Monday, 31 October 2011

The Wells Tavern

The Wells Tavern is among my favourite pubs in Hampstead. Certainly for food anyway. It’s not really a boozers’ pub like The Garden Gate, or an atmospheric old place like The Hollybush, but the cooking is great.

It’s pubby enough to do a legendary burger (with cheese and bacon – about £12), but on this occasion – bloggers’ worst nightmare – both of us wanted the same dish. It was a lamb rump, with fondant potato, carrot puree, green beans and in a nice jus, at around £16.

And what a thoroughly satisfying dish. The lamb was well-cooked; nicely tender and pink (cautiously yet also assertively so) and generous in proportion. The jus was delicious – very bold and wine-drenched and thick too. Carrot puree and green beans gave the dish a Sunday lunch worthiness, it all felt very wholesome and a true ‘square meal’ in the most old-fashioned sense.

Suffice to say the rosé was also a hit. The vibe was a little bizarre. As mentioned, this is more of a foodie pub, but the upstairs goes even further, acting as a full service restaurant. It did feel a little polished and weddingy up there, but I’ve been to so many boring weddings with boring food, I’d be mighty pleased with this. Service was good too.

more of the same...
Hampstead is a great place, and whilst upmarket and wavering between twee and chic in varying proportions, it doesn’t seem to have the urbaneness in its hospitality and dining options of comparable places. Who would have thought they would found in a backstreet pub, but it certainly is some of NW3’s best food.

Food – 8/10
Drink – 9/10
Service - 8/10
Value – 8/10
Tap water tales – 9/10 (iced jug brought and topped up)
Staff Hotness – 7/10
The Wells on Urbanspoon

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