Whether you;’re in the capital for work or play, are staying in the city from elsewhere in the UKor visiting from overseas, visiting that most British of institutions – the pub – is a must for an authentic London experience.
Of course, in a city as large and culturally diverse as London, not to mention one as brimming with history and filled with gastronomy, there are plenty of pubs to choose from. Knowing which venue to visit to give you a truly great experience can be hard. Rather than spend hours of your trip scrolling through TripAdvisor or scrutinising online reviews, simply bookmark this post.
We’ve done all of the research and hard work for you to share our Londoner’s guide to the best pubs in the city. If you’re pushed for time, these are our absolute must-visits during your next stay with us at the Park Grand Kensington.
Ye Old Cheshire Cheese
145 Fleet St, London EC4A 2BU
Fleet Street is the home of publishing in the UK with major news stories being broke from here for hundreds of years. If you envisage dashing journalists, hurrying up and down the cobble stones to meet their sources, note pad in hand and typewriter ready to quickly bash out their copy for their deadline back in the day, you’ll love revisiting that golden age at Ye Old Cheshire Cheese, a grade II listed building that has stood here for centuries.
Fittingly, this pub has welcomed some of the literary greats, with Charles Dickens, G.K. Chesterton and Mark Twain all said to have regularly patronised the bar. The original building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London but the venue you see today is as original and authentic as it gets. Stepping through the black wooden doorway is like stepping back in time to Olde London.
If you visit in the colder months, the open fire will be roaring, rooms will be lit dark and low and the ancient barrels will have you tempted to savour just one more. If you don’t manage to get a reservation at the Park Grand Restaurant London before you head out for the evening, you can enjoy traditional pub food here too.
Prospect of Whitby
57 Wapping Wall, Wapping, London E1W 3SH
Another of London’s pubs which serves up its beer with a not insubstantial side of history, this riverside locale sits on the banks of the Thames and is said to be the oldest of all of London’s riverside taverns with a heritage it can trace back to 1520.
At under an hour’s travelling time from your Kensington Rooms London, Prospect of Whitby is easy to get to and steeped in history. The pub itself says its walls have seen “sailors, smugglers and cut throats” as well as welcoming stars of stage and screen. Today, you’re not very likely to see a smuggler but you are assured of a great selection of cask ales and limited edition gins – enjoy from the terrace on sunny days or simply admire the view from the window.
Park Grand Kensington Bar
If you find yourself inputting ‘Indian afternoon tea near me’ into your phone during your stay in London, simply head back to your hotel! We serve a delicious afternoon tea, loaded with decadent treats – just the thing to fill you up before you head off for a drink or two in anther of London’s best pubs. Don’t forget, you can also make a night of it in the hotel at the Park Grand Kensington bar.
The High Cross
350 High Rd, Tottenham, London N17 9HT
This may well be one of the most unusual pubs you could visit when you stay with us at the Park Grand Kensington – with the first hints as to the former purpose of this space lit up in neon right outside. In the 1902s, this building was a public toilet, but don’t let that put you off! You won’t miss the neon lit ‘ladies’ and ‘gents’ signs that glow outside but step into this quirky micropub and you would never know its past use, apart from the small stature.
Despite the limited space, the bar offers a great selection of microbrews, with around 10 craft beers on tap. It also serves traditional bar snacks with a modern twist. Due to its location in the heart of Tottenham, it’s a great place to make a pit stop and tick a cool British pub off your must-see list while exploring the neighbourhood.
49 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 5BG
French House isn’t strictly speaking British, but this Soho staple is oozing with history – it was once a regular haunt of Charles de Gaulle, who was said to drink here during World War II, Dylan Thomas and Francis Bacon. The Gaelic interior is reflected in the menu with lots of wine by the glass and a choice of 30 different champagnes. In addition to its literary connections, French House is also a favourite of actors and creatives and when full, the crowd spills out onto the pavement outside.
If you’re looking for a spot to drink in the atmosphere and really give yourself up to the bustle of London life, this pub is a great choice at under 30-minutes away from your Kensington Rooms London. French House has a strict no technology policy, which means it doesn’t play any music, doesn’t have a TV and doesn’t permit mobile phones.
East London Public House, 15 Mehetabel Rd, London, E9 6DU
A true British pub at the heart of its community, the Chesham Arms was saved from demolition by local residents. It has won a number of pub of the year awards for the East London region – stop by for a drink after dining at the Park Grand restaurant London and you’ll be greeted by a scene which may put you in mind of a romantic comedy depiction of a British pub with wooden floors, a roaring fire in winter and a spacious beer garden. The Chesham Arms takes great pride in sourcing a regularly rotating range of local brews, so if you’re a fan of craft beers, you may well find a new favourite here.