The Stag, Hampstead
67 Fleet Road,
020 7722 2646
Sun. 8th Nov. 2009
My son's just turned 30. My wife, daughter and I travelled down to Hampstead to celebrate his birthday. He suggested the Stag, as he'd been previously for a lunch and was impressed.
Enthusiastic and pleasant staff greeted the eight of us who arrived to find our table marked with a polite notice to "Keep these seats warm until the party arrives" - a nice touch.
A quite extensive menu, especially for a pub, was briefly perused, but each of us (bar one - who had the Lamb) elected to have the Sunday Roast - Beef. We were asked our preference - which ranged from well done to rare.
A bottle of red - quite young and frisky - pleasant enough - for some, various Cokes and lagers for others, and Black Sheep for my son and I (I had mine as Shandy as I was very thirsty and had a long drive that night to look forward to).
We all decided that starters were probably too much, especially as we'd spotted the dessert menu.
The dishes were delivered in a timely fashion - well done for getting the rare dishes there at the same time as the well done, but one minor demerit as one of our party wasn't completely happy with their rather cold and flat Yorkshire Pudding. This was replaced efficiently.
Each one of us (bar one - a professional chef who avows to not being happy eating out anywhere!) was very happy with the meal - we all thought the beef was excellent, as were the mash, roasties and carrots and turnips. A couple commented that they preferred their gravy a little thicker, but I found it perfect.
I have to re-iterate that the quality of the beef was excellent - it put to shame many restaurants I've visited.
Then onto desserts. My son, his partner, and I elected to share a cheese board - Cheddar, Brie, one made by a "Blur" band member, another Celtic? blue and a fifth - what on earth has happened to my memory? All excellent. Others had Chocolate Brownies and Ice Cream.
Finish off with coffees one of which our Italian chef requested as "corretto" with Laphroaig.
All in all, a delightful lunch, in a very pleasant setting, with efficient and friendly staff.
A final bill - including tip - of £200 for eight people was, I think, pretty good value for money.
This is how Pub Food should be. I know the area is affluent so can support this level of quality. If they can do it there at that price, there can't be many excuses for pubs in other areas.
See bar at right.
Sandro & Marg