The Holly Bush 1

22 Holly Mount , London, NW3 6SG

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SquareMeal Review of The Holly Bush

‘Please don’t attempt to drive to The Holly Bush: you’ll spend hours trying to find it’ warns one regular, and it’s true. Set in a pretty residential nook at the top of Hampstead, this is a quintessentially English pub. The building looks peachy from the outside; inside it’s snug and toasty, a warren of softly lit wood-clad rooms with pictures cluttering the walls. Fuller’s took over the place in 2010, so regular pints include London Pride, but there are also guest ales such as Butcombe Bitter. The culinary offering is just as tempting, starting with bar snacks like Scotch eggs with onion jam and leading on to fishy platters featuring tea-smoked salmon and king prawns, or bigger plates of ribeye steak béarnaise, with nursery puds ending things on a high note.

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7.0

Food & Drink: 6.8

Service: 6.6

Atmosphere: 8.2

Value: 7.0

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Ranjit P. 16 November 2013

Great food in a very traditional setting. Intimate wintery atmosphere and friendly service. Enjoyed our evening thoroughly and will certainly be back.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 3.0

Lynn W. platinum reviewer 27 August 2013

This pub has tons of character, ancient wood paneled decor, little nooks and crannies to settle in, and a tiny bit of outdoor space. We like it, it does a few good pints apparently, and reasonable standard pub food. We've eaten downstairs in the bar area and had a pretty ordinary fish pie, and upstairs in the dining room where seasonal soup and terrine for starters, steak and salads were tasty and enjoyed. Staff have always been prompt and friendly with us.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 1.0

Frances H. 11 May 2013

What a disappointment! Even though we had booked a table for 8pm on a Saturday evening at least half of the main courses were not available when someone eventually took our order an hour after we sat down. After our order was finally taken we were informed that more main courses were not available. The waiting staff seemed to think that this was just bad luck on our part rather than bad management. When we eventually spoke to the manager his apparent lack of concern was quite astonishing. This was the most awful birthday dinner ever and the 4 friends we had invited along thought so too. Very poor food and service.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Anna P. 19 August 2011

An authentically quaint pub tucked away in Hampstead. Really quirky layout of rooms. Relaxed, buzzy atmosphere. We had dinner there and the service was super quick and very friendly. A real plus for us. The meal was delicious. My other half raved about the steak he ordered. It had been cooked to perfection! And my fish dish was equally good. At my request not to have lentils with my fish (as shown on the menu) it was no problem to replace these with whatever I fancied on the menu. We'll definitely be going back.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Junglefresh. gold reviewer 27 March 2011

Please don't try to drive to the Holly Bush: you'll spend hours trying and you'll end up having to walk a long way! That of course is not the HB's fault. It is in a lovely nook at the top of Holly Hill, and despite the exterior quiet (lots of neighbours), it is absolutely bustling inside, where you will find a young-ish crowd in an unpretentious old-fashioned pub setting. I first went to the HB some 40 years ago – amazing though that is to me. I was under age, but “got away with it”. Although the place still seems familliar (I have not been there for years), any similarity with the old place is purely co-incidental. Six old friends (three couples) most of whom have known each other since teenage, went there for a meal before going to the Everyman – round the corner – to catch a film on a Saturday evening. I had Cumberland Scotch Egg, followed by Meat and Ale Pie with mash washed down with a pint and a half of lager. Everything was just as it should have been. A number of our party had the fish pie and all pronounced it fishy and satisfying, as (apparently) was the cheap Merlot they were drinking. One person had the prawns in a pint and enjoyed it enormously. When I arrived, the booking had been taken for the wrong time, but the waitress was very helpful and we were soon seated. This typified the service we received which was friendly, but not gushing, and efficient. In summary: unpretentious, unassuming, unflappable, yet satisfying, decent value for money and an altogether decent place to go.

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