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Spaniards Inn (Bar)

Picture of Spaniards Inn in Hampstead, London

Spaniards Road, Hampstead Heath, Hampstead, London, NW3 7JJ
Cuisine: Eclectic
Tel: 020 8731 6571 | Transport: Golders Green | Write review

Spaniards Inn Review


Best for: I could say everything; but forget Easter eggs, try their Scotch eggs!

Great: outdoor terrace for the heat waves we are all praying for.

There has been much doom and gloom in recent years: “death to the British High Street” and “12 pubs close every week”. Well, the right honourable George Osborne, if you’re an avid reader of my reviews I may have an answer for you, aside from taking another 1p off a pint of beer.

The answer is the recently refurbished Spaniards Inn pub in north London. As other pubs and even chains fall by the wayside, this institution has been standing firm since 1585; the year when Queen Elisabeth I signed the Treaty of Nonsuch to counteract the might of Spain.

Like David Cameron’s hunt for that magic money tree, this place isn't easy to find. It’s not near the underground, it’s not near a train station, but at least it exists, nestled deep in Hampstead Heath. As a former tollbooth inn, the building inconveniently juts out into the road, making it a nightmare for drivers and gives an added meaning to the phrase “food to die for”.

Once safely inside, I can see why this could be the saviour of the British economy: the beautiful wooden panelling throughout; the ornate photos from bygone eras that adorn the walls; the cozy Snug room next to the entrance; and the sense of history you feel as you walk around this famous public house.

The manager, Olivier, has nicknamed the upstairs dining room the Keats Room. Keats, Byron, Dickens, and Stoker have all graced the inn in their time. Keats drew inspiration for “Ode To A Nightingale” from the beautiful terrace garden; and Bram Stoker borrowed one of the ghost stories from the inn for his Dracula novel.

Dare I say the food here is even more famous than the aforementioned literary greats. I (almost) very politely tried to turn down the offer from Tom, the assistant manager, of a Scotch egg having had my taste buds scarred for life at boarding school. Luckily, I succumbed, and it was indeed eggcellent; crunchy on the outside, haggis instead of cheap sausage meat on the inside, with the egg yolk still runny. The burger I ordered was premium rib eye, chuck and bone marrow.

The scallops and fish and chips my guest ordered were also made from top quality ingredients. Austerity is good up to a point, but you pay for what you get and they certainly don’t cut corners here. In fact, they make a lot of their own food completely from scratch.

Olivier was kind enough to let us try a selection of their homemade sorbet. They make about 20+ flavours every day; it’s enough to put Michelin starred chefs to shame.

You know you’ve walked into a loving venue when every food item is paired with a matching specialty beer, real ale and/or cider. When I next seek employment, I want the cellar man’s job. The famous sacred distillery is nearby in Highgate. Most of the matching beers are served at 33cl, apart from the meatier dishes, and a pint of Urban Dusk Redemption for the Scotch Eggs is top of any recommendations. There’s even matching beers for desserts. The fruli strawberry beer is particularly tempting.

Not only do the humans get pampered here, even your pooch does too. There’s a dog washing facility in the gardens, which is ever so popular in the summer months, proving the Spaniards Inn a dog-friendly environment for Hampstead Heath walkers.

In summary, the Spaniards Inn can cure writer’s block, an empty stomach, a thirsty palate and the British economy. It sounds like a panacea for life.
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Customer Reviews for Spaniards Inn

Average (based on 6 votes): 6 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Spaniards Inn.

“this is one of the worst resterents ever”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
mali, lopndon (9 years 2 months 17 days ago)

“This is one of those 'lovely' type pubs. Low ceilings, tons of history, great big back garden, locality to Hampstead Heath, great beers on tap, friendly bar staff, hearty fare, and for the dog lovers amongst us - dog friendly. It even has a dog wash machine outside.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Leigh, Tooting (9 years 6 months 16 days ago)

“The early history is wrong... the original buildings where built in 1585, but NOT as an Inn. Richard Turpin was born in Essex (either Hempstead or Thaxted), son of John Turpin keeper of the Crown Inn in Hempstead. Also Richard never had a horse called 'Black Bess' and he was not the Highwayman to ride from the south to York. The Highwayman who did ride from Kent to York was a John Nevison, nown as Swift Nick.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Isaac W, London (10 years 8 months 29 days ago)

Show all user reviews for Spaniards Inn

“The best-looking pub in the whole of London...but the worst customer service you could possibly imagine. You will be waiting at least 30 minutes to be served and, even when you get there, you'll be met with the rudest and most incompetent staff ever. The fish and chips are great - if you get them. Food orders invariably take over an hour to be delivered and are often cold. When this place replaces the management and current staff, it could be the best pub in London.....'when' ”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
andy, London (11 years 5 months 20 days ago)

“The Spaniard's is probably my favourite pub in London (I grew up around the corner) and, despite the occasional change of ownership has never lost its charm nor ambience. And unlike other local pubs the traditional interior has been maintained. It's great to come here on a winter's evening, step out from the cold into what feels like a cheery, village pub. But in the summer it is even better with one of the best beer gardens I have seen and it does get absolutely rammed! And despite being only 25 yards from the road traffic is not heard. A gem.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Daniel B, London (12 years 11 months 18 days ago)

“Nice quite pub, no loud music or teenagers. Real ale, and a great feel to the place.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Stephen Yarrow, [ Unknown ] (15 years 4 months 11 days ago)

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