2A South Hill Park Hampstead London NW3 2SB
The Magdala is a friendly local pub, and very handy for a Heath walk, as it’s just a couple of hundred yards from Parliament Hill (with its views over London). It has a couple of bars – a boozer and a more food-oriented saloon – and an upstairs room that hosts comedy sessions on Friday nights. A small range of beers – served as pints, halves or schooners (2/3 pint) – include a good Doom Bar and a regular guest bitter, and there’s a well-chosen wine list. The food hovers between pub grub and gastro, with fish, meat and meze platters, splendid burgers, and some more ambitious and generally accomplished a la carte dishes (sea bass, ostrich steak, pork belly); there are also bargain weekday lunches. The pub also has a history. It was here that Ruth Ellis, the last woman in Britain to be hanged, shot her lover, David Blakeley. The bullet holes can still supposedly be seen in the tiled wall outside, though spoilers suggest that the titles were actually replaced soon after the shooting and these are ... genuine fake bulletholes. No matter.