Christmas 2015: Ten cosy fireside pubs in London
Whether you’re desperate for shelter from the (occasionally) harsh English winter, or just looking for somewhere you and your friends can meet to exchange gifts and catch up over the holidays, there’s no better option than the quintessential fireside pub. Here are ten of the most popular in London.
The Gun, Docklands
A sophisticated gastropub with a more traditional side, The Gun offers both open fireplaces replete with luxurious armchairs, and a riverside terrace with a stunning view across the Thames to the O2 Arena and beyond. The pub itself dates back to the 19th century, and is near the former home of Admiral Nelson, making it a vital pit-stop for history buffs.
For further information about The Gun, 27 Coldharbour, London E14 9NS visit here.
The Dove, Hammersmith
A charming old pub with all of the old oak trappings that proclaim tradition and homeliness, The Dove also boasts an open fireplace and an impressive riverside view. Also on offer are board games, a selection of Fullers beers and hearty British cuisine, as well as the world’s smallest bar room – Guinness-approved!
For further information about The Dove, 19 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, London W6 9TA visit here.
The Old Red Lion, Kennington
Converted toilet stalls offer both cosiness and privacy as snug seating alcoves in this Tudor-style pub, the perfect environment in which to out-drink the winter nights. Mulled wine and ale alike are on offer here, as well as a strong selection of pub grub and blankets for those who simply must go outside.
For further information about The Old Red Lion, 42 Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4RS visit here.
The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead
Located just next door to Hampstead Heath, the Spaniards Inn is the perfect place to finish up after a long morning of walking in a winter wonderland. Famously frequented by both Keats and Dickens, the pub is referenced in The Pickwick Papers and has maintained a pleasantly Dickensian aesthetic both inside and out.
For further information about The Spaniards Inn, Spaniards Road, Hampstead, London NW3 7JJ visit here.
The Southampton Arms, Kentish Town
Opting for a more simplistic feel, the Southampton Arms is bedecked with little more than bare floorboards, light-bulbs and a plainly tiled fireplace. The pub allows its expansive selection of hand-pumped beers and ciders, as well as its meat-based menu, to speak for themselves. Locals and pets are both common sights here.
For further information about The Southampton Arms, 139 Highgate Road, London NW5 1LE visit here.
The Antelope, Tooting
With three open fires available in this quaint gastropub, warmth is in good supply, although a decent fireside spot may be harder to come by. Originally founded in the 1800s, the Antelope combines locally sourced ales and European cuisine, just as it amalgamates stained glass, wood panels and communal seating.
For further information about The Antelope, 76 Mitcham Road, London SW17 9NG visit here.
William IV, Hoxton
Fireside sofas bring the cosiness factor at the William IV, but that’s far from all that’s on offer. A variety of real ales, a dependable menu of home-made British food and a selection of board games and newspapers to choose from make this the perfect place to shelter from the cold.
For further information about William IV, 7 Shepherdess Walk, London N1 7QE visit here.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, Fleet Street
Reputed to be one of the city’s oldest pubs, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese has been standing since the Great Fire of London, and today houses a great fire of its own. With a prestigious historical clientele featuring Dickens, Tennyson and Conan Doyle this small pub, now run by Samuel Smith, is nonetheless extremely welcoming both in terms of character and in price.
For further information about The Cheshire Cheese, 48 Crutched Friars, London EC3N 2AP visit here.
The Holly Bush, Hampstead
Another walkers’ haven near Hampstead Heath, the Holly Bush offers a similar aesthetic to its neighbour The Spaniards Inn. With two fires, a weather forecast blackboard and snug wooden booths available, this pub is equal parts period television set and perfect winter hideaway.
For further information about The Holly Bush, 22 Hollymount, London NW3 6SG visit here.
Three Kings of Clerkenwell, Clerkenwell
The décor of this establishment is eclectic in the extreme, with ornaments ranging from old photographs and fairy lights to an Egyptian jackal in plaster and a large-scale fibreglass rhinoceros head. Nevertheless, a coal fire ensures this pub, which sometimes hosts live music, stays toasty through the winter.
For further information about Three Kings, 7 Clerkenwell Close, London EC1R 0DY visit here.