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The Duke of Hamilton, Hampstead, NW3

23 New End

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about Duke of Hamilton

I've heard off the Hampstead grapevine that the lease of the Duke has been taken over by the owners of the Barnsbury in Islington and Woody the governor will be leaving at the end of January. I've heard some good things about the new chaps and I liked what I saw when I visited their pub a while back, but hopefully they will not be so food orientated!

I'd also like to add that this is the only pub in Hampstead and the surrounding areas that has a dartboard so hopefully they will leave it be!

Also, bring back Sky Sports... All the locals want it!!!

On 3rd January 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3586 recommendations about 3565 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Duke of Hamilton

I was keen to give this pub a try on a recent visit to Hampstead, given the fact that it has been fighting a lengthy battle to stay open, as detailed below. The pub has a classic, traditional feel to it, with padded banquettes along the front wall and some modest tables and chairs elsewhere in the U shaped room. Fraying carpets, ancient looking curtains and smoke stained walls give it a lived-in look, although my first impression of the pub was from the smell of stale smoke, which suggests the place could do with a good clean at the very least. The bar area is an attractive feature, with some frosted glass insets running above the counter and some nice tiling underneath it. Pictures on the walls show various scenes from Hampstead in years gone by.
The pub has six hand pumps and having travelled from the opposite end of London, I was hoping for a good selection, but two pumps were London Pride, one was ESB and another was Adnams Ghost Ship (a beer currently available at the Wetherspoons national beer festival), with the remaining pumps not in use. This was a bit of a disappointment for a pub with such a reputation for its ale. My pint of Ghost Ship was well kept and the barmaid who served me was friendly enough.
I can see why the pub is popular and why locals have fought so hard to keep it the way it is. I may well have caught the place on a bad day in terms of beer choice and as such I will no doubt return the next time I'm in these parts, but as first impressions go, I must confess to being a little underwhelmed.

On 12th November 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2512 recommendations about 2512 pubs]

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Alesonly . left this review about Duke of Hamilton

Just got the following News from CAMRA.

Duke of Hamilton – phony war is over.

The owners of the Duke have now finally played their cards by submitting
formal planning applications to Camden Council to convert the Duke into two
private dwellings. The first application – 2010/1923/C – was filed on 28 May
for the demolition of a single story extension at ground floor level – I
suspect this to be the toilet block. The second and more substantial –
2010/1901/P – was filed on 1 June for conversion to residential after the
previously mentioned demolition.

Both are on Camden’s website, follow this link and then enter the
application numbers

The Duke is a three times winner of CAMRA North London’s Pub of the Year
competition. One by one pubs in this part of Hampstead have either closed –
Coach & Horses, Horse and Groom, Jack Straw’s Castle – or have shifted over
to being more food led operations – Old White Bear, the Wells. Does
Hampstead really need two more houses or does it need vital amenities such
as the Duke? We know there are local pub operators who are keen to bring
their skills to running the Duke as a community local. It is up to us to try
and help that happen. This week we presented our current Pub of the Year
award to the Pineapple in Kentish Town, a pub which was saved from being
converted into flats by a vigorous campaign run by local residents and CAMRA
in 2001/2. It can be done.

On 4th June 2010 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 132 recommendations about 105 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about Duke of Hamilton

Although it is easy to presume that this is a Fullers house it is actually a free house with mutual ties to Fullers hence the ESB and Pride. This is my local and I was in here last night when the Pride unforgivably ran out and I had to have the Adnams guest beer at £2.60 a pint. The Guinness is only available in bottles and there is a limited standard and premium draught selection. There used to be Old Rosie cider, but this has been replaced with Millwhites 6.5% Hertfordshire cider and the Strongbow has gone making way for Aspalls. There is sometimes a second guest ale on and there is also a limited bottled ale choice behind the bar.

This is a traditional pub that used to have separate bars, but even though the partition wall has gone it is still an old style boozer. There is a LCD screen, but the governor has relinquished the Sky TV rights as it was becoming far too expensive so there is no football anymore. The dartboard at the rear is heavily used when I’m visiting, but probably not so much during my absence.

The toilet is out the back and is always cold and a bit mank, but there’s usually soap and hot water.

The pub walls are adorned with cricket and rugby memorabilia and there is a cricket team that plays from the pub – not that any of them ever drink in it. The barmaids are recruited from Hyelm which is the local dancing school digs, so they are young and fit for those interested.

This is a pub that is easy to settle into and it is a tragedy that the 69 year old governor is in a position where the lease is ending and the highest bidders are probably going to turn this place into a block of flats as even though he is a miserable git it will be a shame to see him leave as he’s a family friend.


On 15th February 2010 - rating: 10
[User has posted 3586 recommendations about 3565 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about Duke of Hamilton

Looking at the ales on offer I would guess that it is a Fuller’s pub – London Pride, ESB; and Chiswick. But looking into the future I can see that Strongers will visit in Feb 2010 and confirm that it is in fact a free house. Nonetheless I just couldn’t resist the temptation of what must be a guest ale, in the form of Meantime Pale Ale. And excellent it was too, and at a very competitive price of £2.60 a pint. This pub is somewhat off the beaten track, and it’s less pretentious than some of its near neighbours. Stools at the bar, banquettes round the sides, and wood topped iron framed tables complete the furniture inventory. There was a TV on showing the news, for the benefit of the Guv’nor and I, who were the only people in there. The bar gantry is adorned with some interesting leaded lights, and advertising “ports”, “sherries” etc. it looks a bit 70s to me, but I think that it adds to the character of the place. The blue and white tiles under the bar counter are also an interesting feature, including a handful of tiles advertising products from yesteryear – the one I noticed was for “Zebra Grate Polish”. I thought at first that it might be a reference to the great Polish nation; but not so – just some archaic product that probably hasn’t seen the light of day for many a year. There’s also a few picnic benches on a raised patio at the front of the pub.
This strikes me as an unpretentious backstreet pub, serving decent ale at decent prices. A good bet – yet another Hampsted pub definitely worth a visit.

On 23rd September 2009 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]

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ROB Camra left this review about Duke of Hamilton

Hidden away in the back streets this is quite an unusual pub. I often visit Hampstead when I'm staying at the Marriott in Swiss Cottage and this is a regular call on my trip around the area. It always sells a couple of Fullers beers which are usually well kept and there's sometimes a guest beer available. It's kind of horsehoe shaped with a dartboard down one of the legs. There's often some pretentious bollocks being talked by some of the upmarket clientele and the prices are very upmarket and yet for some reason I still quite like it. Now that is unusual.

On 20th June 2009 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2865 recommendations about 2785 pubs]

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train man left this review about Duke of Hamilton

Not so good this week with just Pride & ESB on when I visited. Needs more than that to encourage punters, especially those who have to travel to get here, to return.

1 September 2007
Friendly welcome last Sunday and a good beer selection with 3 Fullers and 2 guests (Smiles Blond & something nice from York brewery which I can't remember). The guv took time to tell us about his forthcoming beerfest w/e 01Sep with 30 or so beers from around the country, some of which he will be collecting from smaller suppliers himself - a good sign of commitment to the cause. Revisited Tuesday and the beer was still on good form. The pub has a nice aspect to the street with wide-opening doors to take advantage of good weather, and a fair few tables out front. This, and the White Bear up the road will be making Hampstead a regular stop for me.

On 26th October 2007 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 411 recommendations about 410 pubs]

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john mcgraw left this review about Duke of Hamilton

Old fashioned Fullers Pub selling a range of their beers. Single bar with side drinking areas, lots of photos of the history of Hampstead. 10 minutes walk (up a steep hill) from Hampstead tube Station. well worth the effort

On 28th June 2007 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2044 recommendations about 2025 pubs]

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