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Pub Of The Month - November 2020 with ROBCamra on the Pub Forum

The Freemasons Arms, Hampstead, NW3

32 Downshire Hill
Phone: 02074336811

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Pub Type

Premium Country Pubs (Mitchells & Butlers)

Reviews (Current Rating Average: 5 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve of N21 left this review about The Freemasons Arms

Yes, this is a bit of a corporate dining restaurant, but as others have said the main bar area outside of the large dining conservatory is OK to just have a drink in and the pub also has the benefit of a lot of outside drinking space with the elevated patio to the front and the large garden to the side.
Both the Pride and Doombar were on for my visit but as the sun was now fully up towards late afternoon when I got here and I’d already enjoyed some good ales beforehand I just wanted something reliable and cold so also went for a half of one of the available Meantime craft brews and headed out into the garden.
I’ve never eaten here but have enjoyed a beer in the garden on a few occasions and last week was no exception. The only slight issue is that due to the local clientele this pub / restaurant attracts you have to be prepared to put up with a fair amount of braying whilst enjoying the garden. But in one way it’s always useful to have it reconfirmed that there is no direct correlation between inherited wealth and brains.

On 25th June 2019 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1712 recommendations about 1661 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Freemasons Arms

Unfortunately there was no real ale when I visited, with Doom Bar and London Pride clips reversed. I didn't miss much then. The friendly barmaid tried pulling them just in case someone had put one of them on and failed to turn the clip round - but no luck. I had a half of meantime keg Pale Ale then. This place is really more restaurant than pub, with a large area on the right as you enter with tables laid for diners. But to be fair there was also a decent number of tables and chairs available for drinkers, including some of the more traditional design. There's also lots of outside seating, both on the large terrace at the front, and in the large garden on the right, which was well patronised on the warm and sunny May day Wednesday afternoon when I visited. There's also a sort of conservatory area inside at the back, where there seemed to be a private function on the go.

This is a very "Hampstead" pub but I'm glad I dropped in for a swift half as it's a pub that I've passed by on many previous occasions. But no real ale on the occasion of my visit, and no apparent likelihood of anything interesting being available, and the very corporate resonance (all staff dressed in black) make it the sort of place to which I'm not likely to return.

On 25th May 2019 - rating: 4
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ian Mapp left this review about Freemasons Arms

Large pub on the edge of parliament hill, with a fine beer garden of its own.

Aimed at diners.

I was impressed that the London Pride was "only" £3.60.

Nice pub - great decor - great location - decent pint.

Photos at my blog -

On 15th September 2016 - rating: 8
[User has posted 277 recommendations about 276 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Blackthorn _ left this review about Freemasons Arms

A large and imposing pub located just off of Hampstead’s High Street, besides the pub building there is extensive outdoor seating both in front of the pub and in the garden at the side.

Décor wise, it’s quite contemporary with wood strip flooring, the usual gastro-pub shades of Farrow & Ball paintwork and white-washed plasterwork on the ceiling. Low hanging globe lights were above the bar counter and a number of flat wooden sculptures provided the artwork on the walls. A fire-place was at one end, although this looked as though it may be unused. Much of the pub was given over to food, with the only seating in the bar area being padded armchairs and low tables. Service at the bar was pleasant and friendly, but the waitressing was very slow.

The menu offered an extensive selection of pub grub dishes such as fish & chips, burger, chicken and mushroom pie, etc., as well as a few more adventurous dishes such as a duck breast salad, sea bass fillets or venison steak. Most of the main courses were somewhere in the £10 - £14 range and there were also a few bar nibbles such as sausage rolls, lamb croquettes, and such like. My king prawn linguine with crab and chorizo was really very good indeed, a generous portion, very tasty, and good value at around £11 considering the area. If I were being critical I’d say it could have done with a bit more crab, but I was still very pleased with it.

Beers on this occasion were Doom Bar, London Pride, Black Sheep and Bombardier. A fifth pump had it’s clip reversed. The solitary cider was Aspall’s Suffolk. Overall, despite a great meal, this doesn’t have the cosy ambience that I look for in a pub, and I’d be unlikely to return unless it was to have a pint in the garden on a sunny afternoon.

On 15th September 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1749 recommendations about 1684 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about Freemasons Arms

I can confirm that service here is terrible, even at lunch time when the pub is virtually empty; attention is reserved almost solely for diners, of which there are few.

Situated in Hampstead Village's most desirable street, this pub is internally vast with a huge beer garden (beer estate would be a better description), I remember chatting to the landlord here in the late 1980s and he told me that they'd recently had about 900 punters on site simultaneously. This is essentially a restaurant - which heats up food which has been bussed in from outside caterers - crossed with a hotel bar with armchairs, scatter cushions spot lamps and lots of pale wood. This has never been a good pub - and I've drunk in all its guises, going back to the early 1970s. This is Hampstead Village's least appealing pub; anything else is preferable.

On 22nd July 2014 - rating: 2
[User has posted 997 recommendations about 982 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about Freemasons Arms

Along with 90 other people I attended an afternoon wedding reception here a couple of weeks ago and found the service to be fantastic and the buffet to be top draw. There were plenty of staff members to cope with the demands of the guests and everything went extremely smoothly. I was a little apprehensive about the day as I know from my own experience that the terrible reputation this pub has for customer service is warranted, but thankfully my fears were misplaced.

I'm not a big fan of ‘gastro' pubs but if the management could treat all paying punters as we were all treated this would be a great one.

I was informed that a new manager has now taken the pub over, so hopefully he is turning things around – We shall have to wait and see as he is going to have his work cut out!

On 16th September 2008 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3586 recommendations about 3565 pubs]