SquareMeal Review of
The Freemasons Arms
The Freemasons Arms’ “rare outside space” is surely a contender for the best beer garden north of the river – “especially in August when Hampstead is quiet”. Thankfully, the pub doesn’t rest on its alfresco laurels: indoors it’s stylishly urbane and the bar has a fine line-up of artisan libations. Cocktails are made with Black Cow vodka and Silent Pool gin, beers include Innis & Gunn Original, Siren Undercurrent and Leifmans Fruitesse, and there’s 25 per cent off sparkling wine and Champagne on Thursdays and Fridays. The kitchen keeps pace, delivering a creditable gastro menu ranging from mezze platters or tuna carpaccio with pickled ginger and soy dressing to crispy duck salad, lobster brioche rolls or ‘piccante pizzas’. Spit-roast chicken and plates of fish and chips also “go down well”, while baked New York cheesecake is a typical dessert. The only bugbear seems to be “variable service”.