User name:



Sign in with Facebook

Not already a member?
Join our community and - Rate & review pubs - Upload pictures - Add events JOIN for free NOW

Chat about:
New pub visits 2020 with Mobyduck on the Pub Forum

The Duke of Hamilton, Hampstead, NW3

23 New End

Return to pub summary

Page: 1 2

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

Komakino . left this review about The Duke of Hamilton

Now returned to its former name, there's no sign of the carpet or crimson colour scheme that Tris saw two years back, with bare boards on the floor and bluish-grey walls, although the servery appears to remain the same as the below description. Two ales on with a third pump unclipped - Fuller's London Pride and an OK Adnam's Southwold Bitter. It looks like a nice backstreet boozer, but the ale selection and a quiet weekday afternoon visit didn't do this place the justice it probably deserves.

On 9th October 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 965 recommendations about 965 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about Hampstead Lounge & Jazz Club

Reopened in November 2017 as the Hampstead Lounge & Jazz Club, seemingly marking the demise of The Duke of Hamilton's Head as it was originally known in the early 18th century.
This was a locals' pub of sorts, but until recently I was a local, born, bred and educated in the very close vicinity and they ain't like me. It also hosted jazz events in the basement, so what better way to publicise your events as a jazz club, to attract the vital 70+ demographic. On the face of it, this pub hasn't changed, save for the removal of the dartboard, trophies and LED sign. There's still the bull's-eye glass in the windows, stained glass pot shelf and the red colour scheme but seemingly just a bit more red than before as the colour really dominates. There's a deep red carpet with yellow flecks, crimson walls and ceiling and claret-coloured swag curtains. There's some brown lacquered wood to break things up, but the most noticeable change is the application of awful flock wallpaper to parts of the walls. There's also a very dated brass flame effect fire which is something that would appeal to George and Mildred Roper. There are at least two crystal chandeliers and overly ornate table lamps to some shelves and there are a couple of quite large metallic statues which might be reproduction Art Deco. There are conventional stools to the bar, thereafter furniture is mixed with some conventional chairs upholstered in velour, conventional tables, some cloth upholstered bench seats but then there are some rococo padded, claret coloured chairs with ornate gilded wood frames! The walls display some mirrors and prints to the walls. All this to a muted jazz and Sinatra soundtrack on the stereo.
Also unchanged are the customers and their limited numbers and another nod to the past was 3G connectivity only.
Ales: just Fuller's London Pride at £4.50 a pint, and ok; there were two other pumps, sadly unused.
Changes to this pub are largely superficial and can be undone, but the paucity of ale and an interior which resembles a 1970s' Indian restaurant mean that I'm unlikely to return.

On 18th November 2017 - rating: 4
[User has posted 964 recommendations about 949 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about Duke of Hamilton

Looks like the Duke has bitten the dust, due to reopen as a jazz club.

On 16th August 2017 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 3586 recommendations about 3565 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about Duke of Hamilton

After a couple of years of absence I visited the Duke twice last week with one visit being during an afternoon and one an evening. With the closure of the White Horse the Duke is now the home of Hampstead Rugby Club so their trophies and awards are on display for all to see. The dartboard still remains and the food has gone! However there is now a ‘BearBQ’ hut in the front garden where the manager cooks highly recommended BBQ food at the weekends when weather permits. The cellar bar that was previously used as a storage area is now the ‘Rabbit Hole’ where various ticketed events take place.

There is a still a standard draught range and the bar still supports six hand pumps. One of these was off leaving Hanlon’s Port Stout, Fuller’s London Pride, Wild Weather Ales NW3 Ale, Sharp’s Special and Sharp’s Rising Tide as the cask ale options. There is also a good range of bottled beers available.

This is still a decent pub, but I would lose the LED advertisement screen that has somehow made its way onto the wall. I think that this pub serves the local community well and I will revisit when back in the area.


28th March 2011

The dartboard remains, but don’t plan on visiting for a game on Sunday afternoon as the oche is full of diners tucking into the £14 a head roast dinners. This sounds a lot, but it is par for the course in this area and they did look very good. The plasma screen remains up in the corner, but I think that there is no plan to restore Sky Sports and Woody, the previous owner, took the aerial when he left for some strange reason so the picture quality was terrible whilst the pub watched England play in the Six Nations during my visit. I had a couple of pints of Skinners which were very good and after some pressure from the locals the new owner has reinstated London Pride which has been a stalwart at this pub since long before I started drinking here. I’m not so sure about the colour scheme, but at least there isn’t a strong smell of ammonia anymore.

To be honest I don’t think that this place has changed that much and the things that have are an improvement. I just hope that the foodies in Hampstead don’t decide to converge on here and overrun the locals.

On 4th October 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3586 recommendations about 3565 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about Duke of Hamilton

Once, around the late 1980s, the landlord served me a pint from the slops tray. Thankfully he has gone so it seemed time to pay another visit.

The pub seemed to have been cleaned up a bit, and it's got really quite a nice interior. My pint (forgotten what it was) was good and probably the cheapest in NW3. The Duke claims to be one of the last boozers in Hampstead and they're not wrong there. It also claims to be one of the oldest pubs in London; dating from 1762, this is utter cobblers - the White Bear across the road is about 60 years older and some of the pubs in Hampstead, Highgate and Kilburn date back to the mid-14th century; this pub doesn't even come close to being the oldest pub in the area, let alone London.

During my mid-week crawl, every pub in Hampstead was full if not packed and yet this place had four dreary duffers in, one of whom couldn't seem to stop saying "c**t!" every other word - this is very much a locals' pub; women were conspicuous by their absence.

Aesthetically this is a nice pub, but the customers who come here and have seemingly lost the will to live, make it a dreary and depressing affair. It's not just that there are better pubs in the area, rather it's that every pub in the area is better.

I'd give this place 6 if it had some atmosphere and joy, but the customers reduce it to a 3.

On 1st May 2015 - rating: 3
[User has posted 964 recommendations about 949 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

john gray left this review about Duke of Hamilton

Def a locals local.Friendly pub with a decent selection of 4 beers on my visit.

On 11th May 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 940 recommendations about 927 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about Duke of Hamilton

My recent revisit found that there have been some superficial changes to the Duke after being saved from the threat of closure and re-opening in March 2011 under the wing of the owners of the Barnsbury in N1. There has been a general smartening-up of the interior and exterior with a freshly-painted red frontage, new red carpets inside and a coat of paint on the walls. The U-shaped layout remains. Located in a quiet residential street a minute’s walk away from the main drag, the pub is (somewhat unusually) elevated above street level with a front patio area that is a bit of a sun-trap on a good day. The bar gantry has some attractive leaded lights (probably 1970’s rather than 1870’s) and old photos of the local area adorn the walls. In another change, there are now six ales on the go. Whilst the old stager from its previous incarnation – London Pride – remains, it is supplemented by five interesting guests. I was immediately drawn to the W&E Treetops, a beer I know well but sadly it was completely lifeless. My companion’s Old Dairy Czech Mate was a lot better. The landlord had evidently earwigged on our conversation about the pub (or possibly the beer) and came over and made conversation which was perhaps a little one-way at times. It’s fair to say that the directions he gave us to the Holly Bush were not geographically accurate, whether that was a genuine mistake or a bit of ribbing I don’t know. Overall there seemed to be plenty to like about the place but it didn’t really click for me in a way I expected. A combination of circumstances perhaps. The pub itself is nice enough.

October 2006
Enjoyable Fullers outlet, with a decent range (Butser, ESB, Pride, Discovery, Old Rosie as a draught Cider with Aspells in the fridge this Saturday) with a basic range of £1 rolls behind the bar. Worth a stop-off and very close to the tube. Bogs could do with a scrub though. Rating 6.

On 6th May 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3997 recommendations about 3985 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

John Bonser left this review about Duke of Hamilton

Describing itself as “Hampstead’s last remaining local”, the Duke of Hamilton is a traditional Victorian style pub with carpets, banquettes and a long bar counter that has, pleasingly, retained its gantry with its stained glass advertising panels.

Situated off Heath Street, its set back and elevated from street level, up a few steps, with a largish front terrace and a burgundy painted frontage dominated by windows.

There has apparently been an inn on the site since 1721 and, although you probably wouldn’t think so, the current building is over 200 years old.

A recent vigorous local, campaign pleasingly prevented the pub from being closed for ever and replaced by flats. Now under new management, it’s essentially the same pub as previously, but somewhat spruced up – in particular a new carpet is very noticeable - and with a much wider beer range, specifically much less of an emphasis on Fullers beers.

The pub produces its own newsletter – “The North Londoner” – and, in the first issue of this, readily available on each table, we learn that the pub has won the Best London Pub of the Year award for 2011 from We also learn that the pub trades as part of a pub group – The Three Boozers – which may be a statement of intent since, at this moment in time, it appears that there’s only two - this one, plus The Barnsbury ( in Islington ).

Décor consists of old photos of the local area and sporting memorabilia, including a framed England rugby shirt autographed by the 2003 World Cup Winning Team.

Pub management appear very active. Tuesday and Wednesday evenings are Curry Night and Winter Stew Night respectively. Monday is Ale Club day with all real ales at £ 2.50p all day and evening. A downstairs cellar bar screens sports fixtures. There’s now an outside drinking area at the back as well as the front.

6 beers were on – Fullers London Pride ( still the biggest seller apparently ), plus beers from Butts, Brodies, Cottage and Redemption ( 2). All beers sampled were in good form – particularly the Redemption Hopspur.

Formerly a CAMRA Good Beer Guide regular and an award winner, it’s not in the 2012 CAMRA Good Beer Guide – presumably due to the change in management – but, based on my visit, it’s a strong contender for the 2013 edition.

With the wider beer range, this is now an even more attractive proposition than previously

On 1st March 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Alesonly . left this review about Duke of Hamilton

This Pub has now got its own web site as well so Ive added too profile below.

I went in there last week too see for myself how the place now looks. Its miles better than before in a nice maroon type red on the outside also inside has all been totally refurbished in a similar colour scheme but its not ruined or over gastrofied like some other local Pubs have been overall I would say its a much better Improvement. I found the staff friendly and welcoming and all the Ales I tried were in excellent condition. I only had time for a quick few Pints so will visit again soon with more info but in my opinion its well worth a visit.

On 28th March 2011 - rating: 8
[User has posted 132 recommendations about 105 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about Duke of Hamilton

Seemingly the threat to the pub's future is over for the time being at least and the new owners have given the pub a bit of a facelift. The exterior has been painted a warm red colour, and virtually everything inside is also red, carpet, walls, curtains etc. A large single room with a central bar, a stained glass bar gantry and a row of ceramic tiles including old advertisments to the front of the bar counter. Traditional seating with benches and chairs, and a veritable queue of stools along the front of the bar. Decor includes lots of old B&W photos of Hampstead Heath and old maps of the area. The previous reviewer will no doubt be pleased to see the dartboard remains, I was going to record that it was unusable due to the furniture however some punter came in and asked if he could play and the barman popped straight over to move the tables for him. There are a number of darts trophies on an adjoining shelf.
The same barman overheard us talking about the pub and kindly took the time to show us around including the downstairs cellar bar which can be hired privately or may be used for occasional live music.
Standard old fashioned pub grub, pies, pasties, scotch eggs and sandwiches. Dog friendly, a water bowl is provided but a disclaimer outside states certain breeds may not be welcome (without saying which ones).
Six handpumps, London Pride x2, Adnams Lighthouse, Brodies Amarilla and Wolf "Granny Wouldn't Like It" with one being unclipped.
Plenty of outside seating to the frontage with the usual bench tables.
Great to see a pub survive the developers thanks to vigorous campaigning and let's hope it goes from strength to strength. Certainly the chap behind the bar seemed committed and enthusiastic enough.

On 23rd March 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1687 recommendations about 1663 pubs]

Page: 1 2