Bull and Last

168 Highgate Road, London, England, NW5 1QS, United Kingdom

  • Map
  • 020 7267 3641
Back to search results

The Bull and Last in Highgate Road is an old coaching inn dating back to at least 1721, and was rebuilt in 1883 in its current form. Back in those days it was the final pub on the road north as you left London, and was called “Ye Last”. Coachmen used to announce it on their journey as “The Bull…and last” as it was the final inn before leaving the city, and the modified name stuck.  The Bull and Last has as its co-owner and head chef Ollie Pudney, with the current head chef is Federico Olivia. There are dining rooms both on the ground floor and upstairs, and there are assorted stuffed animal heads, including a bull’s head, on the wall.

The menu was a la carte and featured the kind of dishes that you might expect in a pub. The wine list had 50 labels and ranged in price from £29 to £98, with a median price of £50 and an average markup to retail price of exactly 3 times, which these days seems quite moderate by London standards. Sample references were Bodega Classica Pharos Rioja Blanco 2020 at £31 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for £11, Pouilly-Fumé ‘Les Vielles Terres’ M&D Pabiot 2020 at £54 compared to its retail price of £16, and Crozes-Hermitage Jean-Baptiste Souillard 2020 at £75 for a wine that will set you back £32 in the high street. For those with the means there was Barolo Le Coste di Monforte P. Benevelli 2018 at £92 compared to its retail price of £37, and Meursault-Villages La Monatine Sans Soufre Domaine Rougeout 2020 at £98 for a wine whose current market value is £75.

A rustic terrine was made using corn-fed chicken, prunes, chestnuts and bacon, served with warm toast, cornichons, chutney and pickles. This was nice enough, the pickles bringing some life to the dish, with the chicken itself being rather bland (13/20). Heritage radicchio salad involved goat cheese, spiny artichoke, hazelnuts and Parmesan on a bed of red salad leaves. The goat cheese was pleasant if a touch chalky, the hazelnuts added a textural contrast, while the artichoke had reasonable flavour. This was a pleasant salad, but I am not sure the elements combined especially well, and the goat cheese could have been in more pristine condition (12/20).

Haddock was coated in beer batter before being deep fried, served with mushy peas, tartare sauce and triple cooked chips. The fish was accurately cooked, the haddock flaking nicely within its crisp batter. The chips were golden and crisp, the mushy peas quite minty but having nice texture (14/20).

Pappardelle pasta was served with a hare ragu, sage, chestnut and grated Parmesan. The pasta has lovely texture and the slow-cooked strips of hare were very tender and had plenty of flavour. The ragu sauce itself could have had even deeper flavour for me, but this was certainly a good dish, the chestnuts a seasonal addition (14/20).

Portion sizes were generous, and neither of us had room for dessert. Coffee from Climpsons was served, which is one of the better roasters in London. Service was friendly, the dishes arriving at a quite leisurely pace. The bill came to £49 a head, with beer to drink. The Bull and Last continues to be popular, with tables being turned even on this mid-week lunch in February.

Further reviews: 26th Apr 2023 | 12th Oct 2014 | 17th Oct 2011

Add a comment


User comments