Favourite pubs

So, we’ve been getting around London’s pubs, and not just on these Friday evening crawls; which are the best?

Obviously, there is no right answer – everyone will have their own opinions. And, if you’re like me, the right pub at any given moment may vary. Do I feel like somewhere lively or quiet? Drink after work on a Friday, or lazy Sunday afternoon? Sunny, cold, or wet weather? Who am I with, and are they visitors to London or fellow natives? Where am I starting from?

Given all of this, I can’t very well say categorically what is the best pub in London. But I can try to pass on some of my top tips about where to go, depending on your needs.

My first tips are given below; I’ll be adding to the list though, so keep checking back.

Just here for the (British) beer?

Looking to track down the best pint in London? Well there is stiff competition for this title, and of course every pint is different. But you could do worse than try the Wenlock Arms, N1. It is a slightly shabby place, to be perfectly honest; I wouldn’t recommend taking a girl there on a date. But if you’re only here for the beer, this place is fantastic. They have about 8 ales on handpump, and always interesting beers in tip-top condition.
Another reason to head there is that is is currently for sale, and therefore potentially may be about to change or even close; if your pockets aren’t too deep, pop along and buy a few pints, you wont’ regret it. If you can stretch to £650k, why not buy the whole pub? Just don’t mess with the beer…


Traditional local

If you like your pubs traditional and find yourself in the East End, you could do worse than call in at the Palm Tree, in Mile End Park. It stands alone now within the canalside park, its neighbouring streets largely demolished to create the modern open space. Step into the pub, though, and you could have walked into the 1970s, with the pub keeping its traditional two-bar layout, traditional furniture, thick red curtains and low lighting, and even a 40-year old manual till. More importantly, the welcome is friendly and heartfelt, with the pub remaining in the same family for years.

The 1970s reference only goes so far though; in the key area of beer choice and quality, standards are rather higher than the typical 1970s pubs, and the clientele is certainly more diverse; everyone seems to be welcome in the Palm Tree. To top it off, there is free music in the pub from Wednesday to Sunday nights. Highly recommended.


American beers

Those used only to the appalling mass-market American “beers” like Budweiser or Miller Lite may be surprised to note that not only does America produce beers with actual flavour, they actually make a vast amount and variety of beers. Now I wouldn’t want you to think that the Rake doesn’t sell great British beers, because it does; but it also seems to have the finest selection of American beers I’ve seen this side of the pond. Don’t let Bud put you off; as the sign above the Rake’s bar says, there’s no crap on tap here, so go along and sample some of America’s finest beers right here in SE1, or go with one of their fine British or German beers, of which there are also many.


Lazy sunny afternoon?

Sunny day? Want some fresh air and peace and quiet to go with your pint? I’d recommend you top up that Oyster card or dust off your Travelcard and head upriver. Take the District line or Overground to Gunnersbury, or National Rail to Kew Bridge, and go to Strand on the Green, and enjoy a pint sitting on the riverside. I’ve marked the City Barge on the map below, but there are one or two others as well; it’s more location, location, location than the pub itself; grab a beer inside and drink it outside.
Head down there and find one you like or with the most space, or just do the lot.


Penchant for Belgian beer?

So the Eurostar’s a but pricey just for a few beers, and you don’t want to go to a chain place in the centre of town. What to do?
Fear not, Hackney is at hand. Make a beeline for The Dove, handily located for Broadway Market, if not for the tube. (Nearest stations are Hoxton or Haggerston on the Overground, or Cambridge Heath National Rail; Bethnal Green tube is an option but bit of a walk).
The Dove is a wonderful Belgian bar, with a fine array of both British and Belgian beers, and (allegedly) the best Bloody Marys in east London. Can’t vouch for the Bloody Mary bit (though my wife said it was good if a bit spicy) but can vouch for the beers, which are excellent. Have yet to try the food but it certainly looks the business.



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  1. Leicester square is my fav!

  2. Hey, please check out my recent article about the best historic Pubs in London, it would be nice to see them listed in London Pub Crawls: http://www.londonproperty.co.uk/2014/09/londons-best-historic-pubs/

    • I like this idea. We are always looking for inspiration for articles that pull our knowledge together. It might take a while to organise but thanks for the great idea. Been to all your pubs!!!

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