Hattie Lloyd 24/11/21

The Duke of Hamilton

Ah, the grand old Duke of Hamilton: a 300-year old pub that was once the favoured hostelry of actors Peter O’Toole, Richard Burton and Oliver Reed (who reputedly spent ‘long periods’ of time there on a ‘daily basis’).

And frankly, it’s understandable. You’ll find it tucked on a cobbled Hampstead alleyway running between the main drag of Heath Street and the picturesque residential backstreets that lead down to the Heath. Out front is a broad, festoon-lit terrace, and in summer punters frequently end up spilling onto the street, perched on doorsteps with a cold pint in hand.

The latest chapter in the Duke’s venerable history is in the hands of brothers Ben and Ed and their childhood friend Adam, who all grew up locally. They’ve revamped the place to create a pub that’s as appealing in winter (thanks to its dark, moody interiors and roaring log fire) as it is in summer (thanks to the walled beer garden out the back).

duke of hamilton hampstead

Those beautiful old-school interiors are contrasted by a modern line-up at the bar, with decent beers on tap (including some from the relatively local Camden Town Brewery), a handful of London-brewed craft beers on rotation, and a couple of cask ales. There’s a nice list of wines available by the glass or bottle, arranged by flavour profile, and some paired gin & tonics, too.

While it’s not a necessity to eat here, it’s definitely worth checking out their elevated gastro-fare while you’re here. Starters range from classic drinking food like buttermilk fried chicken with Louisiana hot sauce to dainty plates of grilled leeks with buttermilk, crispy potato and parmesan. Scale up, and you can dig into hefty sirloin steak from the local (and excellent) Hampstead Butcher; moûles frites; and chicken schnitzel, all capped off with classic British puds from sticky toffee to crumble and custard. Tables for Sunday lunch are well worth seeking out.

The Duke of Hamilton

The final jewel in the Duke’s, er, rapier, is nestled down in the basement. What was once the pub’s cellars is now home to the Hampstead Jazz Club, an intimate bar with candlelit tables scattered in front of a small performance area. There’s live jazz most Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, but you can check out what’s on (and book tickets) HERE.


NOTE: The Duke of Hamilton is open daily from noon till 10pm (9pm Sundays). You can find out more, and book a table (particularly recommended on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons) right HERE.

The Duke of Hamilton | 23-25 New End, Hampstead, London, NW3 1JD

Looking for a cosy pub? Check out these London pubs with open fires

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The Duke of Hamilton

23-25 New End, Hampstead, NW3 1JD
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020 7916 0595

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