As autumn creeps up on us, we’ll soon be saying goodbye to sun-drenched beer gardens and start moving inside the pub. But you can forget sticky carpets and that stale smell of spilt beer. The aesthetic of these pubs will compliment your pint (but the more floral amongst them are possibly more suited to a Pimms).
While in bloom, the outside of The Churchill Arms is sure to make anyone passing by want to step inside for a bev. Or some Thai food; despite its traditional feel and appearance, the menu is made up of Thai curries, noodles and rice dishes. If that took you by surprise, just wait until you see the pub at Christmas. Let’s just say it takes its fairy lights very seriously.
119 Kensington Church St, Kensington, London W8 7LN
2. The Prospect of Whitby, Wapping
One of London’s oldest pubs, dating back to the 16th Century, is on the riverside in Wapping, and has some pretty enviable views of the Thames from its first floor terrace. It’s retained the original flagstone stone floor, adding to its rich historical charm. For the historical and literary nerds amongst you, The Prospect of Whitby can call out some big name-drops, such as the likes of Charles Dickens and Samuel Pepys.
57 Wapping Wall, St Katharine’s & Wapping, London E1W 3SH
3. Powder Keg Diplomacy, Clapham
The Powder Keg Diplomacy, near Clapham Junction, combines the best of the British and Victorian influences, resulting in its beautifully quirky designs. Each room has a distinct theme, from the elegant botanic and dining conservatory to the wackier bar, complete with animal wallpaper and a giant map of the world spread across the ceiling. There’s certainly plenty to look at, whether you’re eating or just enjoying a tipple.
147 St John’s Hill, London SW11 1TQ
5. The George, Isle of Dogs
Located on the Isle of Dogs, The George serves up quality, classic pub food and has a welcoming feel. The laid back wooden tables in the light and airy conservatory give off the impression that you’re stepping into somebody’s kitchen (albeit a kitchen with a surplus of tables and chairs). They do a killer Sunday roast and run frequent quiz nights.
114 Glengall Grove, Isle of Dogs London E14 3ND
5. The Blackfriar
Another pub soaked in history, The Blackfriar was built on the site of a medieval friary. It’s an Art Nouveau Grade II listed building and its unique extravagance is quite unexpected from the outside. It’s part of the Nicolson pub chain, so is reasonably priced for food and drink if you’re on that side of the river.
174 Queen Victoria St, London EC4V 4EG
6. Ye Olde Mitre, Holborn
Because Ye Old Mitre Tavern is in the heart of The City, it’s only open from Monday to Friday (because who in their right mind would go into the City at the weekend? Even for a nice pint). It does, however, open for one weekend every year. It’s well worth taking a midweek visit to this pub, tucked away behind a little alley near Hatton Garden. The original building was built in the 16th Century for the servants of the Bishops of Ely and a trunk of an old cherry, which Queen Elizabeth I is said to have once danced around, is preserved in the bar.
1 Ely Pl, London EC1N 6SJ
7. The Spaniards Inn Hampstead
This North London public house is proud to be one of London’s oldest pubs – Dickens, who was clearly one to get around the city’s pubs, immortalised it in the Pickwick Papers. Being in Hampstead, The Spaniards Inn also gives you the impression you’re far from urban life. It’s spacious and has a lovely beer garden. Come winter, the open brick fireplaces are roaring within the gorgeous wooden panelled rooms. If you fancy a quick escape to the country but can’t be bothered to go beyond Zone 2, this is your place.
Spaniards Rd, Hampstead, London NW3 7JJ