Now that the weather is finally improving, it’s time to set out on foot, exploring the area, stopping off for the occasional refreshment. Long-term Barnet resident, beer enthusiast, keen home brewer and dog owner Richard Tyack introduces some of the area’s best hostelries.
One hundred years ago, the number of pubs in Barnet, mainly along the High Street, was truly awe-inspiring. They had, for hundreds of years, served thirsty travellers (and horses) using the Great North Road, especially those who had just ascended Barnet Hill.
There are, of course, many fewer now, but we still have a fair selection to choose from, starting with the ascent from High Barnet Station:
Ye Olde Mitre (High Street)
This is a truly historic inn, dating back at least to the 1600s. There are very good draught beers, a back garden (the ‘Stable Yard’) and a modest menu of staple dishes. The Mitre is dog-friendly, open till midnight during the week and until 1am Friday and Saturday. It probably harbours the widest social mix of all the Barnet pubs.
58 High Street, EN5 5SJ
Tel: 020 8449 5701
The Black Horse (Wood St)
Fairly recently refurbished by owners Oak Taverns, now a popular family gastropub. There’s a large range of draught beers, but perhaps too many for a healthy turn-over. Nice front garden, but bordering on the main road.
Wood Street, EN5 4BW
Tel: 020 8449 2230
The Sebright Arms (Alston Road)
This is very much a local for the northern enclave of town serving McMullen’s beers. Our research reports that the food is now very good.
9 Alston Road, EN5 4ET
Tel: 020 8449 6869
The Monk, formerly Ye Olde Monken Holt (north end of High Street near Hadley Green)
There is a cosy back garden, tempting food menu and a small, but tasty range of beers. A civilised pub and dog-friendly.
193 High Street, EN5 5SU
Tel: 020 8449 4280
Now, descending towards New Barnet via Hadley Common:
The Hadley Hotel (Hadley Road)
A large and imposing local (offering bed and breakfast), handy for walkers in Hadley Woods. It offers well-kept beers, a simple, but wholesome lunchtime menu and is very dog-friendly. Mostly quiet, but can get raucous when football is on the TV and supporters emerge from the woodwork.
113 Hadley Road, EN5 5QN
Tel: 020 8449 0161
The Railway Bell (Station Road, New Barnet)
A spacious Wetherspoon house, well re-furbished, with all the W’spoon’s beer range, generous food menu and large garden. It accommodates all types, including New Barnet lunching ladies, a hard-core of all-day (male) drinkers, and children of all ages. However, no dogs allowed, even in the garden.
13 East Barnet Road, EN4 8RR
Tel: 020 8449 1369
The Builders’ Arms (Albert Road)
This is a long-established back-street local, just behind the ‘Bell’. Good Greene King beers (and guests) and a popular, nicely priced Thai kitchen. Some quasi-cultural chat in the quiet front bar, with more basic vocabulary and pool table in the back.
3 Albert Road, EN4 9SH
Tel: 020 8216 5678
The Lord Kitchener (East Barnet Road)
This McMullen’s house is the only New Barnet pub to welcome dogs, perhaps the main point in its favour, according to our correspondent. Cars in car park must be checked in.
49 East Barnet Road, EN4 8RN
Tel: 020 8449 3124
The Railway Tavern (Station Road)
A friendly Irish-managed Charles Wells pub, located just up from the railway bridge. Always plenty of sport on the TV screens; lunch menu and good Guinness, of course.
3 East Barnet Road, EN4 8RR
Tel: 020 8449 2917
To conclude, all pubs are well maintained, essentially by the people who use them, the customers such as you and me. If you go in with a (reasonably) friendly and cheerful demeanour, you will find that all of the above can give you a decent welcome, provide for your inner needs and, hopefully, give rise to some new contacts and friends. Cheers!
Image: copyright Greene King.