This pub, halfway between Leicester Square and Tottenham Court Road tube stations, is brilliant. As well as a good range of drinks and a yummy menu, it offers loads of live music events all week (from open mic nights to unsigned indie bands and old-time jazz).
Thanks to a new refurbishment the Spice now looks like a slightly garish, eccentric Highland mansion, and it's extra-cosy for sinking winter pints. And best of all the pub's attractions? Three words: Sticky. Toffee. Pudding.
6 Moor St (by the intersection of Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Ave - just next to the big theatre)
One of the things I like in London is the variety of restaurants with so many different kinds of cuisine and flavours. London has everything for everyone's taste. From fish and chips to the most sophisticated dishes. Exotic and ethnic cuisines are to be found in most areas of London. But also traditional English food in many pubs and restaurants like Maggie Jones's in 6 Old Court Place near Kensington High Street .
A real gem of a bar, with a worn in, non-pretentious atmosphere, a wide range of continental beers and a great gastro restaurant attached.
Better still, they have a lovely little beer garden (more yard than garden) at the back. A great little place a little further afield from where the hordes hang out in Islington.
The Alma, 59 Newington Green Road, London, N1 4QU Tel: 02077047601 URL: www.welovelocal.com/en/london/islington/canonbury/pubs/the-alma-n14qu.html
Nearest Station: Highbury and Islington
This small pub was build in 1720. Right on the riverfront of the Thames. Excellent views of the river - good food and beer.
76 Narrow Street Limehouse E14 8BP
A smallish comedy club (capacity is around 120) with a high proportion of students from nearby Goldsmith's College, Happy Mondays Comedy Club manages to consistently pull in a variety of big-name UK comedians for a low price (£6 / £4 conc).
Russell Brand, Daniel Kitson, Phil Nichol, Russell Howard, Stewart Lee and more have all graced the stage in recent months, usually accompanied by some suprising talent from less well known acts.
It's just one stop by train from London Bridge, so pretty easy to get to for a cheap and entertaining night out.
The Amersham Arms, New Cross Road, South London.
Right over the road from New Cross station (BR/underground: East London Line).
More info and line-ups: www.pappysfunclub.co.uk/happymondays
Map to venue: maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=SE14%2B6TY
This pub nestles unexpectedly in a courtyard just off Borough High Street, not far from the southern end of London Bridge.
It’s one of the last surviving coaching inns in London and the only surviving galleried pub. It dates back to medieval times, but the current version dates from 1676 when it was rebuilt after a fire. It’s had Shakespeare and Dickens among its clientele over the years and therein lies the main attraction; it’s one of those places where you can step back in time from the bustle of the city.
The pub was originally built around three sides of the courtyard and must have looked pretty spectacular. Unfortunately two sides were knocked down in the late 1800s to make way for railway warehouses – another blow for progress. The remaining site is owned and run by the National Trust, which hopefully means that there won’t be any more progress for the foreseeable future.
77 Borough High Street, Southwark.
Nearest tube: London Bridge.
While the top end of Brick Lane is firmly the preserve of the East London hipsteratti, even the wall to wall curry houses (with their questionable Time Out Eating accolades) at the other end seem to be receiving contemporary makeovers these days. That this traditional pub just tucked away on Heneage Street has managed to avoid the wrath of the makeover criminals remains something of a miracle. A veritable oasis amidst the noisy buzz of Brick Lane and the nearby corporate dazzle of the City of London, it’s like stepping into a cosy family-run boozer in a friendly little country village.
Heneage Street (just off Brick Lane towards the Whitechapel end)
Get the tube/bus to Hammersmith, then head on down past the Apollo to the riverside. Maybe a bit of 'Sliding Doors' was filmed at one of the pubs down the riverside. Go past the rowing club and have a pint in each of the pubs. The Dove is a fave.
Hammersmith tube or bus station.
Fantasic pub by the river Thames. Great location/setting and excellent food and drink. Recently done up and plenty of outside tables, decks etc. Only drawback is the goose poo on some of the tables!
Queens Road, Thames Ditton - just outside Kingston.
Fantastic Samuel Smith’s pub on Fleet Street. Great Sam Smith's ales - Old Brewery Bitter etc - one of the cheapest brews in London, but still great quality. Friendly staff, good food in 'chop room' and from the bar. The building is fantastic – don’t make the mistake of standing in the small bar at the entrance - there's a whole warren of bars and rooms all over the pub - the basement is particularly good.
145 Fleet Street - look for the illuminated cube sign outside then go up the little alley to the door; nearest tube: City Thameslink.
This is a really nice neighbourhood pub. It sells tasty stone-baked pizzas and has a quiz every Monday night. The people who work there and the people who drink there are welcoming and relaxed.
62 Gowlett Road, East Dulwich, London, SE15 4HY
A cracking, friendly South London pub/comedy club with great acts and a top atmosphere. Perfect antidote to some stuffy West End night spots. Inside, its like a tardis with a maze of coridors and old fashioned function rooms which are packed by 7 on weekends. Comedian's who have cut their teeth at the famous 'banana caberet' include Dave Gorman, David Baddiel and Ross Noble. Get there early!
77 Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 9HD, www.thebedford.co.uk, 020 8682 8940
A great, cosy pub with reasonably priced drinks right in the heart of the West End. Fireside downstairs, friendly bar staff, relaxed vibe, old-style, no-nonsense interior... I've been in Australia for 2 years and am going home for Christmas... save me a seat and a pint of that lager I can't pronounce!
Kingly Street. Turn off Regent Street onto Beak Street, first left, it's on your right. Nearest tube Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus.
Pub - Bang in the centre of Berwick street this pub offers fine ales, a tip-top jukebox and lush red wallpaper. Can become overstuffed with media ya-hoos but try it on a Saturday afternoon for a slow-burning booze up when you can soak up the sounds of the market traders and insulate yourself from the biting cold of a London winter.
Berwick Street - Neraest Tube - Leicester Square/ Picadilly Circus
Great 'gastro-pub' - but not the usual dump done up with church chairs, this place is a preserved gem. The ceilings and details inside are worth the trip alone. Also has good beers, food and the crowd is decent too - the area itself has a few other good pubs/restaurants and a great theatre/cinema across the road, not the Kilburn of years ago!
Kilburn High Road, 5 mins walk right out of Kilburn tube or 2 mins from Brondesbury Silverlink.
Used to be the Duke of Wellington's officers mess, and is now arguably the smallest pub in London, located on the edge of Belgravia. It's certainly still old fashioned, dark and atmospheric and is said to have one of the old soldiers as a ghost. There's an equally small (20-seater) restaurant at the rear with a good reputation. Pub speciality - Bloody Mary.
Wilton Row, SW1
Tube: Hyde Park Corner
It was once my local pub. I was born and bred in London Fields, and this was a beacon of the community: good beer, a boules pit in the back garden and, during the summer, local cricket or football. Someone generally has a guitar or sings a song and people listen while chilling on the grass.
It was an intimate, friendly place - it's lost its intimacy because it's more popular now, but its still a great place for a summer day's relaxing. Take a picnic...
Pub On The Park
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