My Favorite Pubs in London

Posted on 10. Sep, 2013 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, United Kingdom

best pubs in london

While helping a friend plan her London trip a few days ago (yes, I have become that go-to person in all things travel among my circle of friends. I guess it means I’m a good source of information?), I realized that I had yet to create a list of my favorite pubs in London, a list I could simply send to my friends visiting the city instead of having them pick my brain every time. And after living in London as an expat for a year and visiting half a dozen times since, I guess I’ve seen my fair share of pubs (read: drank monstrous amounts of ciders and spent hundreds of pounds on booze).

Let’s see which ones I liked the most.

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Best garden: ex-aequo The Albion in Islington & Edinboro Castle in Camden

One third of London may be a green space but finding a pub with outdoor seating that doesn’t face a busy high street? Good luck with that. Luckily, beer gardens do exist and once you try one, your pub experience will never be the same. Very popular on sunny days (you know how Londoners get when the sun dares to make an appearance), the gardens of The Albion and Edinboro Castle offer both ample seating and a good dose of fresh air that are certain to make for a nice evening out.

Best beers: The Champion in Notting Hill Gate

If you prefer micro-brews to the regular ales found in most of London’s pubs, The Champion is definitely the best option in my opinion. From Czech pilsners to German lagers to British cask ales, there is something for even the most fastidious palate.

Best views: The Founders Arms in Southwark

If you’re going to play tourist in Londontown, you might as well do it in style. The Founders Arms offers unparalleled views of St.Paul’s, the Thames and the Millennium Bridge, and while the pints definitely aren’t the cheapest in the area, the setting is quite worth the expense. The perfect place to be on a sunny, warm evening!

best pubs in London

Best history: The Lamb & Flag in Covent Garden

What was once the watering hole of none other than Charles Dickens is definitely a staple of the London pub scene. After all, only a handful of pubs can boast having been opened for such a long time — 335 years, in this case — and served such famous clients. What The Lamb & Flag lacks in space — it is ridiculously tiny — it makes for in atmosphere and history.

Best food: Churchill Arms in Kensington

A pub that exclusively serves Thai food? Such a thing exists in London. The Churchill Arms, just a stone throw’s from Kensington Gardens, is one of the best pubs in London, for many reasons: its unwonted menu, its beautiful hanging flowers baskets that tumble out onto the street, its fantastic collection of Churchill memorabilia and the many modern day celebrities that frequently visit — this pub simply doesn’t disappoint.

Best pub quiz: The Old Queen’s Head in Islington

The Old Queen’s Head isn’t just one of the trendiest pubs in North London, but is also home to the most fun pub quiz in the city. Forget the traditional quizzes - this one is funky, original and regularly features kazoos and dirty doodles. And the prizes simply can’t be beat: free booze and cash. What’s not to like?

best pubs in London

Best people-watching: The Camden Eye in Camden

If there was ever one thing Camden was known for, it’s the diversity of people roaming the streets. From hippies to punks, from hipsters to young families, just about every type of people is represented in Camden — including the weirdos. The Camden Eye, thanks to its prime location right outside the Camden High Street tube, is the perfect place to grab a pint, sit by the window and people-watch guilt-free. Entertainment guaranteed.

Best decor: The Pembroke in Earl’s Court

If you’ve had your share of old-timey pubs with a distinct ale smell, make your way towards Earl’s Court and enjoy the fresh decor of The Pembroke. Modern wallpaper, straight angles and neutral colors make this pub a nice change from the regular pub scene.

best pubs in London

Best local: The Swan in Chiswick

If you are more at liberty with your time in London, I suggest that you venture out further west and visit Chiswick’s most fabulous pub, The Swan. Incredible menu, cask ales, a wood-paneled and leather-sofas type of place, a luxuriant garden, a secluded location away from the crowds — as the locals say, you only know where The Swan is if you’ve already been there! This pub represents exactly what pubs are about, and simply doesn’t disappoint. Definitely one of the best pubs in London.

Other favorites:

What’s your favorite pub in London? Do you prefer traditional ones or the ones with a twist?


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6 Responses to “My Favorite Pubs in London”

  1. Laura @Travelocafe

    10. Sep, 2013

    All of them are great location. I know only few. Another good reason for me to go back to London.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Must for Wanderlust

    10. Sep, 2013

    Will definitely be keeping this post in mind for when I visit London, thank you! x

    Reply to this comment
  3. What a great list! Will be sure to take in some of them when I finally make my way to London. :)

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie-Eve Vallieres

      14. Sep, 2013

      I can’t believe you still haven’t been to London after all this time. Italy and Germany really got to you ;)

      Reply to this comment

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