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About
A refreshing dining and drinking destination in Hampstead, The Wells is an award-winning traditional British gastro pub in a classic Georgian building. Ever since Beth Coventry started revitalising Hampstead's pub and restaurant scene with The Wells in June 2003, the seasonal food and picturesque surroundings have been applauded by the locals, as well as earned positive responses in the Hardens and Square Meal guides. The varied, frequently changing menu showcases British food of the highest quality, prepared with carefully sourced produce which you can enjoy in the elegant, intimate upstairs dining rooms, or in the friendly atmosphere of the spacious ground floor bar. The range of hearty,
PRICE RANGE
£32 - £40
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, After-hours
CUISINES
Bar, European, British, Pub, Gastropub
FEATURES
Seating, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Free Wifi, Reservations, Private Dining, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service, Dog Friendly
Reviews (441)
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Traveller rating
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Reviewed 20 January 2024

Each year I take my partner for a Christmas Lunch, last year, it was The Wells was the venue. Having been there perhaps 10 years ago initially, and once or twice since I was sufficiently impressed to have suggested the venue to many people –...personal and professional. However, I regret to report how disappointed the whole experience was today. From the ‘greeting’ which took the form of a grunt and a shrug to basic errors of table and kitchen service, this had all the markers of amateurs playing at operating a pub rather than a heritage establishment. The greeter simply strengthens the case for automation – a tablet would have exuded more care and warmth. Matters did not improve with the hoody bedecked, Skecher sporting waitress who really did look like she wanted to be anywhere else in the world. She took our order, didn’t write it down and with dull predictability stuck her head around the corner moments later enquiring what was it again that was ordered? The mackerel terrine arrived with cold, yes cold toast. Being an occasion I chose to stay quiete. I had the soup, which tasted of largely of blended creamy spuds. Nothing more. The steak arrived which I requested medium –and with (this phrase again) dull predictability arrived well done and , despite the weather, a level of foliage better suited to a summers day in Sardinia. Perhaps the head chef got his hemispheres confused being from NZ ‘they are innovative without being intimidating, responsively seasonal and in parts as cosy as a pair of favourite slippers’. How are lettuce leaves seasonal in December UK? Take your time. I requested firstly the extensive foliage be removed – it really did not belong there, and it duly was taken away and returned minus the jus. I stated that I asked only for the foliage to be removed and so the dish disappeared again to the kitchen, as my partner munched away on her clearly dry chicken. It arrived back with the jus, and I cut it to reveal that if it was certainly not a first cousin of the chicken it was a relative by dryness, being well done. So, the staff agreed to replace and by now I was irate. It arrived as my partner was approaching the end of her dish. No greens were ever suggested, which had they, would have ordered. The goldfish - memoried waitress, completed forgot the Malbec I ordered, so I did so again. As we waited for the crumble, I noted a neighbouring table was vacated by a party of about 6. Despite a not especially busy period, their table was left untidied for what I noted was about 30 mins – including , I kid you not, come half eaten bread. (I shudder to think what hygiene standards are out of sight in the kitchen, if the are so casual about leaving half eaten food and dirty crockery in the areas where paying customers can clearly see). So for this pleasure we paid about £120.00 For the same price, 1KG fore-rib of beef and a great Amarone could be married in our own kitchen without disappointment. In effect, we paid The Wells only so we did not have to wash up, because none of the experience could be said to be enjoyable apart from the not washing up. However, the fact of the matter is once I interacted with the greeter, I could have scripted the experience so utterly, utterly charmless, unengaged and off- hand was his manner. This was a new level of determined ignorance, I am pleased to have never witnessed before but which I note is now a clear theme in many of the reviews. . This review was sent to Beth@thewellshampstead.london and ignored. Interestingly, she is sister to Evening Standard 'Food Writer' Fay Maschler, who makes a living out of reviewing restuarants. Time she sent a ghost reviewer around to her sisters place perhaps and send her a note that heritage is not a bottomless well. Rgds CianMore

Date of visit: December 2023
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 9 January 2024

Delightful, delicious place to stop in for a cozy meal after a walk on the Heath. We return to The Wells Tavern whenever we're in London and it never disappoints.

Date of visit: January 2024
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 15 December 2023

All three of us enjoyed all three courses of our food, which can be a little unusual. Great ambiance, great service, good value for money and great food.

Date of visit: December 2023
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 26 November 2023 via mobile

Stopped for a drink after a walk through the Heath. Grabbed an unclean table outside, as it was the only one that did not have a reserved sign. Another family stopped outside the pub and debated having a meal. One of their party went to...check if there was availability (they were right next to us outside, and made a funny joke, we could clearly hear them, stating ‘let’s give it a try’). Moments later, a staff member who I believe was a manager exited, and told us that the ‘reservation’ for our table had arrived. I politely apologised and mentioned that there had not been a reserved sign on the table (hence why sat there rather than one of the other 3 empty tables with reserved signs!). Whoever the man was rudely laughed in our faces and told us yes, there was. Quite confused, I again iterated to him that it was fine however, no there was no sign, as there was still empty glasses and rubbish on the table from whomever had been there before. He rolled his eyes and said ‘oh it must be under the table’ as though we hid the reserved sign, and then demanded we moved to the benches on the pavement. I worked in hospitality for over 10 years and understand that tables roll over quickly. The man clearly lied about the reservation as the table who took over from us was the group who said ‘might as well give it a go’ as they had no reservation but wanted to eat. Because we only had a bottle of wine rather than ordering food, we were rudely made to leave. There was a very simple way to politely ask for the table back and not immediately come over aggressively demanding things. No need to lie to us about a reservation, simply ask that we move to the bar if you need a table for food (as any other restaurant would). I’m assuming this was the manager on duty because he was then scolding the bartenders telling them not to do anything without speaking to him first (micro manage, and quite loudly was berating them in front of customers). It’s easy to be nice, but one needs to go out of your way to behave how he did, which this man clearly cared about. Not the first bad experience there and not what one expects in Hampstead. Won’t be back xMore

Date of visit: November 2023
Helpful?4  
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Reviewed 20 November 2023

Just had the most brilliant meal to celebrate wifes birthday could not fault the quality of the food and the friendly sevice have been to resturant many times upstairs more formal downstairs a bit more casual cant recomend it stongly enough

Date of visit: November 2023
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Reviewed 20 October 2023

I took my partner and our dog here for my partner's birthday and it could not have been better. We had the chateaubriand, which you don't get at every pub. Perfectly cooked and elegantly presented. The house champagne is very good. I had a second...glass. The service was faultless. The surroundings are beautiful. It is a very friendly pub. Our dog made friends with the neighbouring table and we ended up having a pleasant chin wag. We have eaten here 3 times over the past month and the food has all been delicious. Given the quality of the food, the prices are mor than reasonable. We would have eaten here months ago, but it is always bo9ked up on weekends, though as we discovered last month, if you turn up they might be able to squeeze you in.More

Date of visit: October 2023
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Reviewed 23 September 2023

Excellent miso aubergine plate. 10 out of 10. I specifically walk up this little gem in Hampstead as the vibe is quiet, enjoyable and really cosily elegant. Having said this, 1 large glass of Sauvignon Blanc will cost you £15. Ouch! Not exactly for the...non-affluents of North London.More

Date of visit: September 2023
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 29 August 2023

Super happy we stumbled across The Wells Tavern. We didn't have a booking and managed to get the last table. The staff were lovely and we were super impressed by the food! The wine selection is great and the desserts looked amazing - we'll have...to come back to try them.More

Date of visit: August 2023
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 6 August 2023

Came here today on an impulse after walking on Hampstead Heath. Although the bar tables were fully booked our party of three were invited to use two sofas which we were happy to do.Despite the fact that the bar was so busy we were served...almost immediately by pleasant andattentive staff. We all went for the Sunday roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. There were very generous portions of beef all beautifully tender accompanied by well cooked vegetables and Yorkshire pudding. All delicious. Good draught ale was also appreciated and at a such a reasonable price that we actually double checked the drinks menu ! All in all an excellent experience and great value.More

Date of visit: August 2023
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Reviewed 28 July 2023 via mobile

The food was excellent! We took the attack which was to die for! The burger and bangers and mash were equally good! Service was great! Would highly recommend and go again! One of the best food I had while visiting London! The pub itself has...so much charm and character and the setting in Hampstead make it even lovelier!More

Date of visit: July 2023
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Reviewed 15 July 2023

This has always been one of my favourite pubs for eating out. Food used to be really good, but this time it was really disappointing. Poor, slow service and mediocre food.

Date of visit: May 2023
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed 13 July 2023

A lovely traditional pub gone a little ragged round the edges. This pub has always been at the heart of Hampstead’s great pubs, near the Heath serving lovely food, where in Summer stopping off even just for a pint after a walk was always hard...to resist. Most recently outside tables look unloved and scraggy, fat butts abound, and a chef noisily emptying nose and lungs by the bin areas just took away the feeling of being in a special place. Two glasses of wine and nuts £27.More

Date of visit: July 2023
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Reviewed 11 May 2023

Every time I travel to London and I find myself in this area I’d love to come here for a quick pint or for a quick meal Even this time the food was great, but I was a bit sad for the service that was...ridiculously slow We were disappointed with one of the waitress which reply to us in a really bad way after asking her if the food was coming to us or not I definitely be back but I hope to find the guy who served me the time before who made me discover a wine on tap that I fell in love with - “Falangina” from CampaniaMore

Date of visit: May 2023
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Reviewed 28 January 2023 via mobile

Thank you for accommodating a birthday lunch last weekend - we chopped and changed numbers and you couldn’t have been more accommodating. The food was lovely, and good value too. Service is outstanding, and we were allowed to be very leisurely.

Date of visit: January 2023
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Reviewed 22 January 2023 via mobile

I’ve had a few roast dinners here and have overall been super impressed, quality of the ingredients is high and you’re usually guaranteed a tasty meal. However today, the roasts were a let down, I had the chicken which was quite dry, the roasties were...inconsistent, with one being rock hard and the other leathery (also only had 2 on the plate, which seems quite stingy). The beef was nice and perfectly cooked, but again the veg was lacking with the root veggies being soggy. The Yorkshire puddings however were revolting, thick like bread, and dense, I have definitely made better at home. Puddings turned it around, we had a sticky toffee pudding, apple crumble and chocolate fondant - which were all delicious. At £17-20 a roast, it’s quite an average price for the area but I don’t think you get value for your money. The consistently best roast I’ve had was at the Spread Eagle in Camden - always incredible!More

Date of visit: January 2023
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Questions & Answers
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Compass57193079915
9 July 2021|
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Response from LouisfromLondon | Reviewed this property |
Hampstead on the Northern Line
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RhianWyn8
24 February 2018|
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Response from Michael H | Reviewed this property |
they occasionally tune into Rugby matches - but often not. There are better pubs for watching sport in my opinion......
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RhianWyn8
24 February 2018|
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Response from Stuart H | Property representative |
In the bar area downstairs.
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THE WELLS TAVERN, London - Updated 2024 Restaurant Reviews, Menu & Prices - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about The Wells Tavern

The Wells Tavern is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4.5