looking Dartmouth Park boozer where the cracking British cooking has quickly made quite a 'name'.
Thanks not least to having an appreciative Times reviewer (Giles Coren) living almost literally on its doorstep, this plain but attractive boozer has quickly established itself as quite a north London destination. The crowds, however - the place was busy even on a Monday lunchtime - seem to have induced no sense of complacency.
Everything we tried - fried duck egg, fish 'n' chips, lamb hotpot, a dish which rejoiced in the name 'trout & eggs', and clafoutis for pud - was consistently exceptional. It's not often you find yourself just saying 'wow' a lot, but this was one of those meals,
It benefits the whole experience that the style is relentlessly unpretentious. One is almost tempted to say 'real' - this does seem to be that ordinary corner boozer you've always dreamed about, where the food is fabulous, and a bit innovative too (in a retro sort of way).
Any criticisms? Well, though prices are generally reasonable, the odd dish is surprisingly expensive. The whole point of hotpot is that you use the cheapest cuts, and the rather small dish offered here weighs in at £14.50. Even given the quality of the cooking, a mark-up which must be heading for ten times seems excessive.
168 Highgate Rd, London, NW5 1QS
|Number of Diners:|
|Monday||12 pm‑3 pm, 6:30 pm‑10 pm|
|Tuesday||12 pm‑3 pm, 6:30 pm‑10 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm‑3 pm, 6:30 pm‑10 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑3 pm, 6:30 pm‑10 pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑3 pm, 6:30 pm‑10 pm|
|Saturday||12:30 pm‑4 pm, 6:30 pm‑10 pm|
|Sunday||12:30 pm‑4 pm, 6:45 pm‑9 pm|