Pubs are a way of life all over the UK, but no place more so than in London. Boasting more than 3,500 pubs across the British capital, the city’s public houses are where it’s at when it comes to post-work pints, Friday night sessions, and slow Sunday afternoon meet-ups with friends.
While they’re great in summer, pubs in London really come into their own in winter. This time of year makes them the cosiest, most comfortable places to be. There’s nothing quite like cosying up with friends in a pub with a roaring fire, music, and the murmur of other Londoners filling the air. Here we highlight 10 of the cosiest winter pubs in London to give you some inspiration.
The Ivy House, Nunhead
Laying claim to the title of London’s first cooperatively owned pub, The Ivy House is a friendly place to be. As well as live music performances on its sparkling stage and a family-friendly feel, this pub in South London is set in a Grade II listed building, meaning it looks the part as well. The open fire here wins the day – especially if you can win a seat by it.
The French House, Soho
This iconic Soho institution is what many would call a “proper boozer” – it’s a traditional London pub through and through. It opened up as a pub in 1891 and hasn’t looked back since. Come in here on a winter’s day and you’ll be pleased you did, warming up with a snack or a pint as you take a (probably) well earned rest from the cold wintry London streets.
John Snow, Soho
Also situated in the pub-littered landscape of Soho, the John Snow is not named – as you might be imagining – after the Game of Thrones character. It’s actually named after a local hero. A doctor who managed to trace the source of an 1854 cholera outbreak, contributing to the field of epidemiology. Part of the Sam Smith’s pub franchise, John Snow is easy on the wallet and has a second-floor bar (complete with fireplace) that’s a joy to sit in.
The Virgin Queen, Haggerston
If you’re looking for something suitably old-looking when it comes to a cosy pub in London, then you should definitely make some time for The Virgin Queen. This Haggerston pub is all about its ornately carved wood panels and roaring fire, which radiates warmth for a welcoming spot to duck in on a winter’s day.
The George Inn, Borough
A stone’s throw from the popular Borough Market, The George Inn is the only London pub that’s actually owned and managed by the National Trust. That’s partly because of the impossibly charming interiors. The 17th-century building features original wood-beamed ceilings and plenty of cubby holes to occupy on a cold January evening.
The Cadogan Arms, Chelsea
If you find yourself wandering around affluent Chelsea and you’re in desperate need of a cosy London pub, look no further than the Cadogan Arms. The big selling point here is the fireplace. If you manage to bag the big, sinkable seats right by the fire (seasonally decorated for wintry
vibes), you won’t want to move ever again.
The Holly Bush, Hampstead
Dickensian is a word you might want to use when describing The Holly Bush. That’s because this 18th-century London pub is decked out like something from yesteryear. It’s the ideal R&R spot to refuel after a wintry walk around Hampstead Heath: the coal and wood-burning fire will
see to that.
Pineapple, Kentish Town
Another option after a bracing winter stroll on the Heath is Pineapple. This charming, cosy pub is very understandably a popular one with locals. So, chances are you might not get a seat right by the fireplace. That’s ok, though: there’s plenty of stuff here to keep you occupied on a chilly Sunday afternoon. Enjoy a drink with board games and books galore.
The Castle, Walthamstow
This family friendly pub in East London’s Walthamstow Village area is the place to be in winter. The walls are lined with old books, there’s a piano that people sometimes play tunes on, and there’s even a fireplace adding to the cosy vibes of the place. Sunday roast dinners here can be positively dreamy.
The Salisbury, Harringay
With its worn wooden floors, wood panelling, leather armchairs, and gorgeous fireplace, you’ll have a tricky time getting a fireside seat at The Salisbury. It’s easily one of the cosiest pubs in London though. Beer fans will be pleased: draft beers here are constantly changing, so it’s
a good place to be if you’re in the mood for trying something new.
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