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London pub and bar guide

Here's a guide to the pubs and bars of London - good or bad, we bring you the most talked about venues and the places you have to visit at least once. We've included a few user reviews, to give you an idea of what to expect when you get there. Or you can follow the links to see full details and all reviews for each pub.

The Harp, Covent Garden

picture of The Harp, Covent Garden

Address: 47 Chandos Place, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4HS
Phone: 02078360291
See full pub details

Nearest tube stations: Charing Cross (0.1 miles), Leicester Square (0.2 miles), Embankment (0.2 miles)

Nearest train stations: London Charing Cross (0.1 miles), London Waterloo (0.8 miles), London Waterloo East (0.8 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

Since Fullers took over this pub they have left the landlord to get on with it.

Fantastic ales and great atmosphere.

Well done Carl, your doing this place proud.

25 Aug 2015 22:24
Back again in the Harp to kick off my 2015 UK & Europe pub crawl. Not a noticeable change to this gullible foreigner, the welcome was warm & genuine & the Sambrook Wandle (£3.95) delicious after a long flight. The friendly bar lady kindly a photo of me. Not many in at around 11.00am, but all received great service & good beer at a reasonable price.
3 Aug 2015 07:49
In the Harp yesterday,still a great selection of beers available, I had London Fields Hopspur and Brick Blenhim Black, both good.
28 Jun 2015 08:31

The Southampton Arms, Gospel Oak

picture of The Southampton Arms, Gospel Oak

Address: 139, Highgate Rd, London, NW5 1LE
Phone: 020 7485 1511
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Nearest tube stations: Gospel Oak (0.2 miles), Tuffnell Park (0.4 miles), Kentish Town (0.5 miles)

Nearest train stations: Gospel Oak (0.2 miles), Kentish Town (0.5 miles), Kentish Town West (0.7 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

If you like your real ale or cider and want a friendly pub with a large selection of well kept drinks, you can't do much better than the Southampton Arms.

Sure, it's a little on the small side inside and often standing room only, but that's a small price to pay for excellent ale, tasty and hearty bar snacks and pleasant staff to serve them both. Prices are fair for London, and there's even a small outside space out at the back. Better still, customers tend to be genuine real ale drinkers rather than underage hipsters looking for the latest craft ale.

We moved into the area six months ago and this quickly became our favourite "drinking" pub. They don't serve full meals and the decor is basic to say the least, but it's clean, tidy and friendly. If you're looking for the best pint in the area, this is the place to come.
14 Apr 2015 17:14
Indeed, you do wonder what some people want from a pub. Granted, it's a bit basic but that's made up for by a range of magnificently-kept beers and ciders (well, the ones I tried were), good staff, keen prices and great vinyl being played. Currently m y favourite pub in London
15 Mar 2015 21:32
Unsure about the last review. Decent pub everytime I've stopped in.
2 Mar 2015 22:31

The Plume of Feathers, Greenwich

picture of The Plume of Feathers, Greenwich

Address: 19, Park Vista, Greenwich, London, SE10 9LZ
Phone: 020 8858 1661
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Nearest DLR stations: Cutty Sark (0.4 miles), Island Gardens (0.6 miles), Greenwich (0.7 miles)

Nearest train stations: Maze Hill (0.1 miles), Greenwich (0.7 miles), Westcombe Park (0.9 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

Another infrequent visit to this good locals pub. Service a bit slow as usual.
HopStuff Single on tap along with the Brockley Brewery, Harveys and Damned Doomed Bar. Had the Local HopStuff which was good.
29 Aug 2015 16:28
Only discovered this pub recently. I concur, it's far and away the best pub in Greenwich; friendly, good character and well kept good value beer. Very handy for the park.
24 Jun 2015 13:50
Thanks again for making a great pub crawl extra special .James and Anna your the tops guys. This is truly a special pub and iimplore one and all to come take a look . Sorry by the way if we were all a bit noisy but we all do feel at home here .RIP dave a very nice man you will be missed
21 Jun 2015 17:40

The Ivy House, Nunhead

picture of The Ivy House, Nunhead

Address: 40, Stuart Rd, London, SE15 3BE
Phone: 020 7732 0222
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Nearest train stations: Nunhead (0.6 miles), Honor Oak Park (0.8 miles), Crofton Park (0.8 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

Community owned pub, a large place with several good-sized drinking rooms clustered around a central bar area. Trumans Brewery panelling is still intact which gives it a good atmosphere. There is a garden (not seen) and a piano near the garden entrance if anyone is bold enough. A small but interesting range of ales (rather than have too many or run of the mill ones on) and the food was good also. Recommended.
24 May 2015 16:38
This is a pub that I've had in mind to visit for a good while. So I finally arrived at Nunhead station last night and made the 20 minute uphill walk to the Ivy House through residential areas bereft of pubs (apart from one other). To be honest, I'm not sure I could have told you were Nunhead was until yesterday. The front bar is a lovely affair, if somewhat small. I'd like to have visited the larger room at the rear. But this was reserved for a private party. It made beer selection difficult, as most of the handpulls seemed to be in the other room, until I spotted a blackboard with the selection. Ales on offer were Hobsons Best, Gipsy Hill Southpaw & Beatnik, Cottage Golden Arrow, Brockley Pale Ale, Truman's Runner & Cascadian Black (not sure which brewery, but possibly Saltaire). No real cider is served. Service took a fair while. I'm not sure the pub lived up to its expectations and I left a little disappointed.
1 Feb 2015 19:23
Lezford has already posted my thoughts on the Ivy House, A wide choice of ales,not everyone was a winner, the bar staff were somewhat inept, the building/interior was breathtakingly stunning. The potential of this pub in any other location would be really fantastic.The stage/wooden panneling, musical heritage would make any pub lover speechless, the place needs urgent financial support( the toilets are a disgrace), the whole place needs an update and a pub manager with the connections/ability to maximise the music/stage and community possibilities.A phoenix from the ashes,I love the pub but with any project there is more to do.7/10 at the moment, I fully expect a 9/10 soon.
18 Oct 2014 19:53

The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

picture of The Wenlock Arms, Hoxton

Address: 26, Wenlock Rd, London, N1 7TA
Phone: 020 7608 3406
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Nearest tube stations: Old Street (0.5 miles), Angel (0.6 miles), Barbican (0.8 miles)

Nearest train stations: Old Street (0.5 miles), Essex Road (0.7 miles), London Barbican (0.8 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

Visited last Saturday night when there was an excellent Northern Soul night on. Wonderful mix of friendly locals and an outstanding range of extremely well-kept ales. This attractive and well-managed place is a gem.

Oh, and watch out in case you get short measure. I did and before I could point it out, a big bloke next to me at the bar did so on my behalf. "There's a right way and a wrong way to do things..." he growled at the barman... who didn't hang about at correcting the situation. Super place!
11 Mar 2015 14:52
First time back at the Wenlock for quite a while on Sunday. I'm sure I've posted a review since the refurbishment. But the interior is certainly much improved. There are 10 constantly changing ales. On Sunday these were Dark Star Hophead & American Pale Ale, Southwark 5 Hop & Gold, Black Jack Archer, Five Points Derailed Porter & Five Points Pale, Hobsons Champion Mild, Siren Sound Wave & Independence APA. There are also 6 ciders - Abrahalls Medium Dry, Gwynt y Ddraig Black Dragon, Farmhouse Scrumpy & Dog Dancer, Olivers Perry & Barbourne Sweet Kernel. Still a really good pub, worth visiting.
3 Mar 2015 20:32
We hadn't visited The Wenlock since it was refurbished a year or so back. Prior to that I'd become somewhat fed up with the place, and had fallen out with the "Save The Wenlock" crowd for describing the old place as a "sh*thole" on their Facebook site. The much need refurbishment hadn't in any way changed the basic character of the place - a "proper" pub with an excellent and imaginative range of real ales. Yes, it was quiet in there since it was a Thursday afternoon - would we return? Certainly!
16 Jan 2015 11:31

The Nell Gwynne, Covent Garden

picture of The Nell Gwynne, Covent Garden

Address: 2 Bull Inn Court, London, WC2R 0NP
Phone: 020 7240 5579
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Nearest tube stations: Covent Garden (0.2 miles), Charing Cross (0.2 miles), Leicester Square (0.2 miles)

Nearest train stations: London Charing Cross (0.2 miles), London Waterloo (0.7 miles), London Waterloo East (0.7 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

Have always loved this pub, it's a real gem. Should be interesting to see what happens if it is actually changing hands. Hopefully the aforementioned barman will be making an exit. Started going there a few years ago with a bunch of mates but eventually stopped going after seeing him 'in action' one too many times. Didn't want to be contributing to the wages of someone who seems to get his kicks bullying young women. Disgraceful. Glad someone else mentioned it below, because people like that need outing!
5 Feb 2015 18:49
its small, hard to find and has no natural light. But, this is a cracking London Boozer! what makes it great aside from the above? had to sign up to write a review as I heard a rumour its changing hands in the near future

The staff are ace: Fiona who's always there when I'm in, doing a million things at once, always with a smile on her face. The young actors behind the bar make it a fun place to be and gives it an ambience you'd hope for (but rarely see) in a Theatreland pub.

Oh and check out the fantastic, idiosyncratic selection of Gins and Malts, you don't see those in many London pubs these days. To see a pub that has such thought and love put into it, makes me love it too.

5 Feb 2015 13:28
Such a fantastic pub. Real old London charm. Been in a few times now and only spoilt by what seemed to be a total mad man behind the bar. Didn't catch his name but he sort of resembles a groteseque version of Morrisey. SO disgustingly rude to the other bar staff and not much better to the customers. Genuinely never seen anything like it. Shame.
2 Feb 2015 13:41

The Sekforde Arms, Clerkenwell

picture of The Sekforde Arms, Clerkenwell

Address: 34 Sekforde Street, London, EC1R 0HA
Phone: 020 7253 3251
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Nearest tube stations: Farringdon (0.3 miles), Barbican (0.4 miles), Chancery Lane (0.5 miles)

Nearest train stations: Farringdon (0.3 miles), London Barbican (0.4 miles), Old Street (0.7 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

A recent report in the Islington Tribune says that it's been bought by a local barrister who is building a residential property at the back of the pub, and will then refurbish the toilets, kitchen and basement before opening the Sekforde up again.
24 Aug 2015 13:12
Was in here yesterday. It will be a gastro type pub as opposed to a all out restaurant. For how long though?
29 Jun 2015 10:22
Gutted and disgusted that this proper old school cockney clerkenwell pub is closing. Because we really need another restaurant ,don't we,eh?
We are killing all that's good about this great city of ours
23 Jun 2015 11:34

All Inn One, Forest Hill

picture of All Inn One, Forest Hill

Address: 53 Perry Vale, Forest Hill, London, London, SE23 2NE
Phone: 0208 699 3311
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Nearest train stations: Forest Hill (0.1 miles), Honor Oak Park (0.8 miles), Sydenham (0.9 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

A revisit for me as the last pub on a small Saturday night crawl.

My first visit since January 2013 and only my 2nd ever visit.

It’s busy with food proving popular.

After visiting a couple of local pubs this was a welcome as it’s calm, has a nice class of punter and well-kept beer.

3 ales on the hand pumps on my visit, I went for pints of Cottage Brewery Iron Duke @ 4.3% & Head in a Hat Tommy @ 4.2%. Both kept very well and served with a smile.

A quick mention about the toilets, they are very clean.

I’m unsure why I don’t use this pub more often but I think I will change that from now on, it’s definitely worth a visit.
5 Jul 2015 08:18
Super professional, friendly staff. Food is wonderful- definitely the best in forest hill- unpretentious, hot, generous portions, really good quality meat etc.
toilets are consistently the cleanest pub toilets I have ever seen. Chefs whites are really white and clean too- he will often lend a hand at bar after slaving at stove. Almost worried its gonna get swamped with yummy mummies it so nice.
19 Apr 2015 17:51
Two years since last reviewing this pub I thought I'd update my opinions. If anything the pub has improved. It still has great staff including a great new manager. Saturday night is themed, at present it's Rock'n'Roll bingo which ends with a trip to the dance floor, great fun. It has BT Sport Premiership games, no Sky tv, which is great as it doesn't have all the luggage that goes with dedicated sports bars. In my opinion the welcoming atmosphere puts it way ahead of the pretentious Sylvan Post and Dartmouth, and the aircraft-hangar-dimensioned Witherspoon's Capital doesn't really warrant a mention. Highly recommended for anyone passing.
22 Feb 2015 16:02

The Calthorpe Arms, Holborn

picture of The Calthorpe Arms, Holborn

Address: 252 Grays Inn Road, London, WC1X 8JR
Phone: 020 7278 4732
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Nearest tube stations: Russell Square (0.4 miles), Chancery Lane (0.5 miles), Holborn (0.6 miles)

Nearest train stations: London Kings Cross - Thameslink (0.6 miles), Farringdon (0.6 miles), London St Pancras (0.6 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

A proper, and very reliable, street corner boozer seeling Youngs beers (and guests). I confess to being a Youngs fan and I haven't had a bad pint in there yet.
Long may it continue without being gentrified
22 Jul 2015 19:54
One of the very few central london (or indeed London) pubs which has not been turned into a gastropub/effectively a restaurant (though the once I ate here the food was fine).

The beer here is always very well kept (Young's range including all the bottles as oldandmild says) and couple of others (usually including Tribute). Old time landlord, he wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but he keeps a good pint and runs a good pub in my view.
22 Jul 2015 17:00
If you are near King's Cross/st.Pancras Station donot miss this one.Friendly locals pub with an old time landlord.Stocks young's bottles including their light ale.How nice in 2015 to be able to go into a London pub order a pint of "light and bitter" and be understood.Long may it survive.
7 Jun 2015 04:58

The Bree Louise, Euston

picture of The Bree Louise, Euston

Address: 69 Cobourg Street, London, NW1 2HH
Phone: 020 7681 4930
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Nearest tube stations: Euston (0.1 miles), Euston Square (0.1 miles), Warren Street (0.2 miles)

Nearest train stations: London Euston (0.2 miles), London St Pancras (0.5 miles), London Kings Cross - Thameslink (0.6 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

This pub is not what it used to be ,I think it is under threat from the HS2 railway
so why would the owners risk spend any money on it.
9 Sep 2015 13:38
This pub's interior is about as appealing as a drop-in centre. The barman was very surly and my pint from the cask behind the bar cost a small fortune at £4.40. It was also off.

I won't be coming here again anytime soon.
8 Sep 2015 18:44
Not going to rate this pub again at the moment, but like outlamehead I'd thought it has been resting on it's laurels for a year or two with a declining range in terms of beers actually on at any given time and beer quality.

However I was in last week, meeting a couple of people as handy for the Station. The quality of both the Hop Head and Brains Revd James Gold was tip top, as was the half of a craft IPA (forget it's name now) I tried, so hopefully it's getting back to being as good as it was again.
22 Jul 2015 17:12

Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

picture of Ye Old Mitre, Holborn

Address: 1 Ely Court, Ely Place, Holborn, London, EC1N 6SJ
Phone: 020 7405 4751
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Nearest tube stations: Chancery Lane (0.2 miles), Farringdon (0.2 miles), Barbican (0.5 miles)

Nearest DLR station: Bank (1 mile)

Nearest train stations: Farringdon (0.2 miles), City Thameslink (0.4 miles), London Barbican (0.5 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

Made sure I visited when in London last month as it supports Mild in May.Not disappointed.Three milds on when I visited from Batemans,Enville and Hoskins.Tried the Enville and Hoskins offerings,both most acceptable.Pretty unique for a London pub to have outside gents.
7 Jun 2015 05:09
An unchanging gem hidden down a passage off Hatton Garden and within really easy range of both Farringdon and Chancery Lane stations. Always a good, changing range of well-kept beers. Ye Olde Mitre has retained the old fashioned pub approach to food for people having a few drinks – things like pork pies and scotch eggs. It is small and can get very busy at times, but equally you can find it pleasantly quiet. Oodles of character and a very long history.
29 Apr 2015 10:53
I think that this pub got new management a little while back - I overheard someone behind the bar telling a customer that they weren't planning to change anything. Good thing too. It's a curious place, but all the better for that. Real ale choice almost always good, and usually a hand pumped cider too. Food is snacks - toasties, scotch eggs, sausage (singular!) - sometimes called "English tapas".
8 Apr 2015 15:35

The Blackfriar, Blackfriars

picture of The Blackfriar, Blackfriars

Address: 174 Queen Victoria Street, Blackfriars, London, EC4V 4EG
Phone: 020 7236 5474
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Nearest tube stations: Blackfriars (0 miles), St. Pauls (0.3 miles), Mansion House (0.5 miles)

Nearest DLR station: Bank (0.7 miles)

Nearest train stations: Blackfriars (0.1 miles), City Thameslink (0.1 miles), Farringdon (0.6 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

Unusual interior, good atmosphere, friendly bar staff who really push the real ale to tourists and locals alike. Good menu and convenient for Blackfriars Station just across the road. Only disappointment was the gents toilet was tiny and had water over the floor. Well worth a visit.
12 Aug 2015 23:11
Always a pleasure to visit this pub. We don't have anything like it in Queensland! As usual I was early & as usual I was the only customer. The bar bloke was friendly, funny & efficient even at 10.30am. My pint of Doombar (£3.75) was refreshing & the ongoing chatter very amusing. Some elderly folk arrived & were treated like royalty. Top pub, top bloke.
5 Aug 2015 07:18
Had another visit to this Nicholsons pub opposite Blackfriars station. The ale selection was Wychwood Hobgoblin, Nicholsons Pale Ale, Acorn Santa Maria, By The Horns Stiff Upper Lip, Harviestoun Tasman Bullet & Broken DIal, Wells Bombardier Burning Gold & Sambrooks Speakeasy. It was fairly busy inside early on Sunday evening. So we sat outside, as it was fairly pleasant out of the wind. Still a fine pub. But it's a shame they don't serve a real cider.
21 Apr 2015 17:55

The Greenwich Union, Greenwich

picture of The Greenwich Union, Greenwich

Address: 56, Royal Hill, Greenwich, London, SE10 8RT
Phone: 020 8692 6258
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Nearest DLR stations: Greenwich (0.3 miles), Cutty Sark (0.5 miles), Deptford Bridge (0.6 miles)

Nearest train stations: Greenwich (0.2 miles), Maze Hill (0.7 miles), St Johns (0.8 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

Interesting and tasty food ,hang on was that a brake bros van parked outside Ping ping oops there goes that microwave again
2 Mar 2015 21:01
If you wish to pay exorbitant prices for your beer then that is entirely up to you of course. Two shillings for a pint was also way before my time .sixty pence was the price of my first pint circa 1979. And I have never had a Cornish pasti from a cellophane packet I can't stand them. Now a steak and kidney pie yes. Was the Richard the first going out of business? I was trying to make the point that with the plethora of eating establishments in greenwich did those brainless burkes at youngs have to destroy yet another truly great tradititonal pub to give us this . I don't think so . As I have said I am not adverse to Change or a bit of a refurb or even a change of direction as they did with the barley mow (now the hill restaurant) as this pub was going down fast , again great in the 80s early 90s and no I didn't rant when this happened. So please enjoy the richard the first but I'm afraid it's not for me and lots of others I have spoken too. It's a pub that has lost it's soul
14 Jan 2015 17:14
Excellent pub, excellent beer, excellent food.

Clean, busy, but generally helpful staff with above-average product knowledge – valuable when many first-time visitors are accustomed only to the big national and international brands. And of course the range of said product is, as you would expect, first class. Although a bit slow to clear tables when under pressure – an extra pair of hands on a Friday would improve service and probably help, rather than harm, the bottom line.

Female-friendly, clean loos.

Most of the above is also true for its neighbour, the Richard I. Ignore the remarks from prejudiced and foul-mouthed commentators who are determined to live in the past, and must want to see pubs go out of business. Maybe they did not like being turned away for abusing staff when they discovered that the award-winning IPA cost more than 2 shillings a pint. Or made adverse comment on finding interesting and tasty food rather than a pasty from a packet.
15 Dec 2014 12:45

The Ship, Soho

picture of The Ship, Soho

Address: 116 Wardour Street, London, W1F 0TT
Phone: 020 7437 8446
See full pub details

Nearest tube stations: Tottenham Court Road (0.2 miles), Piccadilly Circus (0.3 miles), Oxford Circus (0.3 miles)

Nearest train stations: London Charing Cross (0.6 miles), London Euston (1.2 miles), London Waterloo (1.3 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

Sadly now turned into a bland identikit pub with zero personality. R.I.P The Ship.
5 Sep 2015 14:55
Not the pub it was, always had decent beer & a slightly seedy atmosphere. The Fullers beer remains (good), but it's been cleaned up & the music has become bland. Hark back to the good old days when the Marquee was open & this pub was busy with punters & often the bands themselves. Ah, nostalgia!
4 Sep 2015 08:25
Like a National Front meeting. Man with a shaved tattoo head talking about football hooliganism - and not from a spectators point of view.

17 Apr 2015 15:52

Richard I, Greenwich

picture of Richard I, Greenwich

Address: 52-54 Royal Hill, Greenwich, London, SE10 8RT
Phone: 020 8692 2996
See full pub details

Nearest DLR stations: Greenwich (0.3 miles), Cutty Sark (0.5 miles), Deptford Bridge (0.6 miles)

Nearest train stations: Greenwich (0.2 miles), Maze Hill (0.7 miles), St Johns (0.8 miles)

Reviews by BITE users:

Here we go .the list of disgruntled punters grows long may it continue. Tell you what folks get yourselves down to the plume of feathers you will not regret it.Check out the reviews if you don't believe me Just swerve this once truly great pub.Bloody shame on you youngs
2 Mar 2015 20:14
Totally agree with the comments below. This used to be a great pub.

Youngs have also destroyed The Clockhouse by Peckham Rye Park.

2 Mar 2015 10:24
Here here to the comment below . You see folks I'm not the only one
2 Mar 2015 00:43

More information

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