The Bull & Last

Address: 168 Highgate Road, London, NW5 1QS, United Kingdom
Telephone: 020 7267 3641

- Mid-range

4.8

Definitely in the top two or three of London’s gastropubs, and not too restauranty.

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…

Food and drink
4.8
90%
Service
3.8
90%
Food and drink
4.8
90%
Value for money
4
90%
Ambience
4.3
90%
Location
3.8
90%

Food and drink

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.

Ambience

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.

Service

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.

Location

Close by the southern end of Hampstead Heath and famous Kite Hill (aka Parliament Hill).

Price advice

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.

Branches

The same owners run the Prince of Wales in Putney, their first venture together – see website for details.

Recommended for

  • Couples
  • Foodies
  • Mature travellers
  • Relaxation
  • Design and architecture

Details