A few weeks ago on a sunny Friday where my husband was also home we decided it was about time we went up to Hampstead Heath to have a little explore. I can’t believe in all the years I’ve lived in London I’d still not been for a walk on the heath! Walking means there has to be a pub lunch somewhere in the mix. So, after a little shoutout over twitter some of my favourites recommended we go to The Spaniards Inn for food. So we did!
We took the overground all the way from Forest Hill up to Hampstead Heath station. We walked just over 1.5 miles up the heath working up our appetite for lunch! It felt like one of the first proper days of Autumn – it was sunny and crisp and the leaves were rustling on the trees. It was one of those walks that you just want to breathe in and savour.
The Spaniards Inn lies at the top of the heath, just off the main road and a few minutes from Kenwood House. As it was a beautifully sunny day we decided to eat outside at the pub, probably one of the last al fresco lunches of the year!
Having seen the sticky toffee pudding on the menu we already knew there would be no room for starters. So went went straight into the mains.
Luckily my husband likes sharing food as much as me. After our standard food discussions (these usually go on for a while), we whittled down our choices.
A crisp Autumn day calls for pie in my eyes. So order pie we did! The venison and beef pie was filled to the brim with meat and a delicious port and juniper gravy with the perfect crisp to the pastry. The chunky roasted carrots and smooth mashed potatoes were great for sopping up the rich, velvety gravy.
To keep the balance, we ordered the baby kale salad with chargrilled chicken, tomatoes, avocado and mozzarella. This was covered in the most delicious herb dressing. The generous portion of chicken was juicy and although totally different, rivalled the pie. And to bring the balance right back, we ordered the triple cooked chips. They were incredible! Order them. Thank me later.
If there is sticky toffee pudding on the menu 99.9% of the time I will order it. This was no exception! This was a toffee and medjool date pudding with vanilla bean ice cream. I hope this never comes off the menu, it was the perfect sticky, dense sponge. This was meant to be a sharer… I ate at least two thirds, Dave got about two mouthfuls!
We chatted away whilst we enjoyed the rays and finished off our shandies. We walked a different route back down the heath to the station and off home we went. It was a pretty perfect afternoon.
I can’t wait to return to The Spaniards Inn in the winter, on a cold day, because it looks so cosy inside. The food here is just what you want from a pub – full of flavour and hearty. But it’s not ‘over-done’ like many pubs do – ridiculous portion sizes of average food. Hearty doesn’t just have to be stodge, here the food has interesting flavours and is cooked really well. I can’t wait to try more of the menu next time!
The Spaniards Inn
Other London restaurants for leisurely lunches:
Pin for later