Wintry weather and early sunsets don’t need to be despised. If the British are good at anything, it’s knowing how to bear the cold and make the most of the excuse to escape the outdoors. Settle in with a drink and discover your favourite new local, with our top picks of Hampstead and Highgate’s best pubs and bars.
Have a closer look at the Camden Town Brewery logo and you’ll spot a coloured horseshoe. It was in the basement of The Horseshoe that the business was born. There’s no surprise then that brews such as their Camden Ink stout and sparkling pale ale are served on tap here, not forgetting a wide range of other options if these tipples don’t take your fancy. The gastro-pub also boasts an admirable wine list, with prices starting at £4 a glass.
Slick décor, full of Hampstead’s trendies and well groomed punters, The Gallery is a neighbourhood bar that is always buzzing. Break in the new week and have a laugh over a drink at their quiz night, held every Monday. Make the most of the whisky and live jazz nights on a rolling basis, and let loose with DJ sets at the weekend.
It may be slightly further afield, but this stylish establishment is well worth the visit on a Friday night. Kilburn Ironwork’s extensive cocktail menu is fun and innovative, with sharing punches such as the Atlantico Plantation Punch – fresh lemon juice, Rum, grenadine and bitters – served up in a barrel to the table, as well as single drinks such as the house classic, The Iron Man – Bourborn, elderflower and ginger ale.
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Like many other pubs around Highgate, The Bull transports you to the countryside and brings the leafy suburbs indoors – think dried hops dangling everywhere and Labradors on leashes. So greatly does the establishment believe that amazing beer is the heart of a great pub, you’ll find they’ve installed a small microbrewery on the premises – the London Brewing Company – making for an impressive 21 taps that pour cellar-chilled brews and seasonal ales.
Living up to its name, The Boogaloo is a rock ‘n’ roll bar that likes a boogie while getting boozy. This Highgate bar has won awards all over the world for its well known and eclectic jukebox, with the likes of famous faces – not to mention musical legends – Iggy Pop, Ronnie Wood, The Pogues and The Libertines (to name a few), having all contributed their favourite albums to the playlist.
Sitting in the heart of historic Hampstead, The Holly Bush is a centuries-old pub in a grade II listed building, that is a testament to old school British drinking. With lots of cosy corners to hide in, enjoy guest brews, London Pride and the usual favourites on tap, as well as a plethora of wine choices on offer that caters well to those with a penchant for the grape too.