10 of London’s cosiest pubs

November 22, 2022Bea Squires0

When there’s a nip in the air and you’re feeling the beginnings of that festive spirit, there is nothing quite like hunkering down in a comfortable pub next to a roaring fire, hot toddy in hand. Thankfully, there’s almost nothing England does better than this. Here’s our selection in the capital.


The Dove, Broadway Market


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The Dove, perfectly positioned at the end of Broadway Market in London Fields, is in the ideal spot for a well-earned drink after perusing the market – take a seat in one of the intimate booths. This old favourite has been here for more than 30 years and boasts an impressive range of beers with a strong Belgian selection as well pub classics such as burgers, Sunday Roasts and Thai food. www.dovepubs.com


The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead


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The Spaniards Inn, on the edge of Hampstead Heath, is oozing with history. Built in 1585 as a tollgate on the Finchley boundary, it is rumoured to be the birthplace of highwayman Dick Turpin, was immortalised in Charles Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers and was allegedly where Keats penned Ode to a Nightingale. Turpin’s ghost is said to haunt the upstairs room, meanwhile many customers have had their sleeves tugged by Black Dick, a moneylender who was run over by a coach on the road outside. Why not see if you can have an encounter with the ghost yourself as you nestle down by the roaring fire? They serve brunch, dinner, and lunch as well as Sunday Roast. www.thespaniardshampstead.co.uk


The Holly Bush, Hampstead

One of the many nice things about the North London area of Hampstead is that it has such a village feel, you’d be forgiven for thinking you weren’t even in a city. The Holly Bush, not far from the Spaniards Inn, is perched atop a hill on a quiet backstreet. The location and its history (it was originally built as a house in the 1790s) make it feel special. Expect low ceilings, wines by the glass and a decent selection of pub favourites to eat. Oh, and there’s a fire roaring away in winter, too. www.hollybushhampstead.co.uk


The Drapers Arms, Angel


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This self-styled ‘neighbourhood’ pub really fits the bill. Tucked away in a quiet backstreet of Islington, away from the hustle of Angel, The Drapers Arms is a firm favourite with locals. High ceilings, smart interior design and comfortable chairs (mixed with casual dining seating) add to the upmarket gastro vibe, with a menu of daily changing seasonal British food (think Plaice, prawn bisque, Cornish mussels, courgette and carrot spaghetti) attracting foodies. www.thedrapersarms.com


Lore of the Land, Fitzrovia


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Positioned just off Fitzroy Square in Fitzrovia, this is the baby of none other than Hollywood director and once-husband to Madonna, Guy Ritchie. With smart dark green walls, a copper-topped bar and low lighting, this three-floor pub feels as if it could be a set in one of his films, and it also ticks the ‘cosy’ box. The food is of a ‘gastro’ standard, too – with plates such as Aged beef tartar on the menu – and beer straight from Ritchie’s Wiltshire farm. www.gritchiepubs.com


The Salisbury, Harringey

In the heart of Harringay on Green Lanes lies The Salisbury, a boozer so striking to look at that it will linger in your memory. This Victorian pub, built in 1898, retains original features such as elaborate ironwork, beautiful tiling, decorative mirrors and ornate mosaic floors, among others. Curl up by the fire as you admire your surroundings and tuck into a menu of Chinese food. www.thesalisburyhotelpub.co.uk


The Anglesea Arms, Hammersmith

This smart building in the quiet backstreets of Hammersmith is one of the original gastropubs, opening its doors as a foodie destination in 1995. Seasonal Mediterranean food includes ‘Moules Marinieres’, Braised lamb shank or Baked cod fillet with nduja crust. The crackling fire, low lighting and open brickwork makes this an ideal spot to curl up and tuck into warming, sophisticated fare. www.angleseaarmspub.co.uk


Cadogan Arms, Chelsea

This pub on the King’s Road in Chelsea has an air of luxury that befits the prestigious area. Inside, wood panelling and ornate chandeliers mix with soft furnishings – velvet armchairs by an open fire has to be the best seats in the house. Nibble on some bar snacks, dig into pub classics or enjoy a leisurely Sunday Roast, washed down with a selection of wines and/or cocktails. www.thecadoganarmslondon.com


The French House, Soho


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In a world of technology, a place that has a no-phones, no-machines, no-music, no-television rule sounds like the sort of sanctuary many of us need. And, that’s exactly what is offered at French House in Soho, along with a choice of thirty champagnes and wines by the glass, so that proper, uninterrupted conversations can be had. Upstairs, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner on various days. Classic, simple cuisine (that changes daily) such as Chargrilled Ox Tongue and oysters make this a foodie destination in its own right. www.frenchhousesoho.com


The Dove, Hammersmith


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Perched on the banks of the Thames, this is a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike. The pub’s riverside location means it is very popular in the summer and particularly on Boat Race day, but it is equally as appealing in the winter, too. Take a pew by the crackling fire and sip on a Fullers ale as you soak up the history of this 17th-century bolt hole, which has played host to historical figures such as the poet James Thomson, Charles II and author A P Herbert. www.dovehammersmith.co.uk


Please like, share and comment below and see if we have anything else to inspire your next visit to London.


Bea Squires

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