London pubs

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Apologies for getting all parochial on Dissensus' collective ass, but I just realised that we have no thread for celebrating/disseminating knowledge about great pubs (well-known or obscure) in London. Of course, any info about bars/pubs in New York, Paris, Melbourne or anywhere else readily welcomed too...

My initial, incoherent thoughts:

Just went to George and Dragon in Shoreditch for first time this weekend. Assumed I would hate it, but it was friendly and the junk shop decor worked well rather than being a try for 'cool' status.

In Brixton - Effra's still nice, and I quite like the Duke of Edinburgh for the huge magic garden there.

Streatham Hill - Crown and Sceptre is potentially the best Wetherspoons in London (OK, not hard, I know), completely transcending its chain pub status. Friendly, weird but good crowd, cheap booze, nice old building...what more can one ask for?

Will think of more...
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I like the Sam Smiths chain with my favourites being The Blue Posts on Newman Street or The Lyeceum on Shaftesbury Avenue. Their selling point is that they are without a doubt *pubs* - no sports, no telly - and they have cheap beer. £1.70 a pint of Old Brewery - yes please!

Writing this, i've realised that I haven't been in either pub for at least 3 or 4 months... I think this is a sign my social circles has changed as I used to be in them all the time.

Current fave is The Royal Oak on Tabard Street. Lovely old fixture and fitting and fantastic pub food. Chips, a platter full of veg and homemade pies for under a tenner...mmm.
 

STN

sou'wester
My preferred Sam Smith's pub is The Yorkshire Grey, in Fitzrovia. It gets bonus points for appearing in a Derek Raymond novel. The Plough, in Bloomsbury near my work, plays a key part in Francis Stuart's (who my dad was not entirely wrong in describing as 'that stupid old nazi') novel Black List Section H.

I am also a huge fan of the Anchor and Hope in Clapton, and any pub that Hall and Woodhouse choose to stick their name on.

All time London favourite is The Lord Clyde, in The Borough.

Martin and I found a good one in Wapping, called The Town of Ramsgate. It was so good Martin felt compelled to fall down the stairs. The Sam Smith's down there is alright too. The Captain Kidd I think it is.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
@DannyL: yeah, I used to go to the Sam Smiths on Glasshouse Street all the time. Tabard Street's in Borough, isn't it?#

other thoughts:

A bit pretentious, but Dovetail in Clerkenwell has an unrivalled selection of Belgain beers. They even have 6-7 varities of gueuze, ffs!

Upstairs at Duke of Wellington at the end of Old Compton - always a nice atmosphere and often a table...
 

scottdisco

rip this joint please
LOL at Vim

(i used to work in Gorse Hill, south Mcr - it's between Stretford and Old Trafford, non Manc fact fans - and now and again would treat myself to the breakfast barm from a little take-away greasy spooner over the road from work. the gaff was named Only fools and Sauces - Paris New York Stretford. incidentally near some Caribbean caff down the way was my favourite graf for some time - VINNIE GATT IS A GRASS, VINNIE GATT'S MAM SELLS WEED.)

my favourite Sam Smith in London is quite possibly the Cardinal, near Westminster cathedral and Victoria station. wonderful interior, quite beautiful.

the Dove by the river in Hammersmith is a lovely Fuller house.

as 'spoons go in London, it's not a whole-hearted endorsement of either, but the Fox on the Hill on Denmark Hill is a strange rambling sort of place whose garden might have some hauntological cachet, and the Toll Gate in Turnpike Lane is friendly and often loud.

Craner took me to the Morpeth Arms on Millbank once: most enjoyable.

second STN on the Yorkshire Grey.

FreakyTrigger's Pete Baran used to just go on about Smith pubs in London in the NYLPM publog, they loved the fat man lager!

good times.
 
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baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
as 'spoons go in London, it's not a whole-hearted endorsement of either, but the Fox on the Hill on Denmark Hill is a strange rambling sort of place whose garden might have some hauntological cachet, and the Toll Gate in Turnpike Lane is friendly and often loud.

Craner took me to the Morpeth Arms on Millbank once: most enjoyable.

Will try that Denmark Hill one for sure - intriguing.

Turnpike Lane thoughts...The West Green (?) on West Green Road is a very nice pub - watched the post-Obama inauguration analysis in there, and a very pleasant place to do so.

Ah, yes, the Morpeth. Did you know it used to be Cameron's local?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Dovetail is the sister pub of the Dove on Broadway Market. The Dove has even more Belgian beers and is covered in ivy and stuff, I often find it a bit busy though and sometimes the staff are unfriendly.
Best Sam Smith is Princess Louise in Holborn I reckon - really beautiful inside with some original features. Again tends to get busy. I also like the John Snow in Soho and the Marquis of Lansdowne or something in Portobello.
I really like a new place just north of Broadway Market called The Prince Arthur, kidn of more like a gastro pub but a great place to while away an afternoon.
The Pride of Spitalfields off Brick Lane is another favourite although I have to say it's never been quite the same since the firebombing.
 

straight

wings cru
sam smyths stout is brilliant, heavy chocolaty and 4pints and nuts is a tenner. a second on the john snow. Also quite like the argyle but that is proper grimey. Been doin more local boozin round our way, been enjoying the faltering fullback in finsbury park which has a really unusual tree house like garden. Also liking the queens in crouch end, lovely interior and bar staff.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Dovetail is the sister pub of the Dove on Broadway Market. The Dove has even more Belgian beers and is covered in ivy and stuff, I often find it a bit busy though and sometimes the staff are unfriendly.
Best Sam Smith is Princess Louise in Holborn I reckon - really beautiful inside with some original features. Again tends to get busy.
.

Ah, didn't know that. Might avoid it though from your description. Don't like Broadway Market that much, really - overcrowded with cafes with French names that make no sense. Not my kinda place...

Princess Louise is one I always intended to go into, but never have - one of the last gin palaces...
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Princess Louise

Suck-up. ;)

Edit: on a Sam Smith's tip I quite like the Fitzroy Tavern (Charlotte Street, just west of TCR) as a rule, though it should be noted that a) there's no draught bitter (for £1.70 a pint or otherwise) and b) the service sometimes isn't all that great - last time I was there I got 'served' by some Aussie bitch who was by some margin the most dour, obnoxious and flat-out incompetent bar-steward I've encountered in 12+ years of pub-going. And she had those god-awful hideous hole-in-your-ear earring things. If you go there and see her, make sure you get served by someone else.
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
"been enjoying the faltering fullback in finsbury park which has a really unusual tree house like garden."
I go there every Thursday after football, not bad and I like the food they do. Better in summer I guess for the garden.
A lot of pubs have closed in Hackney but on a Wednesday I often go to the Birdcage or the Marksman, both unpretentious and with very friendly landlords who are in the process of putting in some of their own changes to their pubs. The Birdcage owner is particularly friendly, always taking the trouble to go round the tables and say hello to the drinkers and putting out free food on the tables at the weekends. The Pride of Spitalfields used to do this as well and I always think it makes a pub feel friendly, anyone know any others that do that?
 

elgato

I just dont know
In Brixton - Effra's still nice, and I quite like the Duke of Edinburgh for the huge magic garden there.

yes! that garden is so surprising, i couldn't believe it when i went there

Samuel Smiths' dominate the city for me, can't really beat them for pub vibes and prices
 

hucks

Your Message Here
The Pride of Spitalfields used to do this as well and I always think it makes a pub feel friendly, anyone know any others that do that?


They still do, I think, tho I notice they didn't when I was in a couple of weeks ago. Hmmm...When I was in the Palm Tree (Mile End) for New Year we got sausage rolls and ham sandwiches, but I think that was cos it was a special occasion.

I quite like the 3 Kings in Clerkenwell and it has a cool sign - Henry VIII, Elvis and King Kong

Also second (or even 3rd) the Royal Oak and the Princess Louise
 
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scottdisco

rip this joint please
A bit pretentious, but Dovetail in Clerkenwell has an unrivalled selection of Belgain beers. They even have 6-7 varities of gueuze, ffs!

can't help Rich with free food in London pubs query but just wanted to say Baboon, that ain't too shabby re the Belgians! (didn't know about Cameron and the Morpeth, no. ta.)

agreed with straights on Smith stout; i find it interesting in some places overseas that quite a lot of their bottled products are thought so - relatively - highly of; over here, it's mainly the cheap lager and cheaper OBB that gets punters in, fair to say? (a Bethnal Green mate was up in Manchester the other weekend and i took him out with a pal of mine, B G got a round of Smiths in which cost him £4.20 - a lot pricier than it used to be when i were a lad alas- and he came back to our table declaring He only charged me for two! :D )

as a general thought, stumbling around Green Park will reward the up-market crawler: a good collection of nice backstreet boozers round there.
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
sam smyths stout is brilliant, heavy chocolaty and 4pints and nuts is a tenner. a second on the john snow. Also quite like the argyle but that is proper grimey. Been doin more local boozin round our way, been enjoying the faltering fullback in finsbury park which has a really unusual tree house like garden.
Yeah, I went there recently and enjoyed it a lot.

I'm also very much into the Seven Stars on Chancery Lane - it's a bit pricey and sometimes full of lawyers, but they have really nice properly home cooked food, very nice beer, a cat called Thomas Paine and fairly insane bar staff. We first went there after a trip to the Sir John Soame Museum, which felt kind of appropriate.

Also the Wenlock Arms for full on ale geek business. And The Grapes at Limehouse is a favourite on the river - same sort of area as the Town of Ramsgate, doesn't have the cachet that pirates used to be hanged outside it but is rather nice.

Sam Smiths is cool, although the OBB isn't the most exciting thing in the world. The Princess Lou is very nice.
 

UFO over easy

online mahjong
any suggestions for sam smiths pubs that aren't overly full all the time? i only really brave places like the john snow in the late afternoon cos of that.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
I have too many recommendations for this thread; makes me exhausted just thinking about it. But if you haven't been to the King's Arms on Roupell Street, Waterloo, then do it. Easily one of the loveliest and oddest pubs in London.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
My locals have been: (at home) The Holly Bush, Hampstead. The Palm Tree, Mile End. The Morpeth Arms, Pimlico. Now: The Vauxhall Griffin, Vauxhall.

Work-wards: The Harp, Covent Garden. The Crown and/or the Angel, Holborn (for cheap Sam Smiths nights). No on really goes to the French House, but people often end up in the Coach & Horses, cliched as it is. I love the Blue Posts (Berwick not Kingley), but the crowds are hell. You must avoid Soho and Covent Garden pubs by heading to the Duke of York, Fitzrovia, or the wonderful, dingey King & Queen, which is right in the Fitzrovia interior (avoid Bricklayer's Arms, and, actually, all the others). Pillars of Hercules used to be a big work hang out, but I hated the place, and didn't want to socialise at work. Besides, it no longer is.

There're loads of fantastic pubs in Greenwich, which is why a trip on a Thames clipper there on a Summer day is the best day trip in the City.
 
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