Spaniards Inn, NW3 7JJ
- 020 8731 6571
- Spaniards Road, NW3 7JJ
Keats is reputed to have written "Ode to a Nightingale" in the gardens, and Charles Dickens mentioned the Spaniard's Inn in his novels. The gardens are superb, particularly in summer. They include an aviary! Inside, the place is a warren of small wood-panelled, and somewhat claustrophobic rooms.
Decent but fairly commonplace range of cask ales on handpull, Harveys Sussex Best is a usual fixture but was off last visit. In September 2008, the line-up was the Sussex Best, Bass, Deuchars IPA (£2.95/pint), Adnam's Southwold Bitter, as well as Weston's Vintage Cider and Country Perry. Decent draught selection, including Belgian fruit beers, Kirin Ichiban, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Franziskaner, Leffe and Pilsner Urquell.
Despite a really nice selection on tap, [Joel]? went for bottled beers on a visit in March 2008, of which there was an excellent selection too. The Goose Island IPA (a very floral/fruity American IPA) was delicious, and I was very glad to see Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier (a dark German smoked ale) and Fuller's Vintage Ale 2006 in the fridges too. We particularly enjoyed Karmeliet Tripel (a 3 grain belgian golden ale, very fruity smelling), and the Rauchbier.
The food looked OK but not outstanding — good for most areas but not a patch on some of the other Hampstead and Highgate pubs.
- it's on the road from Highgate to Hampstead, metres from Kenwood House;
- the bus 210 runs past;
- it's 10-15 minutes walk from Hampstead Station.
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