Bull And Last, NW5 1QS
- 020 7267 3641
- 168 Highgate Road, NW5 1QS
- Temporarily closed
Gastropub on the edge of Hampstead Heath, near Gospel Oak Station.
Note: The Bull & Last closed temporarily for an extensive refurbishment on 1 October 2018, and is scheduled to reopen in mid-2019.
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.
According to the Bull & Last website as of September 2017, food is served noon-3pm and 6:30pm-10pm Mon-Fri; 9am-11am, 12:30pm-4pm, and 6:30pm-10pm Sat; and 9am-11am, 12:30pm-4pm, and 6:30pm-9pm Sun; and quiz night is Sunday.
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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