Autumn in London's Pubs
As the luxuriant green of an English summer fades into rich chocolate, coffee and auburn mounds of leaves, and the days hastily shorten, the doors of London's pubs open welcomingly to summon you inwards. Visiting London and not allocating some time to get acquainted with the city’s hostelries would be like visiting Egypt and avoiding the Pyramids. Squeeze up by the bar to natter with the locals or find a snug alcove to take over with your friends. This is an autumn pursuit that nowhere else in the world can quite compete with.
The George InnBorough High Street, Southwark, SE1
Once upon a time, Borough High Street - leading up to London Bridge from Canterbury - had gangs of coaching inns crowded on either side. The George Inn is all that remains of these traditional stop-offs for pilgrims, merchants and travellers. It nearly disappeared too when the Great Northern Railway demolished part of it to make way for a depot around the turn of last century.
The Flask77 Highgate West Hill, N6
One of the villages lost to London’s urban sprawl, Highgate does at least retain a modicum of rustic charm, community atmosphere and a fine local pub. The beautiful building is one of the village’s oldest and dates back to the early 18th century. Through the low doorway, over the ancient wooden floorboards, into the various interconnected bars; the Flask is as cosy as they get. It might not be as antiquated as it once was – sturdy wooden tables and chairs have given way to more contemporary low tables, leather sofas and poufs – but it still has a pleasant, age-old air about it.
The Flask - Information | Hotels near The Flask
The Cove1 The Piazza, Covent Garden, WC2E
Overlooking Covent Garden Piazza, The Cove is a world away from the crowds outside. Tucked up in a worn, leather armchair under the pub’s low, beamed ceiling you’ll feel like you might be relaxing in a country pub. And that’s exactly the idea: this Cornish theme pub wants to whisk you away to the depths of the South West. Vitally - as well as importing the décor - they seem to have created that authentic, stress-free ambience slap-bang in the middle of London.
Hemingford Arms158 Hemingford Road, Islington, N1
Tucked away in the sleepy back streets, the Hemingford isn’t screaming at customers “come, drink here!” - it doesn’t need to. This place already has a shining reputation with locals and knowledgeable visitors alike.
Hemingford Arms - Information | Hotels near Hemingford Arms
The White Swan26 Old Palace Lane, Richmond, TW9
Emulating its flesh and blood namesakes, The White Swan sits perched on the north bank of the Thames. Built in the 17th century, it’s seen a great deal of history float past, be it on royal barges or merchants' vessels. The river regularly bursts its banks at this point which is why the pub is raised up, although it’s suffered flooding on many occasions in the past.
The Windsor Castle114 Campden Hill Road, Notting Hill, W8
Tradition, tradition, tradition! As the colder months draw in The Windsor Castle prepares in the most time-honoured of ways. Pull up a stool next to the open fire and sip from a piping glass of mulled wine. Folk have been warming up around the fireplaces here since 1835 and this year will be no exception.
The Elk in the Woods39 Camden Passage, Islington, N1
This is more of a restaurant than a pubs, but there’s no problem if you fancy stopping by for just a drink. It’s certainly off the beaten track but just not very far. Duck down an alley away from the humming milieu of Upper Street and you’ll suddenly be in the calm of Camden Passage and its delightful book and antique shops.
The Elk in the Woods - Information | Hotels near The Elk in the Woods
The Black Lion274 Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, NW6
Once a grubby, nicotine-stained, Guinness-soaked boozer, a tidy refit has breathed new life into the attractive Victorian frame we all thought had been abandoned to decay. Kilburn has been jealous of trendy, next-door West Hampstead for sometime but now, finally, it has been dosed with an injection of style and this looks to be just the beginning.
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