This pub was editorially chosen for inclusion because we like it.
We used to live pretty much opposite this place back at the turn of the century. It seemed to struggle for punters and change hands every year. The latest incarnation, known as the Alice House, has been open for a few years now and is in no apparent danger of closing, thanks to its simple policy of being awesome.
In the pub-restaurant spectrum, this is clearly closer to the gastro end, but there are few places doing it better. Try and get a table for Sunday lunch without booking and you will be soundly thwarted, even if you turn up not long after noon. That's partly because it's not the largest place in the world, but also because the food and drink is second to none in West Hampstead. The menu is unfussy but deftly executed.
Our chicken roast was succulent and served up with a posse of fresh vegetables. There are no poncey ingredients, just traditional favourites cooked to perfection (especially the goose-fat potatoes). The main veggie option, a 'Bermondsey Fryer Cheese Tart', came skulking beneath a mattress of salad leaves, and was a spot-on treat for our meat-shy companion. Drinks-wise, there seemed to be fewer draught options than at Alice's big sister in Queen's Park, but plenty of local bottled beers to choose from. We ended up picking one of the 12 red wines, purely because we've never felt white wine works with chicken in gravy.
In warm weather, Whampsteaders make for the alfresco space facing on to West End Lane. There's also a more intimate basement area known as The Den, available for hire. The main bar is a contemporary-by-numbers affair, with heavy wooden tables, exposed brick work, naked lightbulbs and a light scattering of animal skulls on the walls, now a mandatory feature of any upmarket boozer. By all accounts, it gets very busy on a Friday or Saturday night, when the Alice House throws off its gastro-aprons and gets more bar-like.
On Twitter as @AliceHouseWH