18th April 2007
[London Pubs Group Evening Crawl of Hampstead.]

7th October 2006
[Daytime Crawl of North West London and Maida Vale.]

24th June 2006
[South West Essex & East London Tour.]

1st August 2005
[Evening Crawl of West London.]

19th February 2005
[National Pubs Week Daytime Crawl of Chiswick and Brentford.]

16th October 2004
[Daytime Crawl of Pubs in Tooting, Earlsfield, Wandsworth and Battersea.]

2nd August 2004
[Evening Crawl of the City of London and the Borough.]

19th June 2004
[Daytime Crawl of Pubs in Enfield]

14th April 2004
[Crawl of Pubs with Historic Interiors in Kentish Town]

21th February 2004
[National Pubs Week Crawl of South East London]


London Pubs Group Evening Crawl of Hampstead
The evening of Wednesday 18 April saw the London Pubs Group visit pubs of interior architectural interest in the Hampstead area. Twenty-five members in all took part in the tour, with most making it by 7.30 to the official starting point, the Horseshoe at 28 Heath Street. This pub was chosen for its convenient location near to the Underground station but has had a varied history. Formerly the Three Horseshoes and a rather jaded Grand-Met Truman pub, it was acquired by Wetherspoon in 1992 and seemed to enjoy a number of successful years in that role. Alas, it appears the latter company are only interested in ‘mega’ ex-bank or cinema conversions nowadays and it joined the many north London pubs they disposed of in 2003.

For a while afterwards it continued in a sort of ‘Wetherspoon-lite’ mode under London & Edinburgh control before receiving a thorough makeover to emerge in its latest incarnation, the independently owned Horseshoe (singular) in 2006. The emphasis is very much on food, with a large open plan stainless steel kitchen prominent in the bar, but real ale is not forgotten, as the pub brews on the premises. The clientele seems to be a mix of young trendies and suits and a complete change from the former Wetherspoon’s crowd. The service appeared a little brusque, at least in the writer’s experience, and I was left wondering if the owners would really prefer to be a restaurant selling beer as opposed to a pub offering food. On the plus side there is usually at least home-brewed bitter available, plus guests from breweries such as Adnams and Sharps.