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Spaniards Inn

Bars and pubs, Gastropubs Hampstead Heath
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(26user reviews)
Spaniards Inn

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Most Londoners know the Spaniards Inn – it’s been a feature of Hampstead Heath since 1585, with Keats and Dickens both former quaffers. Now run by booze behemoth Mitchells & Butlers, it relaunched in 2013 but remains as atmospheric as you’d hope, with dark panels and low beams stretching through the bar and restaurant rooms. The real change is in the menu, which now aims for gastro heights with smart beer pairings for every dish (Czech black lager from Bernard Dark was a great match, as you’d hope at £4.94 a pint). But, all in all, it’s pretty conservative – and priced a couple of notches above the norm.

A beautifully tender gigot was among the more exciting options, but its bed of chickpeas (tingly with harissa), parsley, super-sweet tomatoes, black olives and chunks of merguez should have been warmed through. Fish and chips was good – the fish tightly sleeved in batter, the thin chips served in a modish paper-lined cup – but came with over-minted mushy peas and a too gentle tartare. Even bakewell tart was overshadowed by its sumptuous white chocolate and amaretti biscuit ice-cream. The big garden (with twinkling fairy lights at night and a doggie wash) backs right on to the Heath.

 

Posted:

Details

Address: Spaniards Road
London
NW3 7JJ
Transport: Tube: Hampstead tube then bus 603
Price: Main courses £11.50-£22
Contact:
Opening hours: Open noon-11pm Mon-Fri, noon-10.30pm Sun. Meals served noon-10pm Mon-Fri, noon-9pm Sun
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Users say (26)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:12
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:3
LiveReviews|26
1 person listening

This is my favourite pub to visit the minute it gets cold in London. Wrap up and wander across the heath before warming yourself by their lovely fireplace with a glass of wine. It's cosy and atmospheric and the fish and chips are exceptional. Dreamy.

Tastemaker

The Spaniard Inn is a historic pub in Hampstead Heath dating back as far as 350 years. 


It's a bit like stepping through a time warp and finding yourself in the Tudor era. It has timber walls, low ceiling and a cosy fireplace which is lit during one of those cold and dark winter nights. 


It does get quite busy particularly over Sunday lunch so good luck trying to find a table indoors when it's quite cramped indoors (it's a very old pub after all). Thankfully it has a huge beer garden at the back.


The food won't be winning any awards anytime soon (the Sunday roast pork loin was ok at best). But no doubt the Spaniard Inn is right there with one of the best and oldest pubs in London alongside places like Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on the Strand and the Lamb and Flag in Covent Garden. I would come back here again for a drink if I am in the Hampstead Heath area or after a walk in Hampstead Heath.

Tastemaker

I had high expectations.


Everytime I've walked past before, I've wanted to stop but was on my lonesome so didn't.


When I went last weekend, it was a revelation. It looks so much better inside than it does from the outside! And most important: there is a MASSIVE beer garden! On the sunny day that it was, this was a Godsent!


The food menu is quite exhaustive and full of mouth-watering dishes. I'm not going to lie, this is not cheap food but as a special treat, it is worth it. We had a mushroom risotto and the fish and chips. The risotto was very strong-flavoured and delicious. The fish and chips was good but not the best I've ever had.


I particularly liked the looks of the garden: fairy lights, fountains, apple trees => just gorgeous!


I cannot wait to go back!

tastemaker

I didn't expect very much from the Spaniard's Inn as it is such a well-known, slightly touristy pub, however I was pleasantly surprised.


The first thing you can't fail to notice is how pooch-friendly it is here - you step into the garden and are instantly surrounded by happy four-legged friends. Fortunate for us as we had two dogs with us. If you sit outside, as we did, the format is simple - remember your table number and order at the bar. 


If you are looking for something to share, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Continental Board, with a gooey, oozing baked Camembert, cured Calabrian meats, smoked duck breast, carved ham, a spicy 'nduja sausage that really does get your taste buds tingling, and lemon & thyme infused olives. What an absolute feast. 


On the side of this, we also enjoyed the creamy Devon crab with crѐme fraîche, avocado and slices of pickled fennel that cleansed the mouth on toasted sourdough, and roasted beetroot salad with feta cheese & roasted pumpkin seeds dressed in herb pesto. A side of perfect crisp chips also sealed the deal. 


The only downside was when the bar was busy, you had no chance of getting to order another drink - and we tried, three times. However, I would thoroughly recommend lunching here after a long yomp across the heath! 




Beautiful pub and great food. A little pricey maybe but the quality is brilliant. Great place for drinks post and pre walking the Heath


Visited The Spaniards Inn after a lovely, sun-soaked wander around Hampstead Heath. It really is the perfect escape from the bustle of the city without leaving London. Yes, the drinks are a tad pricey, but an evening in the beer garden surrounded by fairy-lit trees, luscious greenery and good company is totally worth it. If you're visiting at the height of summer, and you're prone to mozzie bites, don't forget to lather yourself with insect repellent.

Tastemaker

Man, I love this place. So bloody cosy. My husband and I sat in front of the fire Saturday late afternoon, with mulled wine and a half-pint of Aspall's respectively, and it was just glorious. So chill. Friendly dogs, people. It wasn't too crowded either- a far cry from the warmer months when it's slammed.


I just dinked a star bc the menu is pretty pricey for pub fare. That being said, I got the 'shrooms on toast and it was delicious. Smokey, creamy goodness. We also got the tof and date pud with vanilla and it was AMAZING. I think the best sticky tof pud I've ever had. The peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake was good as well but the pud beat it out. 

Will defo return with tourist friends.
Tastemaker

A historic, great ‘pit-stop’ on the way to Hampstead Heath, the pub has a beautiful and nice-sized beer garden that allows for a great afternoon – weather permitting – having a few drinks where Poe, Keats, Dickens once drank.

The food is proper and there is a small but good selection of rotating beer on tap. The bar staff is usually nice and approachable in explaining about the beer and letting you try some. Reasonably priced, it is always a good option when in the area.

Tastemaker

The saying goes ‘Tired of London, tired of life’. If it’s been one of those weeks that you just need some London respite but can’t leave London, then this is the place to seek it. Hit Hampstead Heath and get truly lost in its open spaces and muddy woods. And then seek the Spaniards Inn and you’ll feel as far away from London as you can whilst still being in London. The pub is charming – oak panelled walls, real log fires and small nooks and crannies to hide out in for an afternoon on a cold winter’s day. They serve pub grub and it’s good. Their roasts are generous and filling. They have a decent wine list. And the service is fabulous; we couldn’t have been looked after any better. If you feel like bedding in for an afternoon then I would book rather on chancing it. In the summertime they have a fabulous and large beer garden too. The pub is a bit of a walk away from a tube station but buses stop outside the door.

Tastemaker

One of my favourite winter pubs (although the beer garden is huge so it's nice in the summer as well), the Spaniard's Inn is a cosy, historic pub near Hampstead Heath. Yes the bar is always busy and you can wait quite a while for food, but the roasts are amazing. It's not cheap, but this is London. Make sure you go for a walk in wellies afterwards on the Heath. 


Great building and great garden. Horribly overpriced dreadfully mediocre food. Rude bar staff with terrible attitude problems - be prepared to wait at the bar for at least 15 minutes every time you want a drink as they are always ridiculously understaffed. Waiting staff are aggressive and, really the food is well below sub standard.

Tastemaker

A really lovely, atmospheric and historic pub that I've been visiting for many years. The upstairs has a very inviting room with a fireplace that's perfect in winter (but you'll need to book in advance on the weekends) and the real bonus is the beautiful garden that is perfect for leisurely reading of the Sunday newspapers. But stick to drinks if you're watching your wallet, because some of the food prices (especially for the summer barbecues) are far too high. The parking lot is small (and sometimes subject to patrons yelling at each other over parking spots), so avoid the strife and park on the side roads on the weekends.

Tastemaker

I love the Spaniards Inn! Hiding off the fork of a road in Hampstead,next to the Heath,is this never changing and always quality pub in North London. Inside has low ceilings and a hefty selection of booze,all top quality. Food is available and is lovely,a bit on the pricey side,but a good eat. I like the fact that there is parking,I have to say,very rare in these parts- which makes it good for families.


Rustic,comfortable and local and a bit posh. But good posh.....the sort of posh I can handle.....none pretentious like : )


It is the perfect pub to visit after a long walk on the heath. Lovely anytime of year,twinkly in the winter and blooming with flowers in the Summer. I have been visiting this pub for over 20 years and will continue to for another 20. 


One of the first pubs I ever went in London and still one of the best.. so charming tucked away behind the Heath this pub is a winner. Huge outdoor beer garden, great for summer and heated in winter. Incredible Sunday roast and perfect located for a drink after a long walk in the park. Great vibe definitely worth a visit. 

Tastemaker

Despite the tucked-away location next to the heath, this place is heaving. But it's charmingly rustic. Plus, there's a dog wash in the car park.


i went there recently and i love it the food was great and the atmosphere was great!!!


It's surprisingly hard to find a decent Sunday pub lunch venue in a market where many punters appear not that bothered by poor service or average food at high prices. For 16 months we've been looking for a replacement to our usual haunt (The Holy Bush) - we don't go anymore! The Spaniard gets mixed user revues, but the problems and solutions are relatively simple to make: Our Sunday roast lunch was good but not excellent - beef v good pork dry and roast veg not at its best. It was also a bit pricey at £49 each inc beers or two glasses of house wine for 2 courses. Staff attentive and quick, but I notice 1/3 of the booked tables inside not in use by 1:30pm and new customers being turned away - two set times with a 15 minute table release would solve the issue when those who think they have 'book a table for a day' or simply don't turn up! 

Things that did irritate me are: being invited to add a gratuity when one has already been included on the bill - SHAME OF YOU. The outside seating area would benefit greatly from a power wash and wood being oiled once a year. Overall, not unpleasant, but could be so much better with an eye and attention to small details. Will it happen? I doubt it because the place is so popular. Whilst paying customers continue to return there is no incentive to change - same reason as the Holy Bush.


On a summer's day or summer's evening, there is surely no finer place to be. Just a few short steps from Hampstead Heath and with a large beer garden (where dogs are positively welcomed), a drink at the Spaniard's Inn in the warm sunshine is one of life's treats and surely worthy of 5 stars. But wait...it isn't always summer, we can't always get there by foot and sometimes we want a meal with our drinks. On all three counts the Spaniard's Inn falls short. With it's dark and rather murky interior, awkwardly shaped (and often full) car park and over-priced, mediocre food, the Spaniard's Inn suddenly becomes much less appealing than it's revamped counterpart down the road, the Bull and Bush. In the summer-time, the Spaniard's Inn is a definite must for all Londoners; in the winter, head for it's cosier and better quality pubs nearby.


Had the most burnt burger ever in this pub. It was 2 mm of charcoal all over and when I pointed it out to the staff the obnoxious brat snatched the plate from me and said "it supposed to be like that" when I disagreed he shouted across the pub at me "it's supposed to be done that way it's a burger!". Now, this isn't a high class restaurant, but it's not Maccy D's either, and if a customer has a complaint, at the least you behave in a polite and courteous manner in an attempt to resolve it. You don't shout at them across a pub like they're stupid. My friends and I were gobsmacked. Five minutes later he came to the same spot meters away and shouted "come and see the manager!" and trounced off. Other patrons looked as shocked as we were. When I rounded the bar he just thumbed at me without even eye contact and said "this is the guy" and flounced off. The manager, I have to say, was immediately polite, agreed the burger was definitely burnt and refunded me no questions. I an really tired of staff in bars, restaurants, shops who feel they are too good for the job and take it out on the customer. Sadly they seem to be more and proliferate. Be grateful you have a job and quit with the lip, especially when someone is showing you politeness and respect. I will be giving this pub a wide berth for a long long time, at least until i know the bar staff and chef have seen some turnover.


This is my local and have been going for 15 years, lured by the old building the absence of music and lovely food. Recently however the place has definitely taken a turn for the worse. The prices are starting to be silly, the choice of pints has become quite limited and the queues on a sunny afternoon are immense. In fact one unseasonably sunny weekend a few months ago they had completely run out of food which might be an issue to some people who travel far to get here. We were still rather loyal to our local after all that though. What broke the camel's back was an issue about a week ago. It was a Monday night and there were about 8 of us upstairs celebrating my partners birthday. After we finished our meal at about 10pm we were told that we cannot be served any more as we have had too much to drink. I would like to point out that we are all middle aged had a couple of glasses each a big meal and there was no one else upstairs that Monday night, the place was empty. Not even a voice was raised to be honest. It was clear that the stuff just wanted us to piss off early so they can go home. This was slightly insulting as some of our friends had traveled from various parts of London to come to our local and we have been going there twice a month for years not to mention how much we spent there that night. We all thought if they wanted us to leave they could say when we got there or even at the time that they wish to close early. Some of our friends only got there just in time for dinner so had only had 1 glass of wine and they were told they cannot be served any more too. I think we will have to find a new local. Shouldn't be too hard around here...


Lovely old pub, just as dog-friendly as I'd read, good choice of beers and the food was excellent. Friendly staff too.

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