Pub 246. The Alice House, 11th January 2014.
On entering The Alice House I wasn't sure whether this was a pub or a restaurant or a gastro-pub or a... or a I don't know what. And neither does Alice really. But she's trying to be at least a bit pubby - those pumps hidden behind the bar give the game away.
The chap behind the bar says to me "Hey buddy, what's happening?" - no, he's not American although he's trying to look with his trendy plaid shirt and big beard. I correctly assume that his opening gambit actually meant "Hello, what would like?". I went for half a Camden Ink - no ale here.
I have no idea how much it cost as he never told me, but from counting the change that unceremoniously plopped back into my hand I reckon it was £2.70.
I sat down at a table with a tiny bit of detritus from the previous occupants but still took an age of faffing and cleaning to prepare it. Maybe they thought the Queen was coming.
The habit of the bar staff / waiters to stare and smile at me every time they walked past quickly became a tad annoying.
But the place was full. Full of cool young things, quite happy for their food - gourmet burgers and hand-batter fish & chips - to be served on a bread board. And it seemed that every drink, no matter what - beer, wine, coffee, water - had to be followed by a glass of water. The new kids of lovely new gentrified West Hampstead I suppose.
Their website says "An exciting mix of vintage chic, innovative cocktails, craft beer and relaxed dining". Make of that what you will, but really it's a surrogate pub for people who do to "pub-type things" every now & then, but don't like pubs. But I do like pubs so thank Alice, but no thanks.