When it comes to Hampstead, my experience of the northwest London community consists of teenage summers spent drinking alcopops on the Heath and stuffing my face with La Creperie’s freshly made pancakes. Cocktail bars were never on my to-do list… until recently. Located in West Hampstead, Heads + Tails is a neighbourhood bar boasting swish interiors, a diverse drinks list and now, brunch.
The Jekyll and Hyde of cocktail bars, you could say that Heads + Tails has a split personality. An unassuming exterior gives way to the bright and airy Heads bar. Think plush blue seating with gold accents alongside modern lighting and hanging greenery. The menu echoes the bright interior, with spritzes and low ABV drinks stealing the spotlight. Diving below, Tails is another story; plunging you into dark depths littered with stirred-down drinks, beer-led boilermakers and candlelit corners.
Making the most of the warm weather, we bypassed both bars for a seat in the sun-drenched garden. I made a beeline straight for a house bloody mary (£5), hoping that the tang from black pepper tincture and chipotle ketchup would ease my sore head from a heavy night before. If that wouldn’t, then a cosy seat in the Sekforde-branded terrace was sure to help.
Wasting no time getting down to the main event, we made our way through the brunch menu. Keeping it simple with scrambled eggs on sourdough (£5), I was pleased to find that eggs arrived soft, creamy and slightly underdone… just how I like it. With the addition of plump vine tomatoes (£2.50) and smoky chorizo (£3), I had no complaints.
Meanwhile, the boyf had opted for a shakshuka (£5) that thinly resembled the Middle Eastern dish that we’re used to. Less of a juicy tomato stew and more a mix of chopped aubergine, he wasn’t impressed. The kitchen’s choice to swap out poached eggs for harissa yoghurt and add untoasted sourdough into the mix did little to change his mind.
Alfresco brunching is thirsty work and it was time for cocktail number two. On a mission to work my way through the best frozen cocktails in London, I dipped into the Heads' menu for the frozen strawberry daiquiri (£9.50). Having been eyeing it up on Insta from afar, it was a tasty update on the classic with the usual Havana 3-year-old rum, lime and sugar in the mix.
The DesignMyNight Digest
With a range of dishes and drinks priced at £5 (bar a reasonably priced £9 protein plate), Heads + Tails is worth a visit for its affordability alone. Where else can you tuck into a spritz and brunch dish for just a tenner? Though perhaps it's best to leave the adventurous dishes and stick to the classics… you can never really go wrong with eggs.