With the colder weather and shorter days here, we hunt out South East London’s cosiest local pubs and bars
1 The Ivy House, Nunhead
Thanks to the Save The Ivy House campaign, this is London’s first co-operatively owned pub and has sparked a number of similar campaigns to save other local boozers. If that’s not enough to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, lower yourself into a traditional Chesterfield sofa and admire the original 1930s wooden panelling and other features that earned it a Grade-II listing.
40 Stuart Road, Nunhead SE15 3BE; ivyhousenunhead.com
2 The Wood House, Dulwich/Sydenham
The Wood House has just had a spectacular refurb. Inspired by Sir Joseph Paxton, creator of the Great Exhibition Hall in Crystal Palace, the venue now has a lovely new lounge area full of leather sofas and regal armchairs for reclining, as well as a real log fire. Even cosier is Paxton’s Study, with its own wood-burning stove and collection of memorabilia celebrating the great architect.
39 Sydenham Hill SE26 6RS; 020 8693 5666; thewoodhousedulwich.co.uk
3 The Dial Arch, Woolwich
The Dial Arch, an old ammunitions factory at Royal Arsenal Riverside, is a handsome, atmospheric pub with comfy booths and even comfier sofas for hunkering down in on a slow Sunday or chilly evening. There are board games on offer too, so take a load off and enjoy one of their guest ales or very decent wines, maybe even order a burger – you can always walk it off along the river front.
Number 1 Street, The Warren, Royal Arsenal Riverside, Woolwich SE18 6GH; 020 3130 0700; dialarch.com
4 The Station Hotel, Hither Green
One of the prettiest pubs in the area, The Station Hotel combines style, good food and family friendliness. Huge red pendant lights, palms and comfy seating create a relaxed setting, and the stage, tucked around the corner from the restaurant, hosts live music come the weekend. The beer garden out back is big enough for both families and friend groups alike.
14 Staplehurst Road, Hither Green SE13 5NB; 020 8463 0367; stationhotelhithergreen.co.uk
5 Westow House, Crystal Palace
Westow House, when not reverberating with the sounds of live music on a Friday or Saturday night, is a hugely popular spot for friends and families to gather for a relaxed lunch or Sunday roast. On entering the Crystal Palace pub there’s a snug little annex to the left with banquettes and bookshelves stacked high with good reads and fun family board games.
79 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace SE19 1TX; 020 8670 0654; westowhouse.com
6 Princess of Wales, Blackheath
The snug corner at The Princess of Wales is much snugger since the pub’s recent makeover. Arrive early enough to stake your claim on the red, regal-looking high-backed armchairs by the fireplace and recline away the afternoon, or head for the set of sofas at the end of the main bar. If you’re not quick enough to bag those on a busy weekend, there are plenty of booths to cosy up in with friends.
1a Montpelier Row, Blackheath SE3 0RL; 020 8852 5784; princessofwalespub.co.uk
7 Tulse Hill Hotel
This beautiful Victorian building dates back to 1840. After an extensive refurbishment in early 2015, the previously tatty tavern has been transformed into a contemporary drinker with a brilliant restaurant. Bag yourself a high-backed leather armchair by the fire and admire the antique bar. If you get a little too cosy to make the journey home, there are even hotel rooms upstairs.
150 Norwood Road, Herne Hill SE24 9AY; 020 8671 7499; tulsehillhotel.com
8 The Clock House, East Dulwich
Swing a right on entering The Clock House, just over the road from Peckham Rye, and trot up the stairs to the Snug, a cute little mezzanine-level area that looks a lot like somebody’s living room with floor lamps, cushions, mounted plates on the wall and a tiled period fireplace. If you’re dining with friends, reserve the big cosy booth in The Skylight Room.
196a Peckham Rye, East Dulwich SE22 9QA; 020 8693 2901; clockhousepub.com
9 The Lord Northbrook, Lee
A few years back, this place won the News Shopper Award for Worst Pub in South East London, but after a very through refurbishment it now boasts a lovely, welcoming interior, a beautiful dining area with folding doors onto the modern beer garden and those slouchy, cosy, fireside-sofas that we all scrap for in the winter.
116 Burnt Ash Road, Lee SE12 8PU; 020 8318 1127; thelordnorthbrook.co.uk
10 The Ravensbourne Arms, Lewisham
This ‘friendly, old fashioned boozer’ has plenty of homely touches to help you relax – dressers stacked with knick-knacks, books and fairy lights, floor lamps with chintzy lampshades, and a snug corner with leather sofas and pretty feature wallpaper to keep you cosy as you slouch about the place. So linger a little and work your way through the guest cask ales, ciders and craft beer pumps.
323 Lewisham High Street SE13 6NR; 020 8613 7070; ravensbournearms.com
11 The Cooperage, Greenwich
The Cooperage is about the most atmospheric bar we’ve come across south of the river. Located in the basement Victorian wine cellar of Davy’s Wine Vaults Bar in Greenwich, it has a real speakeasy feel to it, with exposed brick walls and that air of underground mustiness that makes you feel like you’ve uncovered a secret crypt. Cosy up in the comfy armchairs and enjoy the feeling of being transported back in time.
161 Greenwich High Road SE10 8JA; 020 8858 7204; davy.co.uk/cooperage