Address: Flask Walk, Hampstead
Directions: Come out of Hampstead tube and turn left down the hill. Flask walk is a pedestrian road on your left between a bakery and a North African restaurant. You should also pop into the 2nd hand bookshop on this ‘walk’ as it is really cool. (Narrow passages, piles of old books, eccentric but helpful owner, loads of great stuff.)
I decided to write this one first as I happen to be sitting in it right now. So it’s obviously pretty good.
The Flask is a pretty decent pub and probably my main drinking spot if I happen to be on Hampstead high street. It is divided into two sections in an old school kind of way. As you face it, there is a public bar on the left and a saloon bar on the right. The public bar is where the locals hang out and there is a flat-screen tv playing sport or news or something. But silently, which is a bonus. The saloon bar is where you would take a lady-friend and is bigger with lots of seats.
It is a Youngs pub and slightly pricey but you’re in Hampstead for christ’s sake. Everything is more expensive.
The Flask is an old pub and therefore has character and everything. It has a lot of old pictures of Hampstead and Victorian drawings and that old style of opaque glass. It even has a fireplace. As atmospheres go, it is usually quite quiet and feels a teeny bit artificially old – like an O’Neil’s feels artificially Irish. That said, it is actually pretty old, 200 years in fact, but it has obviously been refurbished a bit. Maybe I’m being a bit unfair as it is nice, steeped in history, and nicely done out. Especially if you are near the front.
I’d recommend coming here if you happen to be out in Hampstead and the other half is shopping and you feel like a quiet pint. It is pricey but nice. Cosy-ish but a bit sterile. If you want an older more intimate atmosphere, I’d thoroughly recommend the Hollybush up the steep road opposite the tube.
The Flask is a decent place. I’m drinking there right now. Nothing more needs to be said.