Hill Bar & Brasserie

Belsize Park

During the autumn of 2011, a sandwich board outside The Hill was displayed which read read ‘Five stars, Time Out’ – but with a tiny footnote below the stars reading ‘Time Out user review’.

We followed this up, and found out that two website users, who had declined to give their names, had indeed both given it five stars. So we sent our own reviewers to see what, exactly, had got those two anonymous raters so excited.

The Hill used to be a local boozer, and underwent a change of ownership and management in the spring of 2011. It is simply furnished in cream tones with bentwood chairs, keeping the original character of the historic pub building intact.

The Hill claims to be more of a brasserie and bar than a pub. The choice of beers confirms this, with only one real ale – Deuchars IPA – on tap. There’s also a brief cocktail list (£7-£11 mostly), and a much wider wine selection that is pitched at the middlebrow wine drinker.

The food offer is now far better than many pubs in the area provide, yet it’s hardly fine gastropub fare of the standard that is now not uncommon in this part of London. The menu draws inspiration from North American diners, and is of only modest ambition – salads, soup of the day, grills, sandwiches, and crowd-pleasing desserts such as cheesecake or brownie. It’s a menu that wouldn’t look out of place in Anywhereville, circa 1980s.

Prices tend to be on the high side, with the more expensive of two burger and chips options (cheese, bacon, onion ring) costing £13.50. A cheap and bready bun held a beef patty that was slightly on the rubbery side; the skinny chips were standard fare.

Although this level of burger is perfectly adequate, it simply doesn’t compare with the quality at, for example, the nearby Gourmet Burger Kitchen – where a cheese and bacon burger costs £8.65, and even with the most expensive chips (£3.35) still works out cheaper than The Hill’s alternative.

This isn’t a bad neighbourhood brasserie, but it’s just not a destination restaurant, and is unlikely to be awarded a perfect five out of five stars from many customers. On our visit the highlight was the chirpy waitress, who did her best to create a welcome despite being the sole member of staff, singlehandedly working the bar, tills, tables and phone.

Venue name: Hill Bar & Brasserie
Contact:
Address: 94 Haverstock Hill
London
NW3 2BD
Transport: Tube: Belsize Park or Chalk Farm tube
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £60

Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|13
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Duncan Holmes

Time Out magazine The people who give out free magazines at Tube stations must be happy on Tuesdays, Time Out day - a high proportion of takers to no-thank-yous. Those advertising covers are an annoyance though. Not everyone cares or even notices, obviously, but a minority feel short changed, having to put up with a false cover when they should be holding up the real cover for everyone to see. There are different ways of dealing with that: fold the advertising to the back, tear it off and put it in the nearest bin, or even dump it at the bottom of the escalator. The last issue was a bit of a coup, a timely and glossy reminder to get the latest release of Grand Theft Auto. Not that those teenage boys and grown men who should know better will need any reminding. But the striking thing there was that the inside cover paled into insignificance. Time to amalgamate, Time Out. Sell space on the front if you must but please, stop the silliness and give us just the one cover, on the outside where it belongs.

Andrew Timms

Cracking restaurant. The menu is varied, all the ingredients are fresh and the staff are attentive. I had the a half rack of sticky baby back ribs (amazing), The Hill burger and a glass of Sherwood Estate pinot noir. And now that the sun is out, the garden terrace comes into its own. Highly recommended.

Claire O

I love the Hill! My boyfriend, his brother and I decided to make Saturday night a little bit special by booking a table for dinner at the Hill for the brothers first visit to London. The Hill did not let us down, we were greeted at the door and offered our table or drinks at the bar. Of course the new list of house cocktails were far too enticing so we ordered drinks and I had a Chambord based Martini recommended by Louis the French barman, it was probably a French Martini!. The BF brother sampled the Maple Old Fashioned, which was smokin! BF had a classic Brandy Alexander, one of best I have ever tasted. Once we had been sat down, we asked for recommendations, we shared the line caught tuna tartare, steak tartare and mussels with tomato, basil and white wine. All three dishes were sublime, the tuna had been seasoned perfectly and was so fresh and light. The mussels fat and juicy. The three of us ordered 8 oz Baseball peppered steaks, I had mine rare. The steak was to die for, the meat had been rolled in cracked black pepper and served on the plate cut into two pieces, so that you could see it had been cooked to perfection. The service was impeccable, nothing to fault, our waiter was only on his third shift at the Hill and he was already au fait with the menu and able to answer any questions we had for him. All in all, the evening was very enjoyable, the staff at the Hill made us feel very special and they all seemed such a lovely bunch of characters. The owner should be proud!

Claire O

I love the Hill! My boyfriend, his brother and I decided to make Saturday night a little bit special by booking a table for dinner at the Hill for the brothers first visit to London. The Hill did not let us down, we were greeted at the door and offered our table or drinks at the bar. Of course the new list of house cocktails were far too enticing to pass up on, so we ordered drinks and I had a Chambord based Martini recommended by Louis the French bar man, I think it was a French Martini. Once we had been sat down, we asked for recommendations, we shared three starters , the line caught tuna tartare, steak tartare and mussels with tomato, basil and white wine. All three dishes were sublime, the tuna had been seasoned perfectly and was so fresh and light. The mussels were fat and juicy. All three ordered the 8 oz Baseball peppered steak, I had mine rare. The steak was to die for, the meat had been rolled in cracked black pepper and served cut into two pieces on the plate, so that you could see it had been cooked to perfection. The service was impeccable, nothing to fault, our waiter was only on his third shift at the Hill and he was already au fait with the menu and able to answer any questions we had for him. All in all, the evening was very enjoyable, the staff at the Hill made us feel very special and they all seemed such a lovely bunch of characters. The owner should be proud!

Taylor

I went for dinner at The Hill with my sister the other week and was blown away at the wonderful service, food, and overall buzz in the place! We shared oysters, the squid, and tons of fun interesting cocktails! Really had a wonderful time, just wanted to say thanks to The Hill!

mary

really great steak salad and overboard burger. Good wine selection and service.

Tony

Excellent food and first rate service. Went in for a friends birthday and we were very well looked after. Highly recommend this place

Richard and Kerry

The bar staff were very knowledgable and help with getting the drink we wanted, The atmosphere was very vibrant and 'happening' The food was excellant, my wife thoroughally enjoyed the seafood starter and the mac cheese with lobster and loster, crayfish burger lovely We will definitely be back ( and they accept the taste card!!!!)

local resident

Excellent sea food selection. Prawns, Oysters and Salmon where all really well done. More veg options for main would be nice.

a local

Excellent burger, terrible service. After an enjoyable meal, I was asked to pay a credit card gratuity after unknowingly already paying an inclusive service charge. Unknowingly how? Because when the waitress handed me the cc machine, she also quickly whisked away the original bill. A deliberately underhand end that spoilt an otherwise delicious meal.

Bethany!

It was my birthday the other evening, and my fiance surprised me with inviting all my friends to come and celebrate at The Hill. The staff were an absolute a pleasure, and so was the food. We ordered off the new menu, the Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese with chunks of lobster...it was amazing! My friend ordered the Steak with onion rings and it was fabulous as well! Cant say it enough, I loved The Hill, and look forward to returning soon!

Jonathan

I went for dinner here last weekend and the place was packed. The food is great (especially the burger) and the service fantastic. I think Timeout might need to revisit their review as it makes them seem a little unfair reviewing an evening business on one product. I had the oyster to start and an amazing fillet steak with a side of aubergine chips that were perfectly prepared. Only criticism would be they could add a another ale and a draft cider on offer.