He who is Bull & Last shall be first time holders of a Top 50 Gastropub place in this year’s list – well, not really because the Bull & Last featured on the list prior to its closure a few years ago for a major renovation.
According to The Guardian, the final stop on the Highgate Road for passengers heading north out of London in the 18th century was an inn called the Bull. Legend has it that as you approached the driver would yell, “The Bull – and last”.
Now, hundreds of years – nearly two of which were spent conducting a wholesale revamp – later, “the Bull & Last offers new motives not to disappear up north,” The Guardian’s Grace Dent said after her visit in August 2020.
But rather than charging in like the proverbial in a china shop, the thoughtful redesign, which saw service halted in October 2018, has created what is a bright but traditional pub with a half dozen new boutique bedrooms.
Its menu offers twists on pub classics, British cuisine with a continental twist and comfort food like its buttermilk chicken sandwich and its legendary Scotch eggs.
So extensive and varied is the food offer at the Bull & Lats that its cookbook has been recently published featuring 70 recipes from the last 12 years alongside a history of the pub’s loyal customers, four legged friends, local residents and a history of Hampstead Heath and the surrounding area.