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In the Hop Garden with Wittenden on the Pub Forum

The Dukes Head, Highgate, N6

16 Highgate High Street
N6 5JG
Phone: 02083411310

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Bucking Fastard left this review about The Dukes Head

This pub has a small interior ,and there is a clever use of space.At the front narrow fitted benches occupy the space below large plate glass windows,with a flagstone floor throughout.There are drinking shelves and modern stools around the bar,while at the back there are a few more wooden tables and chairs.It's chic but not pretentious,and there was a mixed crowd in on my Saturday afternoon visit so it's not dominated by hipsters.Food is served from a short monthly changing menu,with a variety of meat dishes and some veggie options,with spent grain from the brewing process used in many dishes.The menu is branded Malt & Pepper but again food doesn't dominate.The muzak was well chosen and played at a sensible volume and the tea lights lent some atmosphere.
The star of the show is the beer range,with 10 handpumps offering on my trip Hammerton N1,Moor So' Hop,Magic Rock Hat Trick,Wiper & True Doves & Ravens,Five Points Pale ,Bristol Beer Factory Elle Hammer and Milk Stout (excellent nick,£4) with 3 pumps unused.There are 10 keg taps from some of the previous breweries mentioned plus Siren,Ansbach & Hobday,Electric Bear and Affinity so clearly the folk here know which craft brewers are producing excellent beer.
I would definitely visit again for the tip top ale range,the friendly service (tasters given) and the calm atmosphere.This is a treat for those wanting to sample top beer in all it's form and was by far the best pub visited on a mini crawl around Highgate Village.Sister pub to The Prince,fully deserving it's GBG listing.Enjoy.

On 6th January 2018 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2054 recommendations about 2054 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Dukes Head

Knocked through and obviously modernised but manages to retain a real pub atmosphere, never having been here before I was more than pleasantly surprised with the beers I found on offer, Brixton Effra Ale,Five Points Railway Porter,Tiny Rebel Juicy, Anspach & Hobday The Three Threads,Stroud OPA and a rather bizarre tasting Arbor Lime in the Coconut 6.5% and costing £4.50 a pint,a couple of Ciders were added to the mix,Seacider and Kentish Pip Firespice. This is definitely the beer destination pub in Highgate. Will certainly be back.

On 6th April 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1325 recommendations about 1311 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about The Dukes Head

A modern (read charmless) battleship grey colour room, long, narrow, knocked-through with flagstone floor, padded bench seating, wood tables, rickety chairs and hipster lightbulbs. However I was recommended to give this one a go because of the beer and cider range – up to 10 cask and 10 keg – and I wasn’t disappointed on that score. Cask line-up was Moor Nor’Hop, Siren Undercurrent, Ilkley Mary Jane, Hamerton N7, Anspach & Hobday Irish Dry Stout, plus two ciders. My pints of Moor, Ilkley and A&H were all in good nick. Noted a range of gin, the current hipster drink of choice. Cricket on the TV and over-loud reggae music playing. It isn’t a pub you can love, but the range of drinks demands a visit for the connoisseur.

On 3rd July 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3969 recommendations about 3957 pubs]

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Tris C left this review about The Dukes Head

I came to this pub once before, a few years ago and it was a bit of a depressing locals' pub made worse with the addition of a pool table and dartboard. It reopened in 2013 as a specialist beer house and Mr. Rattus sums it up nicely when he says that it's '...a beer lover's paradise, rather than a pub lover's paradise...charmless but functional.' with a flagstone floor (boarded to the rear), grey walls, muted music and filament bulb lights; furniture is conventional with metal bar stools.

Beers on: too many to name - 11 on cask - with my pint of Hammerton's N7 being very good, though pricey at £4.20.

On 18th June 2016 - rating: 5
[User has posted 953 recommendations about 939 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Dukes Head

This can be regarded as a beer lover's paradise, rather than a pub lover's paradise. There are more ales on here than you can shake a stick at, helpfully displayed on a chalkboard behind the counter, including information on price and ABV. I had the Plateau, which came in at £3.80 a pint as I recall.

This place was very busy when I was in on Wednesday evening, but nonetheless I could see that it was charmless but functional. It's recommended for the beer alone.

On 21st August 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2575 recommendations about 2493 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The Dukes Head

This traditional coaching house was converted into a modern ‘craft’ beer style bar last year, leaving it devoid of some of its character but with a fine range of beer by way of compensation. On this visit, I found a cask range comprising Fyne Ales Jarl, Uley Bitter, Dark Star Sunburst, Liverpool Organic Liverpool Pale Ale, Firebrand Graffiti IPA, Five Points Railway Porter, Siren Half Mast QIPA and Hawkshead Bitter. Two real ciders took up the remaining handpulls whilst a series of taps on the bar back dispensed craft keg beers, mainly from London based breweries such as Hammerton, Kernel, Fourpure and Beavertown. I gave the Jarl a try and thought it was in pretty good shape. A bottled beer range is also available but it seemed a little limited to me, although with the riches available on draught, this isn’t really an issue.
You enter the pub into a quarry stone floored front seating area with a decent amount of standard tables and chairs under the large front windows. There is an antler lightshade here, but otherwise the place feels a bit bare and bland, which is a shame but perhaps symptomatic with this kind of bar. The servery appears midway down the right hand side with a simple modern counter and large blackboards on the bar back helpfully listing the entire beer range. A drinking shelf with high stools runs along the opposite wall before the room opens out a bit more to the rear where more standard tables and chairs can be found under a large pub name board, with a dartboard to one side in a closed case. The lighting throughout was very low level, making the place feel a bit gloomy as the daylight started to fade outside. A classic indie soundtrack played throughout my stay and I noticed an interesting ‘bar snacks’ menu detailed at the bar.
I thought this was a good place to stop off for a choice of interesting ales, but the place left me a bit cold with its bland décor, making it difficult to settle down, despite the temptation of trying more of their beer. I’d doubtless return here the next time I’m in Highgate, but whether it beds down enough to make a session more appealing, remains to be seen.

On 24th October 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2446 recommendations about 2446 pubs]

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john gray left this review about The Dukes Head

One long room bar painted battleship grey. Quiet with few customers but noisy as they were playing darts. Loads of cask beers maybe too many as 2 of the 4 beers I tried were in good nick but the other 2 were tired. Great addition to a very good area to drink in.

On 16th November 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 940 recommendations about 927 pubs]

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Will Larter left this review about The Dukes Head

I was last here in May 2012, when I was hoping to watch a football match on TV but there was no real ale here, so I went elsewhere. It would be a severe understatement to say that there has been a huge transformation since then. Clearly there has been a change of ownership, and there is now a long bar with 10 (count them - 10!) hand pumps, plus one of those false barrels on the bar back that hides the pipework for all the keg and craft beers.

Now here's a refreshing change: there were six real ales, two real ciders and a similar number of kegs - only one of these was priced at over £4 a pint. Most of the beers were in the £3.60 to £3.80 range, which is not bad at all for the area. I had Cotswold Uley Bitter on my first visit, which was probably close to the end of barrel; on a second visit two days later I had Moor Revival and Rough Justice Anarchy, which were both in good condition. The latter was a little stronger than average at 4.5% but all the beers I drank were priced at £3.50. I don't know how this compares with the Wetherspoons just up the road, but I know where I'd rather go for a drink when in Highgate.

On 3rd September 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2625 recommendations about 2475 pubs]

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Steve C left this review about The Dukes Head

I found the barman/landlord to be friendly when I could get past the locals that were sitting at the bar. It was nice to see a dart board at the back of the pub, but the TV was a little small and out of the way due to the layout.

Nice couple of pints of lager and I'd go back if I was in the area as this is one of the better Highgate pubs.

On 30th May 2007 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3586 recommendations about 3565 pubs]