Saturday 13 January 2018

The Saturday List #160 - The ten best nights out in The London Borough of Barnet

Do you like a nice night out? As regular readers will know, we've been running a series on local pubs. Many thanks to "Big Dave" who contacted us after last weeks blog with the complete list of pubs in Barnet. Dave suggested that we do a Top Ten pub crawls in Barnet. At first I was rather taken with this idea and it may well come to fruition, but to me a pub crawl needs at least five decent pubs in walking distance and I'd need to do research. However, it got me thinking. What about the Top Ten nights out. If we say a good night out encompasses a meal, a drink and some sort of event. Lets say that all such things must be within a mile? As some pubs good meals as well as drinks, this clearly muddies the waters. So I thought, OK lets have a three hop rule. Here goes! Let me know your great night out.  The format is food, event, drinks.

1. East Finchley.
Food - A Japanese snack in Yama Yama. They do absolutely delicious skewers and other authentic Japanese food. Great for a pre cinema snack (not too heavy)
Event - We had to start with The Phoenix, my favourite cinema in The whole of the Borough. Also the Boroughs oldest cinema, I'd especially recommend the beamback shows they do.
Apres Drinks - The Bald Faced Stag is a great pub, they also do good food if you'd rather have gastropub food before.

2. High Barnet.
Food  - I would recommend Melange as a great place to eat before.
Event  - The Bull Theatre has some great things in the pipeline. If you've not seen Lee Thompson from Madness in The Silencerz, Feb 10th is a good opportunity. A real local Gem
Drinks - Ye Olde Mitre is one of my top five fave pubs in Barnet. They do pretty standard tasty pub food as well if you want something a tad cheaper. It is more or less right next to The Bulls

They say rules are made to be broken! So here is a slightly different running order.
Event - Why not start the evening sitting in the cockpit of a Spitfire at The RAF Museum! This runs from 11am -4pm, so you'll have a bit of time to kill after, but the museum is open till 6pm Nov-Feb and is well worth looking around after your Spitfire experience.
Food - I'd recommend taking a brisk walk up to Bang Bang Oriental, which is the largest Asian foodhall in London. There is a whole range of various asian foods available.
Drinks - The Chandos Arms won the award for the UK's best community pub. It is a nice place and also has good pub food if you prefer that. They have live music on Monday and  Thursday evenings and Jazz on Sunday Afternoons.

4. North Finchley
Food - If you like Italian food, checkout Il Tocca D' Artisa, a great little restaurant in North Finchley  324 Ballards Ln, London N12 0EY. Very friendly place with lovely food.
Event - There is always great stuff on at The Arts Depot. I'd recommend Stephen K.Amos on 8th Feb, who is always a great night out.
Pub - This has to be The Bohemia. A proper Brew pub, also does great food, especially the chicken wings.

5. Lower High Barnet!
I know it's not called Lower High Barnet, but thats what I always call it. The bit where the tube line crosses and the road diverges down to New Barnet.
Food  - Next door to the Everyman is Fresh Fry Fish and Chips. A proper chippy and sit down restaurant. Top quality food, enormous portions.
Event - The Everyman Cinema is well worth a visit. It has a decent bar and cafe as well. The chairs are very comfy and you can take a bottle of plonk in with you, should you so desire.
Pub - The Queens Arms is also next door, which is a decent pub in the Sky Sports/Pool table vain.

6. Mill Hill
Food - Why not start with a delicious Italian meal at The Rising Sun pub on Highwood Hill.
Event - Hartley Hall has some excellent events. In April, The Mill Hill Musical Theatre Company are staging The Boyfriend. Their shows are always a great night out.
Pub - After the Boyfriend, a bracing walk up Hammers Lane, to the Ridgeway and to the Adam and Eve is a great way to round off the evening. Most locals would take the 240 bus, if it is coming soon (just on the 1 mile boundary). The Adam and Eve also does decent food.

7. Mill Hill.
We stay in Mill Hill for a completely different night out. As we have Europe's best rugby team why not have a proper sporting night out! As is tradition, we'll do the curry afterwards.

Pub - The Bridge - This is next to Mill Hill Broadway and is a traditional meeting point for Sarries fans, before jumping on the bus shuttle. It is a typical shop style pub, friendly service and quick. No food. It does what it says on the tin rather well. The better informed Mill Hillians go to Mill Hill Rugby club for a pint.
Event - The best way to see Sarries is to watch an evening fixture under the floodlights. Check out their schedule here
Food - There is only one place to go to eat after a Sarries game and that is The Mill Hill Tandoori (by Mill Hill Broadway bus station). Proper Indian food as it should be after a game of Rugby. Unpretentious, tasty and served by a friendly team.

8. Totteridge.
It's winter, it's cold, it's miserable. However in six months time we'll be enjoying the best days of summer. So think warm for this one.
Food - The Orange Tree Pub is a lovely spot for dinner. We recommend starting early for this one.
Event - The Totteridge Valley Walk is a great way to spend a warm evening.  If you don't know it, you'll be amazed you are still in London. Take your camera.
Drink - Well this walk takes you back to The Orange Tree!

9. Edgware.
Once again, we break the rules, but I think you'll agree that it is fairly sensible in this instance.
Food - If you like Turkish food, checkout Izgara. A top place for a decent kebab, hummus etc
Event/Drinks - The Three Wishes (technically in the London Borough of Harrow, but well within a mile of Barnet!) is one of the very best music pubs locally, all tastes catered for - CLICK TO CHECKOUT THE SCHEDULE - great beer too.

10. The 240 bus pub crawl - In honour of Big Dave, I thought I'd end with something a bit different. He suggested ten local pub crawls, so why not a perfectly legal pub crawl (using my fave bus) across the Borough. I'd suggest getting the bus times app though, to maximise drinking time.  The 240 bus traverses the Borough, starting in Golders Green, through Hendon, Mill Hill East, Mill Hill finishing up at Edgware.

1. The best pub at the start is The Spaniards Inn, which in truth is more Hampstead Heath than Golders Green, but is well worth the effort! Walk from here to Golders Green Station to ...
2 The Burroughs, Hendon - There are two pubs here that are well worth a visit. Walk up The Burroughs and you will see The Claddagh Ring. This is a proper Irish pub. They serve such delicacies as Bacon and Cabbage and a fine pint of Guinness. It's fair to say that it is one for people who like Gaelic Sports and Irish culture. The food portions are generous.
3. Once the Guinness has been finished, pop around the corner, down Greyhound Hill to The Greyhound. A lovely pub, favourite watering hole of Barnet Bloggers after rather dry council meetings, They have live Jazz and reasonable food. This was my mums fave local pub!
4. When you've finished your beer, pop back on the bus. The bus passes The Adam and Eve, which we mentioned previously. Worth a visit. It then passes The Three Hammers. The Hammers is cheaper than the Adam and Eve and the Garden is nice in the summer. Service can be slow. The food is very much standard Ember Inns fayre.
5. And I'd recommend finishing up at The Three Wishes as mentioned above.

6. If all that beer has made you hungry, The Zanzi Bar, more or less opposite The Three Wishes as marvellous Indian restaurant. Well worth the effort.

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