Bull And Last, NW5 1QS
- 020 7267 3641
- 168 Highgate Road, NW5 1QS
Gastropub on the edge of Hampstead Heath, near Gospel Oak Station.
Note: The Bull & Last closed in October 2018 for an extensive refurbishment, and reopened in February 2020. We haven't visited since, so some or all of the details below may be out of date.
It's on two floors, with the bar on the ground floor and a separate dining room on the first floor. The ground-floor is L-shaped, wrapped around a wood-fronted bar with three large bulls' heads mounted above. A semi-open kitchen is tucked in the corner across from the short leg of the L. The floor is varnished boards, the walls and ceiling are wood-panelled, and the tables are also wooden. Large windows let in less light than might be expected, partly due to the half-opened blinds covering them.
Kake visited on a Friday lunchtime in September 2017. Music was playing, not too loud. The handpumps on the bar were clipped for three real ales and one real cider: Alechemy Charisma, Vocation Chop & Change, Bedlam Benchmark, and Hallets Cider. A pint of lime and soda was £1.
There were quite a few people in when I arrived around 12:45pm, and I was initially a bit worried there wouldn't be space for me since the tables all had "reserved" signs on them; the staff told me not to worry about that, though, as these meant "reserved for diners" rather than "reserved for a specific person". They also told me that this is their usual practice at peak times, though they do leave a few small tables free for people who want to come in just for a drink.
The staff seemed disinclined to let me order at the bar, showing me to a table to take my drink order and give me a menu. When I ordered my food, they asked without prompting whether I had any allergies they should know about.
I went for the Cornish hake with Jerusalem artichokes, smoked leeks, sea vegetables, and shrimp butter (£24) photo with a bread basket on the side (£4). This was really delicious, with varied flavours and textures. The fish was perfectly cooked, the leeks had a subtle smokiness, and the bitterness of the sea vegetables helped balance the salt levels. The bread was good too, and a generous portion; two thick slices each of three varied types.
A 12.5% service charge was auto-added to the bill.
Kake's verdict: It's not cheap here, but I'd happily come back if I was feeling flush.
Dog-friendliness: According to the Bull & Last website as of September 2017, dogs are allowed in the bar area and marrow bones and pigs' ears are available to feed them.
Accessibility: A step to get in. No further steps to toilets.
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