77 Highgate West Hill Highgate Village London N6 6BU
Highgate is at its most villagey in and around this historic pub, which was a fixture when highwayman Dick Turpin hid out in its 17th-century stable (now an outside bar) and apparently flirted with a Spanish barmaid. They say the poor girl hanged herself in distress and her ghost now suddenly moves glasses and blows icy breath on customers. Coleridge and JB Priestly, who lived opposite, were locals, as today is Doctor Who actor Matt Smith. What pulls ’em in on summer weekends is the large front terrace – expect long queues and large groups – yet the warren of snug rooms, all creaky floorboards and low beams, is just as appealing, especially in winter when fires crackle in the grates. Its recent acquisition by London’s Fuller’s brewery has restored its historic character and introduced fine draught beers, as well as a menu of above-average pub menu.