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London's Best Pubs

The Domesday Book records that, in the 11th century, St. Paulís Cathedral brewed 67,000 gallons of ale a year. London has changed greatly since then but her spiritual heart remains the traditional English pub. Even when we spend an evening away from our local weíre glued to our televisions, watching the punters of The Queen Vic and The Roverís Return. Below, we tell you about some of LondonTown.comís  favourite boozers.

The Sir Richard Steele

97 Haverstock Hill, NW3
This is less a pub and more a treasure trove of obscure and amusing artefacts such as reindeer heads and dusty paintings. Named after Richard Steele (1672-1729), the famous Irish politician, essayist and Hampstead resident it boasts a relaxed and creative atmosphere.
 
The North London glitterati are among those who like to sink a pint, the Gallaghers, Chris Evans, Paul Weller and Dennis Pennis are all regulars. Two cosy rooms and a ceiling festooned with fairy lights create a magical air of intimacy occasionally disturbed by football matches on the large screen. The beer, bric-a-brac and regular live acoustic sessions combine to make the Steeles a perfect winter warmer.
 

The Effra

38 Kellett Road, SW2
This traditional Jamaican pub doubles as a hang-out for bright young things. The Effra is the perfect place to soak up the distinctive South London vibe with regular live reggae and jazz nights a popular feature.
 
Enjoy a pint of Red Stripe and a glass of rum, shoot some pool or watch the games of dominoes that have been played in the same spot since the first West Indians arrived in Brixton two generations ago. A lively night out is guaranteed for all!
 

 
London's Best Pubs

The Hollybush


22 Holly Mount, NW3
The Hollybush is the quintessential London pub. Built in 1643 it has changed little over the centuries. Hidden in the attractive back alleys of Hampstead the Holly Bush is a cosy warren of small rooms, giving it a distinct homely feel. A roaring coal fire in winter, great beers and great gastro grub make this an ideal place to while away a weekend afternoon.
 

 

Cittie of Yorke

22 High Holborn, WC1V
Medieval England comes alive inside this historic pub. The cavernous main bar is filled with carved oak panels, ornate metalwork and resembles a Tudor drinking hall far more than an inner city drinking den. The only give away being the crowds of city suits who flock there  for lunch time and after-work boozing in the tiny booths.
 
The smaller bar at the front features paintings of former local luminaries such as William Morris, Charles Dickens and Dr Johnson. The downstairs bar is the old cellar of the original coffee house which stood on this site in 1430 when it was known as Gray's Inn Coffee House. Food is served 12:00-21:00 and the various room are available for private hire.
 

The Dove

19 Upper Mall, W6
The Dove is one of Londonís best loved riverside taverns. This charming seventeenth century inn is tucked away down a tiny alley and features the smallest snug bar in the country. Former regulars include the poet James Thomson who lived upstairs and wrote Rule Brittania in the bar.
 
The Dove is not just famous for its history, it offers some of the best traditional pub food in West London. Try their fresh fish and chips or exotic Spanish Chicken in a tomato sauce with chorizo sausage. Vegetarians are well catered for with rotating specials. Come on a warm summer evening and soak up the views from their terrace or sit by the cosy fire on a chilly winter night.
 

The Bull and Gate

389 Kentish Town Road, NW5
This North London dive is the epicentre of the capital's live music scene. Bands of all shapes, styles and sizes have graced its stage at various points in their careers from Blur to Interspace. New bands can tout their wares to the hoardes of A&R men who flock to the midweek gigs.
 
Friendly locals, surly bar staff, and a general patina of grime over everything set the scene during the day. In the evening it becomes a surging pit of Rock Kids, Goths, Metallers, Skaters, D-list music celebs and the other rulers of Londonís underground. Anyone whoís ever had a trace of punk in their soul will love it.
 
 

The Wenlock Arms

26 Wenlock Road, N1
A mecca for Londonís beer connoisseurs, this pub, originally built in 1835, was reopened by real ale enthusiasts in 1994. Its award winning real ales, ciders, Belgian beers and pale ales are the perfect compliment to the traditional pub grub and roaring fire that give the pub its unique warmth. 
 
A comfortable mixture of local characters come to enjoy the friendly atmosphere, pub quizzes and live jazz evenings. Impromptu cockney signing is sometimes an attraction and they make a mean salt beef sandwich.
 

The Bricklayers Arms

63 Charlotte Rd, EC2A
This bohemian boozer was an integral part of the Shoreditch explosion. Tucked away down a cobbled East End alley it is was originally a mecca for local artists, loft dwellers and the odd genuine geeza. Everything about the Bricklayerís is alternative from the wackily dressed clientele down to the ecletic music policy. 
 
Drinks are reasonably priced and the upstairs restaurant serves an appetising mix of Thai and traditional British food. In summer the mulleted crowds spill out onto the outside tables and mingle with punters from all the other surrounding trendy bars, pubs and clubs. Although the number of city suits is rising in the area, this place is still at the beating heart of boho.
 
 

Admiral Duncan

54 Old Compton Street, W1D
This once staid gay pub has been the subject of much media attention in the wake of 1999ís tragic bomb attack. Today, it is a gathering place for the gay community and one of Sohoís most visited drinking spots. New additions include a small dancefloor, bright dťcor and funky live music nights.
 
The Admiral Duncan has become a symbol of the gay communityís resistance to oppression and gained a place in Londonís history. There is no better place to soak up the unique atmosphere of a gay scene that is among the worldís largest and most influential.
 

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