Our Guide To… The Best London Pubs

Wednesday 18th February 2015

Why: If you’re in the King’s Road area then make sure to head to The Imperial which has become a firm local favourite. This British pub, which sees Tom Hope as head chef, is the perfect place for an afternoon retreat. If you are looking to while away the hours on a lazy Sunday, The Handbook would definitely recommend grabbing a table in their snug garden which is a laid back place in which to swing back those bloody Mary’s after a heavy night.

Where: 577 King’s Road, London, SW6 2EH


Why: If you are looking for a country retreat without leaving the haven that is London, The Handbook recommends heading to The Grazing Goat, which is the perfect substitute to your country pub, minus the mud. This cosy establishment is run by the Cubitt House Group, and comes complete with all the trimmings of your favourite local, including open fireplaces and wooden panelling. Combine the warming décor with the delightful British menu on offer and The Grazing Goat will quickly become your home away from home. Oh, and did we mention you could stay there too…

Where: 6 New Quebec Street, London, W1H 7RQ


Why: No pub ranking would be complete without the addition of The White Horse. Set on the corner of Parsons Green, the pub sees freshly graduated Londoners in their hundreds flocks to its bespectacled halls daily. It is one of those all-purpose pubs: fit for first dates, break-ups or a drama free afternoon. Not only does it promise a great setting in which to kick back with friends, but also an innovative menu filled to the brim with British charm.

Where: 1-3 Parsons Green, London, Greater London, SW6 4UL


Why: If a quintessentially British pub is what you are after, there is no better place to try than The Dove; Rule Britannia was composed there after all. This pub is steeped in history attracting the scandalous relations of Charles II and his mistress in the 1790s and more recently an array of writers, actors and politicians who just cannot get enough of the river views. Speaking of the views, it has been coined the perfect spot for catching a glimpse of the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race, although feel prepared to be snug as the pub has also won the Guinness World Record for the Smallest Room in the world.

Where: The Dove 19 Upper Mall Hammersmith London W6 9TA


Why: The Lady Ottoline is the perfect little pub in Bloomsbury. Downstairs you can pull up a pew by the open wood-burning fire and settle in for a long, lazy laidback lunch – you can even bring your dog so you’ll feel right at home. Upstairs you’ll find the cosy, candlelit dining room, great for mid-week suppers. The menu is suitably British with dishes including salted cod croquettes with saffron aioli and pork and cider pie with broccoli.

Where: 11A Northington Street, London WC1N 2JF


Why: It was once the stomping ground of the likes of George Orwell and John Constable, and today it attracts London’s best hop connoisseurs. Decorated with a mix of etched mirrors and wood panels, the inside of the pub will seem a world away from the hustle and bustle of Soho. This is certainly one for those with a penchant for beer.

Where: 18 Bateman Street, London, Greater London, W1D 3AJ


Why: Despite an offering of football being very much on the cards at this pub, do not expect to find any football stadium behaviour. No, this pub which is part of the Simmons family, should be your go to place for craft beers and cocktails in teacups. In keeping with the Alice in Wonderland feel, you can also create your very own custom-made Bloody Mary: the Sharey Mary, as well as indulge in the fun bar snacks on offer. Did someone say scotched eggs?

Where: 358 Fulham Road London, SW10 9UU


Why: Set in the heart of Mayfair (the real one, not the one found on your Monopoly board), The Punchbowl is one of London’s oldest pubs. Whilst British pub classics are at the heart of the establishment, they are all presented with a foodie twist, adding something different to your usual pub experience. If you want to be transported to a 1950s British summer, we would recommend tucking into their take on fish and chips. Never has freshly battered fish tasted so good.

Where: 41 Farm Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 5RP


Why: If you have dedicated 2015 to spending more times with your friends than attached to your phone/tablet/latest technological innovation, we recommend trying out The French House in Soho. The pub is dedicated to promoting good conversation and as such has enforced a ban on music, mobile phones and machines. If the lack of TVs on the premises fills you with dread, the 30 different champagnes and wines on offer will certainly help to get some conversation flowing!

Where: 49 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 5BG


Why: With a whole host of awards under its belt, the 270 year old pub, The Princess of Shoreditch is place to go for seriously good food. This is no usual pub grub, oh no, here you’ll find dishes like flat iron, chimichurri, fried eggs and fries as well as truffle polenta, pink radicchio, Jerusalem artichokes, parmesan and hazelnut vinaigrette.

Where: 76–78 Paul Street London EC2A 4NE


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