Best pubs in London?

Location
London
Have drunk in 23

The 50 best pubs in London

Faves (not counting ones I've visited only once): The Earl of Essex, The Marksman, The Angel, The Harp

Faves not on the list: The Prince (my local in N16), The Hemingway (E9), The Scolt Head (N1), The Shakespeare (N16), The Camel (E2), The Carpenters Arms (E2), The Ten Bells (E1), The Castle (E1), The Captain Kidd (E1), The Anchor (SE1), The Grenadier (SW1), The Nags Head (SW1), The Prince Alfred (W9), The Wells (NW3), The Anchor & Hope (E5), The Princess of Wales (E5), The Greyhound (TW9), The Fox & Anchor (EC1)

Faves no longer in existence: The Water Poet (E1), The Bree Louise (NW1)
 
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So what are the things that make a pub "best"? Ambience, friendliness of staff, quality of beer, range of beer, comfortable seating, food options? I hardly ever go to the pub for just a drink, although perhaps now I'm a "village person" things will change?! I know that the locals where I live are just waiting for a permanent landlord at our local.
 
So what are the things that make a pub "best"? Ambience, friendliness of staff, quality of beer, range of beer, comfortable seating, food options? I hardly ever go to the pub for just a drink, although perhaps now I'm a "village person" things will change?! I know that the locals where I live are just waiting for a permanent landlord at our local.

Alex Lake now one of the Village People... if only we knew someone who was a dab hand at photo shop... ;)
 
Some big misses: The Grenadier and The Antelope both in SW1, the Anglesea SW3, the white horse SW6, the Ship and the Alma both in Wandsworth.
Certainly those establishments have just as much right to be there as most of the others. Rather alarmingly I have known the Anglesea Arms, The Ship and The Alma over five decades, though with regard to the last two many bemoan the destruction of the Youngs brewery and feel that the beer is no longer what it was. Certainly a good pint of their special bitter was one of the most beguiling elixirs ever devised by man, but it was always rather hit and miss.
I've visited a somewhat shaming number of those pubs over the years, and the only one that to me deserves an unequivocal pub qua pub accolade is the Royal Oak in Borough. The Harwood Arms is magnificent, but is it really a pub?
London has many glories but pubs are better in almost every other part of the country, it seems to me, particularly away from large conurbations.
 
So what are the things that make a pub "best"? Ambience, friendliness of staff, quality of beer, range of beer, comfortable seating, food options? I hardly ever go to the pub for just a drink, although perhaps now I'm a "village person" things will change?! I know that the locals where I live are just waiting for a permanent landlord at our local.

I can help you there. The Moon Under Water | The Orwell Foundation
 
Certainly those establishments have just as much right to be there as most of the others. Rather alarmingly I have known the Anglesea Arms, The Ship and The Alma over five decades, though with regard to the last two many bemoan the destruction of the Youngs brewery and feel that the beer is no longer what it was. Certainly a good pint of their special bitter was one of the most beguiling elixirs ever devised by man, but it was always rather hit and miss.
I used to love the Ship in the old days before all the extra conservatories, outside bars etc. were constructed. Great beer with real coal fires served grittily between the concrete mixing facility and the waste transfer station - what's not to like? It's still a good pub, especially in the summer. Other local pubs worth trying locally are The Eagle and the Tim Bobbin. The Eagle is a completely unreconstructed neighborhood pub in Chatham Road SW11 serving no food at all, well, except crisps.
 
Location
London
Sadly Young’s no longer take any interest in beer. The Wells takeover( merger?) left all the brewing to Wells, allowing Young’s to concentrate on pubs and food. Ordinary and special are just other beers produced in the rather industrial complex in Bedford.
 
Sadly Young’s no longer take any interest in beer. The Wells takeover( merger?) left all the brewing to Wells, allowing Young’s to concentrate on pubs and food. Ordinary and special are just other beers produced in the rather industrial complex in Bedford.
For some reason I could never get really enthusiastic about Youngs bitter or special Jim, even when it was brewed one mile down the road and was the local tipple. These days, my number one bitter is West Berkshire Brewery Good Old Boy - a 3.7% session bitter of extraordinary quality. I have to go out my parents way to drink it though.
 
Location
London
I’ll look out for it Richard, thanks. My local micropub in Deal sources barrels from all over Britain so I’ll see if they can get one in. My current favourite brewery is Kent Brewery in West Malling, superb selection which sells out super fast when one’s on; same goes for anything from Oakham Brewery in Peterborough.
 
Only beer I've had that I really like was in the dolomites (of all places). Sommelier of the hotel we always stay at set up a micro brewery and the beers he produces are simply incredible. Often thought about trying to import them here but imagine that would be difficult at the best of times, which these clearly aren't.
 
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