Pub 135. The Old White Bear.

I popped back in here a couple of weeks ago to take a pic or two for delight & delectation as I was passing - on my way to Burgh House for a illustrated history lecture - that turned out not to be illustrated... but I digress. But I can't find the photos now. And I am sure as heck not going back to take some more.
For this is the worst pub in Hampstead.

And what makes it worse is that a few years back is that it was probably the best. Lovely old wood paneling, and a good selection of ales. It was comfy and welcoming, quiet and relaxing. Small tables for the lone drinker, big tables for groups of tired Heath walkers wanting to spread out with a Sunday paper or noisy game of Connect-4.

But not now. It was closed for quite some time, presumably it needed to be closed long enough for them to strip out every last vestige of friendliness and charm. I am reliably informed by a local pub aficionado that the interior wasn't as old as it looked, but it doesn't really matter.
Now it's the dullest of smarmy gastro-pubs, and has all the atmosphere of a North Korean morgue. But that's how they like it so it'll be right up your street if you like that too. Me, I'd rather go to an unillustrated history lecture. Or the perhaps try the best pub in Hampstead (at time of writing!) - The Duke of Hamilton - just 2 minutes walk up the road.

Interestingly though, it's one of only two pubs in Camden that has a song written about it. Not as well known as the other one, but here it is for those that can read music.

Oh, I believe it's due to close soon. Sad news, even for a dull pub.

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