Grand old north London pubs are ten-a-penny, particularly in and around Hampstead. With the Garden Gate, however, you have the added benefit of one of the area’s most impressive beer gardens. Who needs the Heath?
Garden Gate is as pretty a pub as you could hope to find – it’s picture perfect, in fact. Looking like something out of an old book, this pub is proud of its history and has kept its period features in immaculate condition.
Inside, it’s equally well-maintained. Rich red woods cover every surface, lending a cosy, natural charm to the space. The seating is scattered about with little tucked-away areas if you want to escape the throng and the cream walls are interspersed by a stunning feature wall painted to resemble a beautiful country garden. If, however, you’re out to enjoy a rare sunny day then head straight outside where you’ll find a real garden, complete with intricate metal tables, benches, parasols and plenty in the way of greenery. It’s a real city retreat.
Garden Gate has the ambience of most of the pubs in this area of north London – it is laid-back and, well, nice. The area is nice, the staff are nice, the décor is nice. There’s nothing to really set it apart in the atmosphere stakes from all the other great pubs located in and around Hampstead, but it’s certainly worth seeking out if you’re in the area.
There’s a simple food menu available at the Garden Gate, which takes pub classics up a notch. The food is also incredibly well priced for the area. For example, a pork and chorizo burger with red onion and fries is £11.25 while an ox cheek and red wine pie served with mash and veg is just £12. Compare this to similar pubs where you’re looking at the £20 mark for a main course. If you’re just after something light then there's also a range of ‘posh’ sarnies for around £8.
From the non-commercial lager to the range of exciting ales, Garden Gate has really pushed the boat out with its beer selection. For example, on tap you can find Brooklyn lager alongside Brewdog’s 5am Saint, Sierra Nevada and Camden Hell’s Lager. As far as ales go, the pub rotates and experiments with them regularly, but you can expect to find the likes of Brain’s Bitter and Adnam’s Broadside.
The Last Word
Garden Gate is a great example of a north London pub thriving in an incredibly competitive area. And it’s no surprise with its fantastic beer selection, great location and pretty beer garden.