The Brew House
Kenwood House Hampstead Lane, London, London, NW3 7JR
- Tel: 020 8341 5384
Crowded, expensive and pretty bland
19/11/2008 by curlynewf
Maybe it's the historic grounds it sits on, or the grand estate to which it's attached, but each time I eat at the Brew House Restaurant at Kenwood House, I expect something more. I expect the soup of the day to be hearty and flavourful, but it never is; I expect the sausages to be fresh and complex, they never are; and I expect the tasteless pre-made sandwiches and tiny coffees to, at least, be somewhat affordable, but they ain't. Let me first say, it's not fine dining. It's something approaching 'rustic canteening', a country-kitchen type set-up in the old servants quarters where you queue (of course), grab a tray, tell the ladies at the counter what you want, and pay up. The food looks and smells wonderful, but once you manage to find a table amidst the wellie-wearing dog/child-toting Hampstead-ers it just doesn't taste like anything. Seating is a big problem too, especially on (but not restricted to) the weekends. There are about, oh, a dozen tables inside and dozens more outside in the 'al fresco' dining area. But if you're familiar with London weather you won't need me to tell you that the outdoor seats aren't an option most days, so people guard the indoor ones like hawks. I have witnessed proper, gritty fights over these tables (and I can tell you, the posh fight dirty!) And to add insult to injury, it's expensive. £3.25 for a latte? Over £9 for a bowl of soup and a pre-made sandwich (which, by the way consisted of some pickle, cheese and a few leaves of lettuce). And remember, you serve yourself here. I'm someone who doesn't always notice the price of things (a problem at times) and doesn't mind paying a bit more for quality, but no one likes to be cheated. OK, like most things, it's not all bad - the cakes and pastries are pretty good and the homemade bread is always fresh and nutritious but, who wants cake and bread for lunch? The Brew House is a bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing, in my opinion. It has all the outward signs of being really lovely but underneath it's a bit of a sham. Looks can be deceiving.Report this
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