London has some of the best pubs in the world, perfect for enjoying a pint and keeping warm this Christmas. Why not spend a Sunday relaxing with friends, over a glass of mulled wine and a roast lunch; or just venture down and stretch out in front of the fire with the day’s papers?
Craft Beer Company, Clerkenwell
This amazing specialist boutique pub serves a range of real ales and specialist lagers, spread over two floors. Ornate mirrors decorate the walls, with stained glass windows and a sparkling central chandelier providing a really intimate, Christmassy feel.
While the food is basic, you can find delightful British snacks like pork pies and scotch eggs. The beers are undoubtedly the main attraction, providing one of the largest selections in London.
A total of 37 beers, with 16 sourced solely from domestic artisan ale makers, provide the freshest and tastiest brews in London.
The Craft Beer Co: 82 Leather Ln, London EC1N 7TR
Auld Shillelagh, Stamford Hill
For jolly old evenings with Irish music, played by a boozy orchestra of banjos, flutes and piccolos, Auld Shillelagh is a real joy, particularly after a few glasses of red wine.
You can soak up the joyful, unaffected atmosphere with friends, enjoying the company of gregarious bar staff who do their best to make your evening a pleasure.
For the best evening, catch a pub quiz over a few Guinesses; their menu is unfussy and simplistic, which is often the best way.
Auld Shillelagh: 105 Stoke Newington Church St, London N16 0UD
Southampton Arms, Highgate Road
A sign outside reads ‘Ales, cider, meat’ and it couldn’t be any simpler at the Southampton Arms. You can buy a roast pork bap with crackling and apple sauce for £3.90, served with a pint of cloudy cider. There’s a thick coal fire, old white tiled walls and period decor, giving this boozer a real wartime feel.
Venture outside for a cigar on their intimate brick floor garden, with your jacket on of course; this boozer is unfussy and full of character, just as English pubs should be.
Southampton Arms: 139 Highgate Rd, London NW5 1LE
The Zeitgeist, Lambeth
Many Brits will be hard-pushed to admit it, but the Germans really do make the best beers, so it’s only fair that you stop by at their best boozer for a ‘wunder-bar’ time. This pub is so authentic it could have been dropped here from Berlin, with highly-efficient Deutsche staff, steely German football and strong, heavyweight beers aplenty.
Their selection of 16 draught and 32 bottled German beers is extensive, with some only requiring a half pint, full of Deutsche punch and flavour. The kitchen also serves the German classics like schnitzel and currywurst, which are both delicious.
The Zeitgeist: 49-51 Black Prince Rd, London SE11 6AB
Princess Louise, Holborn
The Princess Louise of Holborn is a great little boozer, a maze of nooks and crannies, etched glass, old wooden bar stools and eighteenth century lamps. You can sit in a cosy corner and no-one would know you were there; it’s a real warren of warmth and joy, particularly after a couple of lagers.
Being a Sam Smith’s pub, the beers are really cheap too, so you can enjoy an afternoon here without it costing the earth; it’s rather like going back in time!
Wherever you go in London this Christmas, you will be sure to find some really good pubs – seek out some of these gems or spend an afternoon in one particular area, like Clerkenwell, Richmond or Fulham; you’ll never get bored, or cold!
Princess Louise: 208 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EP
‘London winter pub guide’ is written by Chris Jerome at Refresh Accommodation. If you are hoping to stay in London this Christmas, why not have a look at their range of fully-serviced apartments?
Thank you for reading, Sunny friends. Best wishes for the remainder of 2013, where ever you chose to spend it!