Well done to long-established Heath-side hostelry the Bull & Last for maintaining their position as one of the finest in the country, as announced in the Budweiser Budvar Top 50 Gastropub Awards 2015.
And not only that, the Bull & Last, at #13, is the third best in the capital, and the highest rated pub in north London, just a dozen places behind The Sportsman, the coastal Kent classic that’s justifiably numero uno. The only other London pubs to feature in the Top 20 are Truscott Arms in Maida Vale (#10), Harwood Arms in Fulham (#11), Canton Arms in Stockwell (#16) and Anchor & Hope in Waterloo (#17).
The bash, which took place yesterday, was organised by the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, hosted by chef Tom Kerridge, and voted for by an extensive poll of “industry experts”.
But what of the Bull & Last? The destination Highgate Road pub offers seasonal dishes in a wood panelled interior, with roaring fires and some impressive taxidermy to boot. Consistently busy, buzzy and reliable, it’s down to chef-proprietor Ollie Pudney and co-owner Joe Swiers being rightly focused on just the one gaff (they long ago got rid of their other place in south-west London).
And the team work carefully to get the balance right: rowdy ale drinkers at the bar, couples cooing over oozing Scotch eggs, and diners feasting on some of the finest food in north London, from sea trout tartare to classic Dedham Vale sirloin. Even better, on most days you can walk in off-peak and find a spot somewhere.
Here’s the Top 20 in full:
Find the Bull & Last at 168 Highgate Road, London NW5 1QS. Nearest station Gospel Oak overground. For the full list of the Top 50 gastropubs click here