London has a reputation for some of the greatest pubs in the world, and these are a handful of my current favourites.
There is one pub for every 2346 people living in London (in zone 1) according to CAMRA (the campaign for real ale). That’s a grand total of 3823 pubs in one city.
What makes a great pub experience for me? A great location, modern interiors, an excellent menu with good food, great service and diverse wines by the glass.
A pleasant outdoor area for the summertime is a bonus. And I like a good, well rounded crowd of patrons.
Best For: The Glam Set
This gorgeous pub was bought by Guy Ritchie & David Beckham about 2 years ago & has been completely refurbished.
It is small but neat and tidy, and feels like a country pub located in Fitzrovia.
The high stools outside are a great place to hang in summer & there’s a restaurant on the first floor that is sensational.
They do a fantastic Sunday roast with all the trimmings and a very elegant menu at other times. Meats come from Ritchie’s own farm.
Excellent wines by the glass & bottle and you may catch a glimpse of the famous owners – Ritchie and his beautiful wife are often there on weekends.
Even the bathrooms are glam with luxe hand products to use.
Best For: A fantastic meal at a reasonable price
Owned by singer James Blunt, this small but tidy pub is earning a reputation for some of the best food in Chelsea.
The dining room has a glass atrium style ceiling, and gorgeous leather banquets as well as country style seating with fresh flowers around.
The menu is excellent and includes daily specials and a broad list of entrees and mains. Desserts are exceptional and usually include a soufflé and a chocolate option – both of which are always amazing.
The front bar is a lot of fun on weekends and there’s even a darts board. Solid international wine list.
Best for: A quiet pint or two and a bite
This glorious light filled little pub IS part of a chain, but is still a fabulous place to meet friends, have a great gastro meal and enjoy the best of Belgravia.
Located in a unique little pedestrianised section of trendy Belgravia, this pub is two storey with tables outside. There are also banquets inside where the top notch pub food can be enjoyed.
This handsome boozer is great on Saturday nights when it is heaving with locals and travellers enjoying the scene and spilling onto the road.
There are wines for every budget including a great red by the glass for £5
Best For: Families
This pub is huge by London standards and the best time to go is in summer when the sweeping court yard is full of group tables (book ahead) with people excited to be there.
The patio is a mix of decking and patios and smart garden chairs and umbrellas.
They all sit under huge trees in a manicured yard you don’t often see in London, overlooked by elegant neighbouring Georgian style houses.
There is a gorgeous tent in the courtyard in summer specialising in kids meals as well as casual grown up melas from burgers to ribs.
And the kitchen inside has a diverse offering of gourmet meals as well as wines.
The interiors are also huge and include various dining sections and bars as well as huge skylights in the ceilings, wood panelling and leather.
Best For: Fussy, Healthy, Sustainable Eaters
Over time, this fabulous north London pub has become more and more about the food. It was London’s first organic gastro pub in 1998, well ahead of its time.
And the creative organic menu means most nights you have to book to get in. The menu is seasonal, and only features local meat and produce. The menu is extensive and usually includes starter plates to share, broth based dishes which are a meal in themselves as well as the usual mains you’d expect at a gastro pub.
The concept was founded by Geetie Singh, who grew up in a commune and became disillusioned with the lack of sustainability in restaurants.
She’s now married to Guy Watson who through his company veg-box delivers over 50,000 boxes a week around the UK, and now his farms supply the restaurant. These people are serious about healthy, sustainable food.
The dining area is in two sections, and the interiors are smart but understated. Even the tables and chairs are recycled. And massive windows let in plenty of light, even in winter.
Best For: Time with friends
This pub is an institution with locals in the area due perhaps to the combination of multiple drinking spots as well as locations around the restaurant to dine in.
Located on a corner, the front bar is small, but large enough to create a great atmosphere all year round and there is always an excellent seasonal cocktail list.
There is a section behind the bar to sit and relax with comfy seats, large windows and an open fire in winter.
Next door, the spacious dining room is a great place for a meal, but there are also dining sections downstairs when you can also sit.
A solid menu, and daily specials on the blackboard make this a great place to spend an afternoon hanging out.