Trader turns back on West End for butcher’s in Hampstead

07:00 06 January 2013

Philip Matthews, owner of The Hampstead Butcher. Picture: Thomas Alexander

Philip Matthews, owner of The Hampstead Butcher. Picture: Thomas Alexander

Copyright: Thomas Alexander

He traded in his small empire of bars and clubs in the West End for a butcher’s shop in Hampstead, but Philip Matthews is still pulling in an all-star crowd.

After 25 years running a string of swanky cocktail bars and restaurants in Covent Garden, Mr Matthews packed up for the good life in Hampstead Village where as a boy he remembered there was never a shortage of a good leg of lamb or hunk of ham, with no less than seven butchers selling their wares in the village.

However, when the 49-year-old arrived he discovered that the last butcher standing in a shop in Flask Walk was a 73-year-old who was preparing to emigrate to Australia.

In May 2010, out of a need for good meat for a Sunday roast, Mr Matthews set up The Hampstead Butcher – or a “butcher’s plus” as he likes to call it – in Rosslyn Hill.

“Part of the old village vibe was to buy good quality produce in Hampstead, and it seemed to have everything else apart from a butcher,” said the former owner of The Rock Garden cafe in Covent Garden.

“But I mulled it over for a while and came up with the idea of a place where you could get everything for your meal in one shop like your herbs, oils and gravy.”

Though meat is half of the Hampstead Butcher business, the fromagerie, charcuterie and selection of wines helps to pull in the likes of actresses Helena Bonham Carter and Emma Thompson, plus comedians Ricky Gervais and James Corden, who Mr Matthews counts among his regulars.

The father-of-two, who lives in New End, Hampstead, with wife Mia, also brought in ‘foodie’ Guy Bossom, former executive head chef at the Royal Opera House, to lead his team of 12 with the aim of becoming a ‘one-stop shop’ for the great and the good of Hampstead.

A supporter of traders’ group NW3 from its inception, Mr Matthews has strong views on business in the area. He insists that everyone, from independents to mega-chains, has their place in Hampstead High Street.

The butcher, who gets his meat from farms in Sussex and Norfolk, said: “There is a great demand for retail mix on the high street, but that doesn’t mean you can get away with poor quality and high prices as an independent trader. We have to offer value, whether that be quality or prices.”

n The first Ham&High of each month will feature an interview with an independent shopkeeper who is a member of the NW3 Hampstead Business Association. To find out more about the association, email, visit, or follow them on Twitter at @NW_3Hampstead


Latest News Stories

37 minutes ago
London Ambulance Service has been recommended for special measures following a CQC report

The London Ambulance Service has been placed into special measures after being slammed by a health watchdog investigation as “inadequate”.

Tulip Siddiq challenged the Prime Minister in the House of Commons

Mothers’ maiden names should be listed on marriage certificates alongside fathers’ names, Hampstead and Kilburn’s MP has told Parliament.

Piers Corbyn, right, with the squatters in West Hampstead and Cllr Lorna Russell

Squatters who have occupied empty former council offices in West Hampstead will appear in court today.

Cllr Sarah Hayward

The leader at Camden Council has warned that the Chancellor’s comprehensive spending review may leave the authority struggling to carry out essential duties and place vulnerable residents at risk.

The youth attacked the women in Parliament Hill

The parents of a woman who was robbed and sexually assaulted on Hampstead Heath stormed out of a courtroom in anger after her 16-year-old attacker was jailed for just one year.

Yesterday, 17:00
Traders and Highgate Neighbourhood Forum members Jane Wiles, Rachel Allison, Louise Lewis, Allan Rapley and Emine Gokturk  launch Highgate's first live advent calendar. Picture: Nigel Sutton

For adults and children, the suspense of waiting each day to find out what is underneath the window of your advent calendar is one of the joys of the Christmas season.

Yesterday, 15:47
Khayerul Miah, pictured, and his brother have joined IS in Syria

The Camden school where two Islamic State (IS) recruits were pupils has released a statement to parents.

Yesterday, 15:13
Police cordoned off the pavement outside the Vodafone store in Finchley Road

The pavement outside a parade of shops on Finchley Road has been cordoned off after knife raiders threatened staff at a branch of Vodafone and made off with thousands of pounds worth of mobile phones.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder