You don’t have to go too far for a piece of rural bliss (and a pint to go with it). These pubs are all within a doable distance from London (including one within Zone 2).
1. The Jolly Cricketers, Seer Green
Tucked away in the picturesque village of Seer Green, the Jolly Cricketers is the epitome of a classic British country pub, oozing charm with its flower-adorned façade. Hosting a selection of cask marque accredited real ales, as well as their own, “posh”, take on bangers and mash, the Jolly Cricketers provides an unforgettably authentic experience but a stone’s throw away. Featuring in the Michelin Red Guide from 2011-2015 this quaint pub will knock all your expectations for six!
Getting there: A quick 25 minute train from Marylebone will see you to Seer Green, followed by a short walk from the station into the village
24 Chalfont Rd, Seer Green, Beaconsfield HP9 2YG
2. The Old Neptune, Whitstable
Situated in Whitstable, Kent, the old Neptune is a must visit for anyone who likes to enjoy a cold one whilst watching the sunset. Boasting live music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, sumptuous daily seafood specials to dig into and even silver screen fame in the movie ‘Venus’, the Old Neptune is a seaside gem which has something for everyone.
Getting there: Simply hop on a train from Victoria to Whitstable and once arrived, a 5 minute walk towards the seafront will see you at The Old Neptune.
3. The Sportsman, Seasalter
Staying in the region of Whitstable, whilst the Sportsman traces its roots back to the 17th century, it is more recent events which set the Sportsman apart, having been awarded a Michelin star in 2008. This, combined with the daily menus and locally sourced ingredients (some as locally as their own backyard!), means that dining at the Sportsman is about as fresh as it gets.
Getting there: A train from Victoria to Whitstable, followed by a 15 minute taxi is the quickest way. However, for those who have the time, we recommend the scenic coastal walk from the station.
Faversham Rd, Seasalter, Whitstable CT5 4BP
4. The Bull and Last, Highgate
Venturing closer to home this time, the Bull and Last manages to create a rustic countryside vibe just minutes away from Hampstead Heath. Sporting a host of unique and refreshing real ales, as well classic pub food, available to take away, The Bull and Last captures the essence of the British countryside and brings it to life on our doorsteps. And for those with canine companions, dogs are very much welcome and may even sneak a pig’s ear if they’re lucky!
Getting there: Take the Northern line to Tuffnell Park, and from there it’s a 9 minute walk to your destination (times may vary depending on rate of alcohol consumption).
168 Highgate Rd, London NW5 1QS
5. The Royal Standard of England, Beaconsfield
By stepping through the doors of England’s oldest free-house, we were transported back through the ages to a land of candlelight, wood fires and first rate beers. This 900 year old pub has it all, a friendly mirth-filled atmosphere, thirst-quenching ales and home cooked pub grub. For those who like to use culture as an excuse to drink, this is a must
Getting there: A short half-hour train ride from Marylebone.
Forty Green, Beaconsfield HP9 1XS
6. The Coach and Horses, Rickmansworth
Resting on the edge of the Metropolitan line, The Coach and Horses has it all, continental lagers, real ales, over 25 wines to pair with locally sourced seasonal dishes (including the best fish and chips in town), all provided in an atmosphere of countryside charm and comfort. For days like these when the sun is beckoning The Coach and Horses has a large outdoor seating area where a pint can be enjoyed in the shade of an umbrella.
7. The Hinds Head, Bray
Another Michelin star winning entry , the Hind’s Head , owned by culinary mad scientist Heston Blumenthal, provides the full package: deliciously inventive dishes made from the highest quality ingredients, combined with an array of real ales sourced from local microbreweries and topped off by a short, but equally as inventive, cocktail list (we recommend the Savoury Raspberry). The Hind’s Head is a true experience, and whilst it is slightly pricey, the bang is thoroughly worth the buck.
Getting there: A 25 minute train journey from Paddington to Maidenhead, followed by a short taxi (5 minutes) to Bray completes this easy journey.
High St, Bray SL6 2AB