The Bull & Last
168 Highgate Road, London, NW5 1QS
- Recommended for:
- Couples, Foodies, Mature travellers, Design and architecture, Relaxation
Expert review of The Bull & Last
When René Redzepi of Noma restaurant fame wanted to celebrate the UK launch of his cookbook with fellow chefs, he didn’t choose a high-falutin’ central London restaurant, but this neat little gastropub near Parliament Hill Fields. What makes it so special? Read on…
The Bull & Last’s menu was already very strong on British seasonal ingredients, but foods foraged on Hampstead Heath are increasingly appearing – hence the Redzepi lunch. Alongside dishes such as roe deer loin with roast salsify and Cheltenham beets, you might find diver-caught scallops with rosehip purée and wild herbs picked from the heath. Charcuterie including chicken liver parfait, rillettes and wild duck and pistachio terrine is all home-made, as are the superb ice-creams. The fish cookery in general is excellent, and their triple-cooked chips are brilliant too – in fact the only disappointment I’ve found is the occasional duff dessert. Now that the upstairs dining room is fully operational, I wouldn’t be surprised if this place gets a Michelin star in due course. The wines are good and fairly priced but really, you should have a real ale, at least to start.
Proper pub in decor, with hanging baskets of flowers out the front, a welcome row of hand pumps on the bar, and an enviable fireplace (I’m sitting in front of it in my mugshot). Weekday lunches see the occasional pram or well-behaved child joining a fairly grown-up crowd of actors, local business people and lucky sods who don’t have to work. There’s often a couple of dogs (by which I mean four-legged friends). Weekends and evenings are much the same but busier.
I’d always try and get here to eat early. What you don’t want is to get stuck behind a big table’s order or the wait for dishes could seem interminable.
Close by the southern end of Hampstead Heath and famous Kite Hill (aka Parliament Hill).
There’s a good range of price points if you’re on a tight budget. Starters are £6.50-£12.50, mains £12-£18.95. You could cut costs by ordering chocolate truffles, a scoop of ice-cream or a slice of cheese to finish, or stick with the own-made bar snacks and nibbles.
The same owners run the Prince of Wales in Putney, their first venture together – see website for details.
More information on The Bull & Last:
- Price guide:
- Ice-cream parlour, Pub, Restaurant
- British, French, Mediterranean, Modern, Traditional
- 168 Highgate Road, London, NW5 1QS
- 020 7267 3641
- Lunch, Dinner
- Opening times:
- Mon-Thur noon-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-10.30pm. Restaurant Mon-Fri noon-3pm, 6.30-10pm; Sat 12.30-3.30pm, 6.30-10pm; Sun 12.30-3.45pm, 7-9pm.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Essential at peak times
- Free tags / Keywords:
- gastropub, game, Best ice cream