The Old Bull and Bush is a new stop on our route this year: A pub with a long and colourful history it first opened its doors in 1721, apparently the artist William Hogarth, (Who was living in the neighbourhood at the time.) designed the gardens. However the pub really had its heyday in the early 1900's when it became the fashionable place to stop off for a drink in Hampstead after a stroll on the heath. Visited by the great and good of the day it was so popular that music hall star Florrie ford even had a hit with a song called 'Down at the old Bull and Bush'
(see below) I've got to be honest its not really my cup of tea, but then the recording is over 100 years old so we'll give her the benefit of the doubt on this one, and I bet she slayed it live!
Of course we wouldn't be including the pub in our Halloween festivities if it didn't have a few skeletons lurking in the closet and The Old Bull and Bush has just that - Literally! In 1987 the pub was being refurbished when a rather macabre discovery was made, some builders demolishing an interior wall found a skeleton bricked up inside surrounded by array of victorian surgical implements, possibly the remains of an illegal 1800's autopsy. The body was removed and given a proper burial but rumour hath it the victims unquiet spirit haunts the pub to this very day.... But please don't let that put you off visiting! As this really is a gem of a pub, stylish yet relaxed it boasts a great menu - we particularly like the small plates! As well as a fantastic range of drinks and cocktails, I could happily drink my way through the extensive gin menu, and I have it on good authority that they make mean espresso martini.
We look forward to meeting our Halloween customers here from Oct 15th-31st
But you should definitely check it out if your in the Hampstead area.
when researching your local area you discover not just the history, but also whats making it special in the present and we were very excited when we discovered Scared Gin in Highgate village: A small family run distillery founded in 2008 that focuses on producing premium quality vacuum distilled spirits (As the name would suggest, they started with gin but have now branched out to include vodka and whiskey) Their shop (pictured) on Highgate High street is a veritable Aladdin's cave of bottles and distillation equipment, definitely worth a visit if your in the neighbourhood.
We at Peculiar are happy to announce that this is the second year that our Halloween customers will be getting a free concoction courtesy of the good folk at Sacred, what will it be though? well you'll just have to join us to find out.....
(Halloween tickets on sale here)
Interesting bits of London history and news of our tours and events