The Hollybush Hampstead

Diary , 7 June 2016

Pretending It’s Not Sunday at The Hollybush, Hampstead

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As a child, Sunday evenings were to be dreaded. With them came my mother’s inevitable ‘organising’ and tidying session, the weekend’s homework crammed into just a few hours, and an earlier bedtime before the week of school began again.

My sister and I used to try to stave off that Sunday feeling by trying to see how long we could make a tennis rally last for. Sometimes we managed to successfully keep going well into the evening as strains of The Eagles and Four Non Blondes played out through her portable Hi-Fi. On winter evenings, we’d deviously start a film around 7pm so as to delay bedtime (‘but mum, you can’t possibly switch it off only 20 minutes before the end’, we used to chime).

Wanting to escape the dawning week is now so deeply ingrained in me that I continue to look for distractions come Sunday – especially after the treat of a bank holiday weekend where Sunday isn’t really Sunday at all and the week was short enough to feel like less of a hurdle. You know what they say about comparison and joy…

Hampstead Heath

Picnic on Hampstead Heath

This Sunday, I headed to Hampstead Heath with a picnic basket, an eager dog and two humans to soak up a little sun and pretend Monday wasn’t on the horizon. After some a lot of cheese and a loaf of baked garlic-filled bread shared between three (sorry, Monty), we strolled past all the glorious houses in Hampstead to The Hollybush.

Hidden up a little rickety path, this pub is a rare find: cosy in the winter and decorated with flowers and beer-drinkers during the summer. It’s the closest to bucolic I’ve found in London and, if you’re lucky enough to snaffle an outdoor seat as we did, you’ll spend a very pleasant hour people-watching there during the early evening…

The Hollybush Hampstead


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