Side step: jam-jar cocktails at Alice House, West Hampstead

17 Sep

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When I grow up, I’m going to live in Hampstead. That’s one of my many ambitions, and while I can dream and hope that one day, some day, I’ll own a house in this endearing pocket of London, for now I’ll just have to be content with visiting.

I usually go up to Hampstead Village – for coffee on a cold day, for banana and nutella crepes at La Crêperie, for the lively, outdoor beer gardens on those unusual balmy summer evenings (no longer), and on my latest visit, to explore Hampstead Heath and get a breath of fresh air.

West Hampstead, however, I’d never been to. Until last week to visit a friend who had just moved to the area.

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We went for drinks, and while there were quite a few options just walking from the tube, The Alice House was recommended and the outdoor decking area drew us in. It wasn’t a particularly warm evening, but the heaters did the trick and I’d recommend going before winter really draws on.

We ordered jam-jar cocktails which had spoonfuls of jam in and were very sweet, but that perfectly suited my tastebuds. I had the gin cocktail with Victoria plum jam and a splash of lemonade, followed by the tequila concoction with blackcurrant jam topped with ginger beer. They were very, very good and very easy to drink.

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The place itself is a restaurant-cum-bar, and a mix of modern and tradition. The interior has cool exposed brickwork and little light bulbs hanging from the ceiling that reminded me of fireflies, but also old wooden flooring and comfy leather chairs. The clientele was slightly older and quite sophisticated, in keeping with the area, but it still felt pretty relaxed and just what we wanted for a quiet night.

The details:

Location: 283 West End Lane, West Hampstead tube.

Opening times: Mon-Thurs, 9am-11:30pm. Fri-Sat, 9:30am-1pm. Sun, 9:30am-11pm.

Prices: cocktails from £6.75.

For the drinks menu, click here.

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