The Handbook
The Handbook

For most of us a day spent lying by the pool sounds idyllic, but for a small number of you that so sounds perfect that you need to rush inside to get your cue. Pool, the less challenging, American, version of snooker, is a great way to relax or show off, improve skills or just an excuse to drink and enjoy some of the seedier bars in London. But what if I told you there were classier ways to play pool? Rack ’em up, here are some of the better pool places in town.

Sanderson Hotel

The Billard Room at Sanderson London is, rather misleadingly, actually a pool room and rather an impressive one at that. Dominated by a two storey 1950s stained glass window, designed by John Piper for what once was the headquarters of wallpaper manufacturers Arthur Sanderson, now Sanderson London, the room also sports a silver-leafed pool table. Along with furniture made from antlers, and other style ‘loge-style’ features, this Sanderson is nothing short of a memorable place for a game of pool.

Where: 50 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NG, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Goodge Street (0.4 miles)
Website: www.sandersonlondon.com

1920 Bar

Self-described as ‘a swanky bar with pool tables’, 1920 variously calls itself 19:20 Bar, 1920 Bar and nineteentwenty, the one thing that is consistent is the quality of the pool. The underground venue has seven of them and even enjoys the services of a resident pro.

Where: 9-20 Great Sutton Street, Clerkenwell, EC1V 0DR
Website: www.19-20.co.uk

Heist Bank

Heist Bank, in Paddington, plays host to pool and pizza. Close to the Grand Union canal, the restaurant specialises in slow ferment pizzas, local craft beer and, of course, pool thanks to the table downstairs (alongside table football (fußball, if you must)), classic Nintendo and karaoke.

Where: 5 North Wharf, Paddington, W2 1LA
Website: www.heistbank.com

Original Sin

Would you Adam and Eve it? Original Sin is pretty darn good. That is, if you’re after an evening playing pool and hanging out in Stoke Newington (not quite the Garden of Eden, even the most ardent of hipster will agree). Basement bar Original Sin is brought to us by the same folks who created Happiness Forgets, and it doesn’t disappoint. Especially when it comes to cocktails, as well as the free pool table that dominates the end of this narrow bar.

Where: 129 Stoke Newington High Street,, Stoke Newington, N16 0PH
Website: www.originalsin.bar

Greenwood

The Nova Building may not be pretty, but that doesn’t mean the venues inside this carbuncle building can’t impress or delight. Mega-bar Greenwood is excellent when it’s not rammed full of post-work Victoria people (or during an important match: top tip), but if pool’s not your thing (and why have you read this far if it’s not) then you’ve also got the chance to brush up on your shuffleboard skills as there’s a pair.

Where: 170 Victoria Street, Westminster, SW1E 5LB
Website: www.greenwoodlondon.com

Number 1 London

It might not be the biggest sports bar in London, or even south of the river, but Number 1 London is keen for you to know that it’s the biggest sports bar in London Bridge. Okay, yes, so that’s really quite a small area, and to be fair I can only think of one other sports bar in the vicinity, but true to their word Number 1 London are, indeed, larger. And with five pool tables you’ll be in a great position to make use of their number 1 (hyper local) status on the roominess front as you rack em up and play to your heart’s content.

Where: 1 Duke St Hill, Borough, SE1 2SW
Website: www.n1bar.com