Isn’t Hampstead gorgeous in the run up to Christmas? The misty Heath, quaint cobbled streets, twinkly lights and Christmas trees on every corner? And what is the perfect Sunday activity to indulge in after a walk on the Heath? Why, a lovely Sunday dinner is what!
Yeah… that’s what everyone else in north London thought as well.
Originally we were going to go to the Holly Bush on Holly Hill but when we arrived they told us it would be about an hour and a half wait for a table and the bar was about 10 deep (people get THIRSTY in Hampstead!). We wandered around getting hungrier and thirstier *sob* and everywhere close to the tube seemed to have the same problem. We were not at all down with this, so decided to go to the Garden Gate, which is slightly more out of the way (by Hampstead Heath overground station and opposite the Royal Free) instead.
This pub is really everything you need a pub in Hampstead to be – cosy and warm, tinsel and fairy lights everywhere and smelling deliciously of mulled cider. Most important of all, they had a table for four available straight away. Win!
Between us we tried the chicken and the pork roast dinner with all the trimmings – roasties, veg, red cabbage, a yorkshire pud and an actual vat of gravy. I can’t bear pubs that are tight with gravy. Their generosity also stretched to the meat – portions were huge! Pretty good value for £12 in that neck of the woods.
I have to say though, that whilst the surroundings were beautiful and Christmassy and the company was great (obvs) the food was… just, nice. Nothing stood out, it was just a perfectly acceptable Sunday dinner. Consensus was it scored about 7/10 (‘I’d give it an 8 because I was so hungry, but usually it would get a 7’ was one of the reviews).
I wasn’t at all disappointed. A perfectly acceptable Sunday dinner was exactly what I was after, and to be fair I’ve never been that fussed about roasts anyway. If you’re after something absolutely stellar and anything else will ruin your day though, you should probably either book somewhere in advance or settle in for that 90 minute wait…
Would we go again?
Yeah, but we wouldn’t have to go again, if you know what I mean