The reopening of a "muddy boots" pub by Hampstead Heath has gone with a flying start with very happy customers.

The Duke of St Albans opened on April 9 ahead of a sunny weekend which saw the watering hole packed with happy punters.

It is billed as a 'muddy boots pub' for people coming off the Heath, and families, friends and dog walkers are all making their way down to the corner of Highgate Road and Swain's Lane.

Run by Grace Land, who won the lease from Fruition Properties, owners Anselm Chatwin and business partner Andreas Akerlund previously told the Ham&High they wanted to create a "pubby pub with a pubby feel".

So what's the verdict?

The day it opened Victoria Burge, a steward at the Lido on the Heath, said she was "so happy". 

"I only work across the road," she added. "It's beautiful, they've done a great job. I'm sure we'll all be over for a bit of a christening later."

Ham & High: 'I go home, I go to sleep, I come back' says Adrian Rudolf'I go home, I go to sleep, I come back' says Adrian Rudolf (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

Four days later Adrian Rudolf said: "It's fantastic. "I've been here four days in a row. I go home, I go to sleep and I come back. Seriously."

Tony Mac, who lives in York Rise, said he felt "very optimistic".

"Being a local we've lost so many pubs around here due to gastros. 

Ham & High: Tony Mac enjoying a pint of Big Chief Tony Mac enjoying a pint of Big Chief (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

"I use the Southampton Arms down the road, which is so successful, especially at the weekends with people coming off the Heath. The overspill can come here now."

Childhood friends Gemma Austin and Lola Marsden came down for a bite to eat and to share some mussels and chips off the menu.

"I used to come here, it was our drinking hole when we were teenagers," said Gemma. "I passed it the other day, saw it was open again and thought I need to go in there."

Lola added: "I live locally and the community have been really happy and excited about the Duke's reopening." 

Ham & High: Cocker spaniel Woody looks on as owner Ben Castell enjoys a quick pint Cocker spaniel Woody looks on as owner Ben Castell enjoys a quick pint (Image: Ben Castell)

Ben Castell, who lives in Dartmouth Park, said it was "great" to see the pub open.

He said: "When I heard it was open I was keen to show support by popping in for a quick drink on my way home from a dog walk on the Heath.

"We are lucky to have great pubs in our area and all the signs are that this will be another pub we can be proud of."

Cllr Lorna Russell (Green), who lives nearby, said: "It's fantastic to see the pub here back open after so many years. I popped down on opening night and bumped into so many neighbours. I can see it being really important part of our community."

Neighbouring businesses in Swain's Lane are also delighted.

Ham & High: Crowds inside and out the newly opened Duke of St AlbansCrowds inside and out the newly opened Duke of St Albans (Image: Nathalie Raffray)

Theodora Demetriou, owner of Theo's Hairdressers, said: "It's the best thing that could have happened. It's gone back to its original name and back to being a landmark."

Troy Dickerson, manager of butcher Meat N6, said: "About time! We've all been talking about it the last few weeks. If ever they need someone to test the beers I'm happy to oblige."

Greg Ivison, who works at gourmet grocery Superette, said he'd been looking forward to it. "It will bring more people to the high street," he added.

Tiche, a fishmonger at Shell & Co, said it was in a "prize location" while Sarah Franco, manager of the Real Flower Co, said the pub improved the appearance of the street.

She added: "They can come and find us if they need a flower contract."