The Washington information

The Washington is a sleek community pub boasting an impressive drinks selection from draught beer & cask ales to world wines and homemade blends. The food menu at The Washington celebrates the great British pub classics but with the odd modern touch added.

There is also a secret basement bar, Martha's, an industrial styled lounge space.

Ranked #494 of 2091 pubs & bars in London

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Opening Hours
Opening Hours

12:00 - 23:00


12:00 - 23:00


12:00 - 23:00


12:00 - 23:00


12:00 - 00:30


10:00 - 00:30


12:00 - 22:30

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What did you think of The Washington?

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The Washington reviews

By Andrew M.

The drinks at Washington Hotel are what you would expect from a pub-bar. It has a refreshingly wide range of beer but the luxury of cheap drinks isn't to be found here. On the other hand, the food is excellent. It's very well priced and the long tables are perfect for dining. The atmosphere at the Washington Hotel is changeable though. On Bank Holidays it is exceptional, but at other times, especially during the week, it's very, very quiet.

By Roy M.

Not dog or people friendly (STAY AWAY)

The rudest staff I have ever had the misfortune to come across in all my years at first it was OK I was out having a drink & something to eat with friends I also had my two Russian toy terriers with me who were welcome in the beginning after a couple of hours of my dogs being in the pub one of my dogs had cocked his leg a few times which I didn't see , the horrible barmaid came marching over to me put a bottle of cleaner down on the seat in front of me & said your dogs have pissed all over the pub (its not in my job description to clean it) and put a load of tissue paper down & stormed off , I picked up the cleaner & tissue to go and clean up the offending droplets I asked where it was so could clean it she pointed to a tiny drop I cleaned it & said wheres the rest so I could appease this horrible barmaid when she started shouting get out my pub fucking dogs pissing in my pub (Peggy Mitchell) style !!! I pointed out if she didn't want dogs in the pub she should put a sign on the doors , without a doubt its the worst behaviour for a bar maid Ive ever seen in all my years , food was not very good expensive , small portions my advice would be to avoid this not dog friendly pub like the plague.

By Pamela J.

Have loved this pub for years hence being a regular for years but I fear this venue has lost its inviting warmth and eclectic cosiness. Cosy couches, mood lighting, replaced with giant wooden tables surrounded by as many chairs as possible leaving the place feeling soulless and more about cramming in the punters to make money rather than creating a warm inviting atmosphere. I can see why to a degree from a money spinning perspective but perhaps not from a warm inviting come back again perspective. Shame. On top of which on a cold winters day the heating wasn't even on - it was freezing. Food was bland although have had great food in there previously. Not sure who is managing the pub these days but the changes they have implemented aren't embracing of what the Washington has always represented to myself and other locals.

By Des D.

On a lively corner in the heart of Belsize Park, the Washington combines fine Victorian heritage features and a youthful, contemporary feel.

The Venue
On the corner of Englands Lane and Belsize Park Gardens, among a cluster of specialist shops, the Washington explains its name with a sign featuring a face familiar from every dollar bill. Quite why the place was named after the first President of the United States when it was built in 1865 isn’t clear – but as the elaborate mosaic floor in the doorway that leads to Belsize Park Gardens indicates, the Washington was once a hotel as well as a pub, so maybe it hoped to attract American guests.

That mosaic, presided over by a bust of George himself, is by no means the only heritage feature. Within the generously proportioned interior are numerous fine surviving examples of late Victorian splendour, mainly dating from a refit around 1890. Most exquisite are the wall mirrors at the back, with hand-painted flowers, birds and foliage under the glass, but there’s also the best part of an original panelled wood screen at the front, a richly textured ceiling and the bar itself, topped with an unusual glazed screen. A more recent makeover has placed modern but elegant and sympathetically styled furniture into what’s now a single space, with heavy wood tables, comfortable armchairs and sofas, pot plants and decorative lampshades. A few tables on the street outside complete an attractive picture.

The Atmosphere
The Washington is now part of Mitchells and Butlers’ unbranded Castle chain and like several of its sister venues, is a great example of how to give a contemporary twist to a venerable old pub. It’s frequently busy with a mixed crowd of local young professionals and families, with a slightly arty and boho element, but it’s also welcoming to older drinkers looking for a decent pint. There’s a quiz night on Tuesdays, wine promotion on Wednesdays, and occasionally the piano springs to life. Board games and second hand CDs on sale for charity with an honesty box add to the impression of community spirit.

The Food
Like most Castles, the food is a mix of upmarket versions of pub staples and more exotic options. Typical selections include mixed speciality mushrooms on rye toast (£5.50), rare breed sausages and mash (£8.75), beef and red wine pie (£10.50), asparagus and mushroom tart with salad (£10.50) or slow cooked lamb shoulder (£13.50). There’s a fixed price offer of two courses for £13 or three for £16 – a short list of options features the likes of whitebait starters, haddock and chips or goat’s cheese tart. Also featured are sharing boards of cured meats, ham, Scotch quail eggs and olives (£13.50), hot sandwiches with chips (around £7) and Sunday roasts.

The Drink
Appropriately for a pub named after a brewer and beer connoisseur, up to five real ales are kept to Cask Marque standards – Sharp’s Doom Bar, Taylor Landlord and guests from the likes of Purity – though the full range may only be available at weekends. They’re supplemented by a good selection of better known imported and British keg specialities – Veltins lager, Franziskaner and Schneider wheat beer, Meantime London Pale, Sierra Nevada Pale, Früli – and some bottled beers including Budvar, Duvel and Innis & Gunn. The accuracy of the information about these in the pub’s drink list could be improved though. Twenty-five cheerful, mainly New World wines are nearly all available by the glass (from £3.60), and there are specialist spirits too, including London’s own Sipsmith gin and vodka and a few malt whiskies.

The Last Word
The Washington is a fine example of how to reinvent a pub for contemporary tastes while respecting its individual character and heritage, and is deservedly successful, proving big pub companies can still sometimes get things spot on.

By D B.

I assume tomorrow ( Christmas day)  at the Washington pub in Primrose Hill is truly child free for lunch, otherwise it's just my family ( including newborn and little girl) and a friend's week old baby that have been denied a table at our local pub. After asking for a lunch booking on Christmas day , the manager abruptly told me that Christmas was not for children . After explaining that we had been on the weekend for a roast  in his pub and that our daughter sat for 2 hrs and the baby slept in the corner, he said that he would not have children ruining Christmas day running around or babies crying and spoiling Christmas for his customers. I hope this is a general albeit Scrooge-like policy , rather than a random exclusion . He blamed his customers for constant complaints about children however the gentlemen there when I went to book were most friendly to me and my children and we were made to feel very welcome for Sunday roast.  It seems Christmas brings out the worst in management and rudeness is the preferred  way to deal with a request for the festive season! After leaving quite shocked and in tears, it was a sad way to start planning for Christmas. I could have happily accepted their policy if it was not so rudely delivered.  As it felt personal,  I will wait and see if this exclusion  applies to all kids Christmas Day.  Well done to all the other pubs in Primrose Hill for accommodating and welcoming families at such a happy time of year. 

By Don R.

My wife and I arrived from Boston to meet a group of friends from 5 different countries to attend a play at the Hampstead Theater. The Washington is a straight walk down Eton Ave off the Swiss Cottage Tube station exit. The Hampshire Theater will be to your right. Past the theater about four blocks down, you'll see The Washington come into view at a busy 4 way crossing. The light pastel cream and green-trimmed exterior doesn’t catch as much as it soothes the eye. Hanging flowers adorn the entry. A framed portrait of Washington (not George) keeps watch over the intersection below. Step inside. Glance around to find your friends. But Oooo, spy the lovely pump handles atop the sturdy u-shaped oaken bar! Tap handles are spaced to either side so that you can read them without straining your eyes. Take in the cool chandeliers, the fancy etched mirrors and cozy, comfy seating arrangements. Check out the fancy logo tile work. THIS is a PUB! Our friends hadn’t yet arrived, so it was a fine time to peruse the cask handles. I asked the young man behind the bar about a few of the beers. He admitted that he was in his first night on the job and would get someone more experienced. Rather than bullshitting, he was trained to defer to someone who actually knew the beer. Impressive! A lovely woman bartender gave me proper advice on which beers to try first. Examining my perfect pint the landlord, Kate Tidey introduced herself. The pub is run by Kate and her husband Terry Tidey, the great, great, great grandson of the original 1865 owner. The pride and care for the place is evident throughout. There's a downstairs bar where music, quizzes and comedy nights take place, but it’s the upstairs pub that has captivated us. On our visit Taylor Landlord, UBU Purity, Oakleaf IPA, Sharp’s Doombar and Itchen Valley Godfather’s were the delightful cask options. As mentioned there is also a fair selection of ciders plus a mix of familiar Euro taps. A mighty fine pub, The Was

By Rob A.

Pub itself is good, tasty menu. But always check your bill. There seems to have been a practice of skimming an extra few quid off the bill for the last year or so. The first time I questioned the bill here the batman was very reasonable, looked into it and admitted the bill was wrong. The second time it was the manager. Although the overcharging was only 3 pounds, despite us being very polite he was rude, dismissive and implicitly accused us of lying. Terrible behaviour; almost unheard of in the customer service world, certainly in a supposedly upmarket north London pub. We won't be going again (and this somewhere that has been my local for the last 5 years or so).

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