“Seen one pub you’ve seen them all!” roared my neighbour yesterday as he stumbled out of my local in a fog of Guinness and salt and vinegar. I’ve no idea why he said it, but I heard it, (he was LOUD) and I thought to myself “Wrong! And thank you for playing.”
He clearly had not been to The Old White Bear in Hampstead, which is where I and my chum Mimbles went for scrummo dins recently. And scrummo it was. Scrummo with a capital SCRUM. And MO. SCRUMMO.
At the end of one of the prettiest cobbled streets in Hampstead lies The Old White Bear. (Pub. Not scary mahoosive mammal. Although if it were, you apparently have to punch it on the nose and run).
We were met with the warmest of welcomes with the biggest of smiles and the friendliest of faces. I love friendly. Friendly makes the world go round. Don’t be a grumpo.
The interior feels like a gorgeous old country hotel and you’re treated as such. Coats were taken and hung, seats were pulled back and I felt like Poppy the Princess. We sat in a cosy corner in comfy chairs by the fireplace and ordered from a very delicious (may have dribbled) looking menu and outstanding wine list.
I chose lamb, which arrived perfectly cooked, beautifully presented and again, with a dazzling smile from our waitress… and Mimbles chose the Seabass – again, cooked to perfection and presented with pride and passion. Did I mention the food was scrummo? Holy moly. Twas. You know it’s good when you find yourself commenting on every mouthful. Which sounds annoying… but we both did it so that’s ok.
We shared a sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream and I nearly fell off my chair with delirium. Mimbles is much more poised than me. She only flushed slightly while I whooped and tried to high five the waiter. It was that good. Yip.
The Old White Bear is a complete gem and a hidden one at that. Poppy LOVES as much as one can love anything and having Mimbles there to share the yumminess and loveliness with was the ice cream on my pudding.
I wouldn’t punch the owner on the nose if you paid me. (Unless the owner turned out to be Darth Vader and I had to do it to save the world. But I fear this is unlikely).
The Old White Bear
Well Road, Hampstead
London, NW3 1LJ
020 7794 7719