By Kyla Irwin-Williams
There are few things better to do than find a great pub and share a drink and good times with friends.
I’ve worked at Paramount for nearly two and half years now and can honestly say that West Hampstead is one of my favourite places with some lovely little spots to meet up. However, for this blog I want to share with you some of my favourite haunts from NW3 where I have lived now for nearly nine years. I also wanted to show just how easy they are to get to from West Hampstead!
The George, Belsize Park
Distance: 13 mins via the Overground
Favourite drink: A glass of Duvel (having recently been to Belgium to sample their wares it’s a treat to find somewhere that serves a good blonde beer).
What’s on: Mondays are a particularly good day to pop in with their quiz & burger deal. Quiz starts at 8pm and you can enjoy a burger and a pint of Camden Hells for £14pp.
A few words: This striking pub in Belsize Park has been recently refurbished and now boasts a light and airy pub with cozy corners to tuck your feet up and have a natter. I’m even told it’s a great place to watch a bit of sport, in particular the rugby and Wimbledon (with some fabulous ice cream of course!).
The Stag, Hampstead
Distance: 10 mins via the Overground
Favourite drink: They update their beers on tap regularly but they always have a good pale ale.
What’s on: If you join their ‘Friends with Benefits’ club you get 2-4-1 on food on Best Friend Tuesday!
A few words: This one I really consider my local, given it takes me all of about 30 seconds to get home! It has a fabulous beer garden, regular events and live music every Sunday.
The Garden Gate, Hampstead
Distance: 6 minutes via the Overground
Favourite drink: A Gin and Tonic is good here as they use proper Fever Tree tonic.
What’s on: Having got the brain cells warmed up on Monday, give the quiz at The Garden Gate a whirl.
A few words: This pub is a dog lover’s dream. I walked past last week and they had their very own dog beauty pageant going on! A huge garden and great BBQ make this one to check out.
The Holly Bush, Hampstead
http://www.hollybushhampstead.co.uk/360-tour (check out their 3D tour!)
Distance: 20-25 mins depending on fast you walk – pop across one stop on the Overground to cut down the amount of walking if you like
Favourite drink: Treat yourself to one of their fresh juices. My favourite is the ultimate detox, a delicious mix of kale, apple, celery, lime and cucumber.
What’s on: They have a food festival on until the 31st August with a chance to sample their a la carte dishes at reasonable prices
A few words: Although it’s a little further to get to, this hidden gem is well worth the effort. Tucked away in a little courtyard at the top of Hampstead high street you find a Grade 2 listed building with all the charm of country pub.
Wine Rack, Belsize Park
Distance: 15 mins via the Overground
Favourite drink: They make a great Aperol Spritz in beautiful wine glasses.
A few words: I’m cheating a bit here as this is technically not a pub but a real find none the less and the perfect place to start if you’re having a night on the town. This is my local wine shop but recently they have added a few table and chairs and you can sit out (hopefully in the sun) and have a drink at a very reasonable price.
The Freemason Arms, Hampstead
Distance: 11 mins via the Overground
Favourite drink: They have a great selection of wines and you can even join their wine club for exclusive offers.
What’s on: Saturday 15th July 2017 Pimms Party and Wednesday 9th August Peroni Party (you may even spot me there!)
A few words: This is probably one of the most fancy and stylish of the pubs near me and is a great place to have dinner for a special event. However, don’t let it’s fancy façade put you off. It’s a great place for a casual get together on a sunny Saturday as it has a huge garden with comfy wicker chairs.
The Spaniard’s Inn, Hampstead
Distance: This one you need to do when you fancy a good walk through Hampstead Heath.
5 mins via Overground to Hampstead Heath then 30 mins – 3 hours walking through the Heath depending on how much you want to see! You could even pop by Kenwood House on your way.
Favourite drink: My friends insist that the Bloody Mary is well worth a try – for me, I’ll stick to a good cup of coffee.
What’s on: A delicious roast every Sunday with fresh seasonal veg
A few words: So, last but not least the Spaniard’s Inn. This 16th century pub makes a striking picture as you emerge from the trees at the top of Hampstead Heath. This is one of London’s oldest pubs and according to their website Dickens immortalised it in The Pickswick Papers and it’s said that Keats wrote Ode to a Nightingale there. Quite the celebrity endorsement!
So that’s my tour of seven pubs with seven drinks in seven days – enjoy – although a word to the wise, don’t try all seven in the same week!