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Picture of The Old White Bear
Image posted by Will Larter
Submitted on Friday, 11th February 2022
With picture contributions to 10495 other pubs
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The Old White Bear, Hampstead, NW3

1 Well Road
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Reviews of The Old White Bear (Average Rating: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Will Larter left this review about The Old White Bear

I picked up a copy of London Drinker, which had a half page article on the reopening of this pub in December 2021, so decided to call in. It had closed in 2014 and was looking likely to remain so, but a campaign by locals kept it from being converted to residential use, and it is now owned by Northern Union Pubs (in the same ownership as Leeds Brewery). It's looking good, with dark Wedgwood blue paint on the walls and traditional pub tables and chairs of the better sort, along with leather upholstered bench seating. Four hand pumps on the bar, with one Leeds beer (Midnight Bell - very good) alongside two from Fullers and the strangely named Wild Beer Bibble. The manager was welcoming and enthusiastic, and when I mentioned how good the pub was looking, he said that some locals had commented that it reminded them of how it was 40 years ago.

On 11th February 2022 - rating: 8
[User has posted 3044 recommendations about 2864 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about The Old White Bear

As Ye Olde White Bear I spent more time in this pub than just about any other from the mid-1980s onwards. Yes it was a bit ramshackle and tatty (nice fire) but it served an unpretentious purpose. Then the food (greasy food) arrived along with crusty sauce bottles at each table and the stench of the deep fat frier; time to leave.

Finally converted and all is forgiven. This is now a restaurant serving today's culinary fashion de nos jour - 'tapas'. Drinkers are marginalised to just one solitary table in the pub's centre (the left and right sides are dedicated to tapas-munchers). The bar has been dramatically shortened and beer choice is pretty much non-existent.

In my opinion this is a restaurant and not a pub and even if you can bag a seat at the aforementioned single table, it's not worth the bother.

Hasta la vista, baby.

On 20th March 2011 - rating: 3
[User has posted 1513 recommendations about 1493 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about The Old White Bear

The Olde White Bear, as it was once known, has recently opened its doors again after a long refurbishment that I think started before Christmas. The transformation is hard to miss as the old pub with political quotes and old photos on the walls has been replaced by a restaurant and bar that has managed to create a bright modern feel with 19th century furnishings. The bar length has been reduced and only two ales are now available which were Pride and Abbot on my recent visit. The wooden bar has been replaced with a marble/tiled work top and the four draught options have been enclosed in a box to keep them out of sight.

The food is expensive for a pub, but not so much for a Hampstead restaurant which I think this place ultimately is. I was fine having a well poured pint of Pride at 16:30 on a Saturday afternoon, but I’m not so sure about sitting at the bar whilst the dinner service is in progress. There is still some seating out the front which is nice in the summer and I’ll certainly end up sitting there at some point over the next few months.

Although the bar has shortened the actual floor space has increased as the toilets have now been moved upstairs where a small dining room can now be found that can host up to fourteen people for private occasions.

As I mentioned before, this is not a pub in my opinion, but it is pleasant enough for a pint or two at the right time of day.

On 18th May 2010 - rating: 5
[User has posted 3929 recommendations about 3905 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Steve C
Latest updates View all updates for The Old White Bear, NW3
11th Feb 2022, 17:13
Review submitted by Will Larter amended by Will Larter
11th Feb 2022, 17:12
Review submitted by Will Larter amended by Will Larter

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Car Park : No last updated 08 November 2013 by Tris C
  • Micropub : No last updated 08 August 2015 by Tris C
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 18 December 2021 by Steve C
  • Real Cider : No last updated 18 December 2021 by Steve C
  • Wheelchair Access : Yes last updated 11 February 2022 by Will Larter
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