Muswell Hill couples, families and groups of friends regularly pack this large gastropub. Oddly, the Clissold doesn’t have much competition locally, which might explain its high prices.
On sunny days, the large, pretty terrace to the side feels like an escape to a Mediterranean isle (not only because of the Spanish cured meats, king prawns and other tapas-style dishes on the specials board). Tables under the large sheltered canopy introduce a boardwalk atmosphere. Inside, choose from the darker, cosier front bar (where Sambrook’s Wandle Ale is among the cask beers) or the larger modern and airy back room.
The evening menu combines gastropub classics, such as 28-day-aged beef and chips cooked in dripping, with Mediterranean dishes such as Catalan fish stew. At Sunday lunchtimes, the emphasis is on roasts, which come with a delicate portion of roast potatoes, root-vegetable mash and greens. Beef was medium-rare as requested; slightly undercooked tatties were the only disappointment. Pasta from the children’s menu had fresh herby flavour. Star of the puddings was a perfect honey and vanilla panna cotta with a zingy passionfruit coulis.
The Kinks played their first gig here, and a room is dedicated to the band.