The Bull & Last, Hampstead

Roast beef at The Bull and Last, HampsteadCan a Sunday roast in a restaurant ever really be as good as a Sunday roast from your own oven? I think I remain unconvinced, though the one at The Bull & Last is about as close as any gravy-fest has come yet. It featured sticky, firm carrots; crisp, soft parsnips; buttery, garlic-laced round beans, a slightly overdone but pleasingly enormous Yorkshire pudding; fluffy, crunchy roast poatatoes; rich, meaty gravy; and beef so tender and flavoursome it’s going to be really hard to go back to whatever’s on special in Morrisons. Apologies for the list, but every bit of it deserved a mention, which is the mark of a good roast dinner.

Salty sweet churros with chocolate sauce and yoghurt ice cream, The Bull and Last dessert

Salty sweet churros with chocolate sauce and yoghurt sorbet

What really makes this roast dinner leaving the house for, though is the fact that you’ll get to eat it in the delightful setting of this handsome, sunny gastropub. You’ll be served by efficient, charming and helpful staff, and you’ll get to choose from quite the selection of puddings. The churros were so light they must have whipped helium into the batter, and the chocolate sauce the bittersweet devil on their shoulder. I wish the sauce had been a little thicker so that I hadn’t had to stop myself drinking what I had been unable to drench the doughnuts with, and I wish it had come in a dish more conducive to getting the tangy yoghurt sorbet more involved. But it was a very fine dessert, no doubt about it.

This ought to be a classic British gastropub, in that I wish all other British gastropubs were like this one. The atmosphere was informal and lively, though you knew everybody in there knew how to behave. We paid a great deal for our lunch but I don’t regret a penny of it. What a way to spend a Sunday. And at home we’d have to do the washing up.

The Bull & Last
★★★★★   £££
168 Highgate Road, NW5 1QS, 020 726 73641

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