Bull And Last, NW5 1QS

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.

See also:

Last visited by Kake, September 2017. Opening hours taken from the Bull & Last website, September 2017.
OS X co-ord: 528434 OS Y co-ord: 186063 (Latitude: 51.558833 Longitude: -0.148695)
Last edited 2018-10-15 08:04:15 (version 3; diff). List all versions.