The best pubs in London you need to visit
The United Kingdom is known and renowned for its pubs. When we travel to the capital of the U.K. we certainly get to the finest pubs in the country. The best pubs in London have to have certain qualities though. The beer and ale should be outstanding for one, it needs to have their own personality and the music has to be good (and especially not too loud!). In this blogpost we selected a few of London’s finest pubs for you to visit. Let’s travel over to London ..
There is no reason on earth for anyone to skip this pub. The Harp is directly on of the best ones of them all. This pub in Covent Garden has been proclaimed to be the very best pub of London (Business Insider, 2013). The Harp is well known in beer circles and is in a great location between Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square and Covent Garden in central London, just up from the Strand. The pub is owned by Fuller’s but next to that they also have a lot of local beer varieties on tap.
The very best parts of The Harp is the excellent atmosphere and the great selection of real ale. The size of the pub makes the atmosphere as what it is, small and very cozy. This is at the same time also the downside of the pub, it is most of the time very busy.
Next to the variety of good beers The Harp also got their famous food. The Harp is known for their baguettes with sausage. If you want to taste them you have to be early, otherwise they are sold out!
The Windsor Castle
Ironically, you don’t need to go all the way to Windsor for this pub. When you go up a short stretch of Campden Hill Road, you find the Windsor Castle. This populair pub laying in Kensington dates back to the 1820’s, which reflects it’s way back in the characteristics and interior of the pub.
The Windsor Castle offers a wide range of delicious plates and dishes incorporating classing British ingredients with a creative twist. One of their menus is even dedicated entirely to puddings! Next to that their beer and wine chart is made out of excellence.
The garden at Windsor Castle is also one of their top marks. When the weather is good it’s easy to spend your whole evening in the perfect environment of their garden. The Castle has a bar outside so you don’t need to go inside for drinks.
The French House
Originally called the ‘York Minster’. The French house is a pub opened by a German (ironically) man called Christian Schmitt in 1891. The name changed back in 1984 after a disastrous fire at the York Minster.
The pub is truly a one of a kind. There is no television, no music and mobile phones are not allowed. This leaves one option open: talking to each other. This is why The French House is a haven for talking to each other. Unlike many pubs and, indeed those nearby, the literary crowd prefer to drink wine to drinking beer which is quite a rarity in London. This is also the reason why the pub is selling beers only in half-pints.
Another aspect that makes The French House as what it is, are the visitors. The French House is known to have a lot of famous people visiting, especially writers. A few of these people are Francis Bacon, Dylan Thomas, Dan Farson and Lucian Freud.
This pub in Hammersmith is a real attraction because of the phenomenal view on the Thames. The Dove is a pub with a traditional woody interior and a typical British ambiance, as how a pub needs to be. The Dove is a classic ‘duck your head’ pub experience, with a fire in the winter, but most drinkers come here to sit in the vine entangled conservatory on the riverside terrace.
Because of the excellent view of the terrace, The Dove makes a perfect spot to watch the historic annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge Universities. The race takes place in the end of march, where thousands of spectators will gather by the river Thames to see which team will take home the glorious Boat Race title. The race has now been running for over 190 years.
Ye Old Cheshire Cheese
Despite having a pretty dubious name, the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is actually an old pub. It was built in 1667 after the original burnt down. When you look at some photographs of 1920 the pub has hardly changed since then, and still remains the same lovingly look. The establishment is currently owned by Sam Smith’s Old Brewery. It is considered one of the most historical and atmospheric pubs in London.
The pub is entirely panelled in wood from the inside, where much of this is dating from before the 19th century. The pub has very little natural light, and the lanterns don’t shine too bright. This also makes the pub as it is, charming and classical.
Next to all the charm ‘The Cheese’ has to offer, they also had a well known regular in the past: Charles Dickens! President Theodore Roosevelt is also said to have dined here!
Ye Olde Mitre
Not only one of the oldest pubs in London, but also one of the most difficult to find. Ye Olde Mitre is tucked away down a narrow alleyway just off Ely Place. For centuries Ye Olde Mitre wasn’t even part of London, but was actually part of Cambridgeshire.
Because of the location of the pub there are mostly local visitors. The interior space is divided into three small ground-floor rooms, one of which can only be entered through a seperate outdoor entrance, and a bigger room on the first floor.
Past visitors include none other than Elizabeth I, who reportedly danced around a cherry tree with one of her favourite courtiers, Sir Christopher Hatton. Part of the tree is preserved inside the pub but it’s safely locked inside a glass case (in case when anyone is feeling the urge to do a bit of pole dancing).
The Guinea Grill
Located in the heart of Mayfair, the Guinea Grill is a glorious old boozer and grill house which has occupied the same site for a long time now, since 1675. The Guinea Grill is not best known for their local craft beers, but is best known for their high-end mixed grills, multi-award winning steak and kidney pies. The Guinea serves a concise bar menu alongside a more extensive restaurant menu.
There are seperate entrances to the restaurant (the Guinea Grill) and the bar (The Guinea), separating the two with a wooden screen. The Guinea has a selection of autographs of famous visitors in the pub. The selection is displayed in the gents, including the autographs of Bob Hope, Bill Cosby, Mel Gibson and many others. Next to that the Guinea is also, quite possibly, the only pub in London to display a picture of Eddie Large wielding a knife.
The Coach & Horses
Norman’s The Coach and Horses is the most famous pub of Soho, located at Greek Street. It was established in the 1850s. In May 2006, Alastair Choat bought the Coach from the landlord of 63 years Norman Balon. This is why people still call it ‘Norman’s The Coach and Horses’. The Coach & Horses is an unpretentious modern boozer that’s clear what it does and does it well. And if you like a piece of big screen sport, there’s that too.
The Coach & Horses is also the London’s first vegetarian and vegan pub. They offer delicious dishes from starters to main courses and side dishes. The menu changes seasonally but always includes customer’s favourite dishes. The change of food has been a great success for the pub.
When you travel to London it is a must to grab a pint in one of the many local pubs. Not only is drinking a pint a lot of fun, it is also a big part of the British culture. Most of the pubs got their own unique and outstanding stories, with a lot of friendly landlords aside. Check out one of these (or maybe all if you are in the mood) pubs during your next visit to the city of London. Cheers!