Find and book great restaurantsFind a Restaurant
|Address:||30 Well Walk, London NW3 1BX|
|Tel:||020 7794 3785|
|Price: £42.00||Wine: £16.75||Champagne: £43.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-3pm (Sat-Sun -4pm) 7-10pm (Sun -9.30pm)|
This review hasn't been rated yet.
Green and leafy Hampstead feels as if it could be part of the countryside rather than just a few tube stops north of Euston or Camden. Being a world removed from the London we all probably know better may have its charms, but what the Wells gains in terms of location, our group of five dining there recently on a weekday evening felt it lost in terms of atmosphere and service. We arrived at 9pm, virtually the last people in the upstairs restaurant (the more informal downstairs bar did admittedly seem more lively) and despite all being in either our late 20s or 30s, we were by some way the youngest, perhaps somewhat frowned upon by the other diners, we being dressed in jeans and similar rather than either tweed or pearl (I joke not). Our server was somewhat condescending in attitude and proceeded to make a series of lapses without either apology or humour. The table itself had five chairs, but only cutlery for four, an error that took some time to right and required our prompting; the red wine was served before the white, with some spilt on (but not cleaned up from) the table; bread came late and had to be requested a second time; there was an inordinately long wait between our first bowl of pre-dinner olives and the second… I could go on, but it is a fairly clear picture. On the more positive side, it was mostly hard to fault the food or the drink, which was quite reasonably priced too. The Wells specialises in broadly European dishes with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Presentation was superb and we particularly rated the grilled beetroot and goats cheese salad among the starters, the Icelandic cod with spinach and artichoke among the mains. There were some disappointments though too among the food: the English asparagus starter, while fresh, was undermined by the unnecessary addition of rather crudely grated Parmesan cheese; and, the venison meatball with chilli ragu main could, frankly, have been any old meat rather than that of the deer. The overall experience was undoubtedly helped by a Hugel’s Alsace Pinot Blanc and Chave’s Cote du Rhone, but the fact remained, we were inescapably in a fairly average gastro-pub. On finishing at 11, we were lucky to make last orders at the now almost deserted downstairs bar, but were hardly made to feel welcome, with the lights being turned up to full just as we sat down…