London’s cosiest pubs with toasty fires, comfy sofas, little snugs and great food to keep you warm on chilly days. Here are 11 of our favourites, from Clapham to Notting Hill
Words: Gabriella Werre
Lead image: The Rookery, Clapham (photo: Ben Carpenter Photography)
1 The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead
The Spaniards Inn epitomises the word ‘cosy’, and as one of London’s oldest pub’s, it’s got the history of over 500 years to match- making it all the more charming. The quaint atmosphere is unmatched, and food is equally as nice. This pub is a nostalgic experience, and perfect for a warm meal in good company during the winter months.
Spaniards Road, Hampstead NW3 7JJ; thespaniardshampstead.co.uk
2 Upstairs at The Oak, Notting Hill
Though the décor will make you feel like you shouldn’t touch a thing, The Oak encourages its guests to sit back and relax. The textured red walls and the depths of the sofas will make you want to perch your feet up on the ottomans and sip endless cocktails. Downstairs, in the equally charming dining room, enjoy a mix of delicious bites – particularly the pizza from its wood fire oven.
137 Westbourne Park Road, Notting Hill W2 5QL; theoaklondon.com
Clapham Common’s charming pub The Rookery is inviting, warm and enchanting, exactly what you want from a pub when the winter starts to hit. The dimly lit pub is the perfect place to curl up with a nice Merlot in front of the fire, and warm up after a walk on the Common – the food is brilliant too.
69 Clapham Common South Side SW4 9DA; therookeryclapham.co.uk
4 The Pear Tree, Fulham
In the run up to Christmas, it won’t only be its festive name that pulls punters into Fulham’s The Pear Tree. On a winter’s day, huddle down by its open fire under a bundle of tartan throws, mulled wine in hand. Food at this quintessentially English watering hole is more than just your average pub grub and it’s thanks to that that The Pear Tree has become the local foodies favourite.
14 Margravine Road, Hammersmith W6 8HJ; thepeartreefulham.com
5 The Grove, Balham
Hidden away in the backstreets of Balham, you will find The Grove pub. Hanging curtains, huge dense Chesterfield sofas, wicker chairs, walls dotted with botanical paintings, maps and other knick knacks decorating the space evok a mix between Victorian London and colonial India, but either way it’s extremely homely. Seasonal specials are chalked up on the blackboard, while for groups, there’s sharing platters.
39 Oldrige Road, Balham SW12 8PN; grovebalham.com
This pub is as cosy as it is famous. Pull up a chair in the Crown Tavern and you could be sitting where Stalin and Lenin held a meeting in 1905, or where Dame Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett filmed Notes on a Scandal. But amidst the fame, this pub hasn’t lost its charm. Soothing folk music plays overhead as groups gossip in one of the Crown Tavern’s many nooks, and the bar snacks will transport you back to the days of family dinners, with the likes mushrooms on toast and bangers and mash.
43 Clerkenwell Green, Clerkenwell EC1R 0EG; thecrowntavernec1.co.uk
7 The Old Red Lion, Kennington
Though located on a bustling street, The Old Red Lion is a calm sanctuary in London. Passersby can’t miss the exterior’s Tudor Revival architecture, while the inside is homely with dark wood and hanging garlands. A warm ambience is created by candles lighting the main bar area and the comfortable alcoves will make you dread closing time. If the rain stops and you can bare the cold, it’s worth checking out the garden – it’s a wisteria wonderland.
42 Kennington Park Road SE11 4RS; theoldredlion.com
8 The Railway Tavern, Crouch End
The Railway Tavern is a proper local pub located on Crouch End Hill. The beautiful 1930s pub is packed with cosy, original features and was lovingly restored by its owner, who is passionate about reinstating old boozers to their former glory. Indoors you’ll find good beer, good food – from classic burgers to trendy hotdogs and staples like fish and chips – and good music. Plus, the team here is super friendly.
23 Crouch End Hill N8 8DH; the-railwaytavern.co.uk
9 The Antelope, Tooting
This eclectic and quirky pub oozes warmth and charm. Hotchpotch trinkets decorate the walls and dressers, and add a sense of history to the place. In fact it’s a relative newcomer to London’s pub scene and has only been open since 2009. But nonetheless, it’s one of the area’s most popular pubs, thanks to its excellent British menu and long list of real ales.
76 Mitcham Road, London SW17 9NG; theantelopepub.com
The Marlborough is a local favourite in Richmond, and for good reason. The pub is exactly the place you want to get lost in a beer or two chatting with friends when the weather is getting you down. Family friendly, it’s warm and welcoming. Dangling from the ceilings are sophisticated chandeliers, and on the tables are tea candles in glass jars with mismatched seating, fairy lights and framed chalkboards. It’s an Instagrammer’s dream!
46 Friars Stile Road, Richmond, Surrey TW10 6NQ; themarlboroughrichmond.co.uk
11 The Clapton Hart, Hackney
One of the cosiest pubs out there is by far, The Clapton Hart. Despite it’s urban location, being there makes you feel like you’re huddled up in a Cotswold village. The décor gives the pub mixes a fun and fresh feel with nods to vintage style and the space is filled with fairy lights, deer heads, good company and even better beer. There’s also table football table and board games to while away an afternoon with.
231 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney E5 8EG; claptonhart.com