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Dec 10, 2013 03:50 PM

Pubs in London


I have three London pub-related questions.

1. What are the two or three best pubs to visit for classic English beers -- ales, barley wines, etc.?
2. What are the two or three best pubs to visit for artisanal, not necessarily traditional English beers? (Like lots of stuff on tap, "craft" beers, etc.)
3. Where might I find the most authentic IRISH pub experience in London (I'm thinking a perfect Guinness), if that's even possible.


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  1. The Blythe Hill Tavern, Forest Hill (IRISH)

    Boston Arms - http://www.bostonarms.co.uk/ - never been, looks like a dump from the outside (IRISH


    Harp Covent Garden - one of the best pubs in central London (IRISH and CLASSIC ENGLISH PINTS)

    Craft Beer Co (various locations): (CRAFT BEER)

    Brew Dog - Scottish brewer w pubs in london (CRAFT BEER)

    Cask Pub and Kitchen (CRAFT & TRADITIONAL)

    1. One thing about London is that there are so many good pubs you are rarely very far from one - might be worth letting us know where you're based/staying as that might get you some good local recommendations.

      For 2 particularly I love the Craft Beer Co on Leather Lane and the Cask SW1 which fulfills both I think. The Rake at London Bridge is small but very good as well or the Old Red Cow in Smithfield or the Sebright Arms to the east .

      You can visit the Camden brewery by Kentish Town West Station and they do flights of all their different beers.

      8 Replies
      1. re: ManInTransit

        Agreed. If you haven't visited London before you won't be aware, but pubs with good ales are, at the very furthest, a few blocks away from any point in the capital.

        1. re: ManInTransit

          Thanks. I will be staying at The Beauchamp on Bedford Place near Russell Square. I don't mind traveling, however, for "the best" of whatever.

          1. re: guanubian

            Lucky ducky, there are a few good pubs nearby.

            Not my favorite beer (Sam Smiths, lots of people like it tho), but the terrific Princess Louis is the finest example of a Victorian pub in London (or at least one of the best, whatevs). Same beer, and possibly an even better interior is the Cittie of York on High Holborn. Worth checking out for sure!

            Great selection of bottled beer, and quite a few taps is the Draft House on Goodge Street. Also, the Euston Tap nearby as well, has great craft beers.

            Enjoy the lash!

            1. re: brokentelephone

              I will confess to enjoying the Cittie of York - feels very archaic and legal.

              You're very close to the Craft Beer Co on Leather Lane I mentioned earlier. There's also the Lowlander Grand Cafe on Drury lane.

              1. re: ManInTransit

                Why confess? It's an amazing pub (though Sam Smith beer is not my best).

                Oh, kind of nearby near the LSE is the Seven Stars which is a great pub with a house cat and loads of barristers post-work. Very unique to London, though can be an absolute nightmare to get to the bar.

                Probably my favorite pub which I forgot to mention is the Southampton Arms in Kentish Town. They only sell small brewery beers and excel in ciders. Very worth trekking to, especially if you go to the Bull & Last as well for food or drink.

                1. re: brokentelephone

                  Only because I don't think Sam Smiths is the best beer going - it's good value and the pub is beautiful but for a focused beer-hound oblivious to decor it might not be the top choice.

                  Southampton Arms is a fantastic pub, ages since I've been though.

                2. re: ManInTransit

                  +1 for craft beer company in leather lane. But they do get very busy later in the week.

                  If you're out that way, a couple of minutes walk is the Gunmakers, which is a lovely pub that has nice real ales, and is quite a bit less manic than the Craft is. (Gunmakers is closed sat-sun.)

              2. re: guanubian

                If you want a decent pub with English beers near where you're staying then I'd suggest the Marquis Cornwallis on Marchmont St. Also you're not staying far from the KIng and Queen on Foley Street or the Bree Louise near Euston Station.

                For craft beers you're there's the Euston Tap also near Euston Station, but there's hardly any room which isn't too bad in the summer when you can use the tables outside. wouldn't fancy it at the mo.

                The best Irish pub I know of is the Gipsy Hill Tavern near Gipsy Hill station but might be a bit far out.It's my closest pub and the landlord Frank is great but don't drink there often as there's only lager and Guinness on (Guinness is good though) and they show hurling and Gaelic football.

            2. Not really my area of expertise, but I do happen to know about a website & book that you might like. It's a guide with reviews of many, many pubs.

                1. For (2) - Kernel Brewery on Spa Road.