The Flask is picturesquely located in Highgate village, home of some of London’s richest people. It seems to be loved and loathed in equal measures, certainly if t’Internet is to be believed.
I don’t find myself in that part of the world very often, but a visit was long overdue, so I hiked up the hill from Hampstead Heath and went to see what the fuss was about.
Maybe it was the glorious weather, maybe it was the fact that it was a weekday afternoon and I should have been in work, but I was pretty convinced I’d landed in paradise.
Firstly, I loved the interior — lots of nooks and crannies, simultaneously cosy and sun-drenched.
Secondly, I loved the beer selection. It’s a Fullers’ pub, but also (unusually for them) has a range of guests, often from micros. It also has a range of Belgian beers — standard stuff like Chimay, to be sure, but it’s nice to have the option.
Maybe this doesn’t sound very exciting, but everything was in great condition. With the location and other assets (food, garden) it would be very easy for them just to serve the usual Pride, Bombardier and Broadside in mediocre condition, and they’d still be busy.
I also thought the service was just right – friendly and genuinely welcoming to all. There’s no snobby attitude here – scruffy beer geeks are as welcome as white-wine drinking meedja types. I didn’t try the food, but it looked good.
I can’t really understand the hate that this place seems to cause, unless it’s pure reverse snobbery. I’m as capable of toff baiting as anyone else, but I’m not going to let the chip on my shoulder spoil my enjoyment of a great pub.
Beer in the Evening gamut of reviews (and location) here.