The Spaniards Inn pub ★★☆
A 16th century pub on Hampstead Heath that inspired Keats, Dickens, and Stoker
The Spaniards Inn (est. 1585) is my favorite pub on Hampstead Heath—and not just for its real ales and bangers and mash, or its wonderfully cozy country-mouse-in-the-city vibe.
In the pub's little garden where sprouts a tree upon which once perched a nightingale to which regular patron John Keats once wrote his famous "Ode to a Nightingale."
Poet Lord Byron and painter Joshua Reynolds were also fond of a dram here, as was the notorious highwayman Dick Turpin, whose father owned the Spaniards in the early 1700s. (Supposedly Turpin's Room, with its pub games and warm fire, was the future robber's childhood bedroom.)
Charles Dickens wrote about the Spaniards Inn in The Pickwick Papers, and they say Bram Stoker borrowed one of the pub's ghost stories and folded it into Dracula.
Also in Reid's List: London Dining:
- Wagamama★★★| ££
- Rules Restaurant★★★| £££
- Chor Bizarre★★★| £££
- The George Inn pub★★☆| ££
- Belgo Centraal★★☆| £
- The Anchor Bankside pub★★☆| £
- Fox & Anchor Pub★★☆| ££
- The Ivy★★☆| £££
- Gay Hussar★★☆| £££
- Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese★★☆| ££