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The Truscott Cellar (CLOSED)

Bars and pubs, Wine bars Hampstead
4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

Belsize Park wine bar and restaurant from Andrew and Mary Jane Fishwick - the guys behind The Truscott Arms, over in Maida Vale.

Please note, The Truscott Cellar is now closed. Time Out Food & Drink Editors, 2017.

There are hints of the nautical about The Truscott Cellar, a second outpost from the crew who opened The Truscott Arms gastropub in Maida Vale back in 2013. With chubby porthole lights down the wall to starboard, suspended storm lanterns over the bar on the port side and high-backed booths like small cabins down the middle, the owner (also a theatre director) has created a shipshape setting that makes the most of the main event – the wine. A backlit wall of resting bottles tells you the list of reds, whites and rosés is tip-top. Most come by the glass, so you can walk the plank to oblivion in style.

By comparison, the food menu is compact, offering cold meat or cheese boards plus a few hot plates and puds. Our beef cheeks, smoked mash and crispy shallots came dressed in rich gravy – the Platonic ideal of mid-winter comfort food. A satisfying pressed pork platter showcased Suffolk’s best Blythburgh pig in five forms – salami, ham, potted pork, pressed terrine and cured pork – and came deliciously accessorised by caperberries, pickled cucumber and celeriac remoulade. Only puds – a curiously bland deconstructed maple, blueberry and pecan cheesecake and an overly al dente rice pudding – would have been better thrown overboard. Luckily, some rich raisiny Pedro Ximénez sherry saved the day.

Instagramming your dinner here might be a challenge in the candle-lit gloom, but you won’t care. In modern London, it’s a fair wind that blows you to a berth where conversation and a carefully chosen soundtrack (Bob Dylan, ELO, The Beatles, Harry Nilsson) can be heard without the usual clatter. The quietly convivial atmosphere, great-value main courses and carefully chosen wine list should mean this settles in as a favourite grog and mess deck for locals.


Address: 240 Haverstock Hill
Transport: Tube: Belsize Park
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