Bar opening, Heads+Tails, West Hampstead
- Credit: Archant
Upstairs is airy and light, downstairs dark and moody but both bars serve cracking cocktails
Lovers of late night sweaty drinking dens will be distraught at the demise of West Hampstead nightclub Lateley.
For everyone else, there’s a stylish new cocktail bar just opposite the station, serving imaginative drinks in glamorous surroundings - perfect for a post work stop off or a full night out.
Run by Chris Dennis and Will Partridge, Heads+Tails has a pleasing dual aspect.
Upstairs it’s airy with pale green walls, padded blue banquettes and a marble bar. Downstairs it’s a more butch blend of dark wood, copper and exotic wallpaper. Upstairs, the Floradora is turning heads as an emerging bestseller. Muddling gin, pomegranate, fresh lime and ginger ale it’s a fresh, moreish tall order to wind down from a vexing day at your desk. The Dove; pisco, jasmine cordial, lemon juice and prosecco struck a tarter note, and I’m told the vodka, lime sherbert and prosecco VLS Deluxe is going down a storm.
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“Chris was my GM 10 years ago when I owned a bar in Islington called Wax Jambu, and we really hit it off,” says Will, who went on to run the Ironworks in Kilburn.
“He’s the main man when it comes to creating new drinks. When I found the site with a good licence in an attractive area close to rail links with lots of local residents and people commuting through, it seemed a good opportunity. There was no dedicated cocktail bar among the existing bars and pubs so it’s well suited for a new concept.”
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Opening up the “narrow, poky” spaces, they’ve also created a ground floor garden seating 60-70 (due to open soon), and a smaller downstairs “secret garden.”
“Upstairs is light and airy, downstairs is more dark and moody, more of a speakeasy but either way it’s welcoming for an after work drink or more,” adds Will. “That styling is reflected in the drinks. Upstairs it’s lighter, spirit based cocktails, downstairs it’s whiskies rum and Brandy.”
The duo also offer an eclectic wine list starting at £5 a glass - all tried and tested. “There’s nothing we don’t’ like ourselves”.
Try a Riesling from USA, a Romanian Pinot Noir or the more usual Argentinian Malbec or French Sancerre. There’s no room for a kitchen but light snacks, charcuterie and cheeses should hit the spot.
Heads you win. Tails you win.
Heads + Tails, West End Lane, West Hampstead headsandtails.bar.com