London’s best bars and pubs as chosen by Lonely Planet Staff and Twitter followers
It’s about time the London office put together a rundown of the best pubs in London. After all what trip to London would be complete without a swift half in a traditional alehouse? And who knows London better than the residents of the local Lonely Planet office?
Our staffers and Twitter followers have offered up their top tips for where to retire after a long day exploring the capital; from edgy Stoke Newington to posh wine bars - there’s something to suit all tastes!
How do our top pubs compare to your experiences in London? Do you agree with these picks? Are we way of the mark? Have we missed out on absolutely cracking venue?
Owing to the location of the Lonely Planet office, there is a distinct East London flavour to our recommendations.
The Londesbrough, Stoke Newington
There are loads of good pubs in Stoke Newington. One of my favourites is The Londesbrough, a very cosy gastropub, a bit out of the way so you shouldn’t have a problem getting a table like in many pubs in London. Heather Carswell
The Boundary, Shoreditch
My suggestion is the Boundary rooftop bar, it’s part of a hotel in East London. The bar not only has stunning views, but the cocktails are equally stunning! Kat Scott Barrett
The Old Fountain, Clerkenwell
The Old Fountain – a classic backstreet boozer in Old Street where you’ll often find grizzled LP hacks after work, drinking some of the excellent real ales and eating the pub’s signature dish of chips and cheese. Tom Hall
The Queen of Hoxton, Hoxton
Queen of Hoxton, the first floor is arty with fairy lights and has plenty of seating and a bar with loads of cocktails. Downstairs is the club which plays different music depending on what night you go. On the walls on the way upstairs is graffiti and other art – when you reach the top there’s a big roof terrace/smoking area with bean bags, tables, chairs etc. Pretty trendy! Helvi Cranfield
Fox Reformed, Stoke Newington
For fantastic wine, the tiny Fox Reformed also has a cute courtyard out back. Heather Carswell
After a tiring stint shopping and sightseeing in the capital’s centre, hit these top picks as tested by us:
Val Taro, Leicester Square
Just off Leicester Square and looking like a restaurant from the outside, Val Taro (32 Orange Street, WC2H 7HH) has a small and cosy bar downstairs. Sarah Anthony
Princess Louise, High Holborn
Princess Louise on High Holborn, a palace of beer – sparkling cut glass panels, colourful glazed tiles, rich plasterwork, the subdued gleam of wood panelling. The whole effect is of amazing decorative exuberance. Rajul Chande, @londonhoteltips
The Betjeman Arms, St Pancras
The Betjeman Arms, one of the few station pubs where you don’t feel like you’re biding your time until your train departs; a great atmosphere and decor leave you feeling worlds away from the platforms outside. Laura Lindsay
The Pontefract Castle, Oxford Street
The Pontefract Castle behind Oxford St, is a bit hidden so not massively busy and lots of ales/beers to choose from and a downstairs bit which is really cozy. The pub is round the corner from some cute restaurants where you can eat outside (weather permitting) so this pub would be good for an after dinner drink – also if you have a private party downstairs (which I went to recently) they let you play your own iPod! Helvi Cranfield
Gordon’s Wine Bar, Central (Charing Cross)
This hidden bar with its low ceilings and candle lit rooms is definitely worth a visit. Although usually always packed Gordon’s Wine Bar (47 Villiers St, WC2N 6NE) is a well stocked wine bar with a fantastic atmosphere. Sarah Anthony
The Prince Alfred, Maida Vale
The Prince Alfred, just off Warwick Ave, Little Venice. My favourite London pub. Patrick O'Neill, @MountainJourney
Find out more about London in the Lonely Planet London City Guide