England’s public houses have been a part of the country for centuries. Some of the oldest have a rich history, dating back to the tenth century! Thinking of a London without pubs is like trying to imagine Barcelona without tapas bars, Athens without tavernas or Rome without enotecas. For purely cultural and historic reasons, a visit to several pubs while in London is absolutely necessary. We’ve picked the best of around 7,000 in the city but this is by no means an exhaustive list. If you run out of time to visit as many as you would like, you’ll just have to return to London. The great news is that with multi trip travel insurance it won’t cost you the earth in travel insurance if you make the trip a few of times in a year!
Princess Louise, Holborn
For an authentic Victorian London experience, a drink in the Princess Louise is a must. The interior – think etched glass, beautiful tiles, bar lamps, wood paneling and lots of mahogany and brass – is so well preserved that even the toilets are listed (although sadly only for the gents). Its brewery is the excellent Sam Smith’s, another English institution which keeps its beers reasonably priced despite how bad the recession.
Greenwich Union, Greenwich
Pubs pack tourist-central Greenwich (a World Heritage Site thanks to being the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Meridian Line) but wander up pretty wisteria-clad Royal Hill and you’ll find a relaxed pub filled with young locals. Try a pint of chocolate beer from the Meantime Brewery and, if it’s nice, sit out in the sunny beer garden.
The Earl Ferrers, Streatham
As well as some superb real ale, this tiny local pub offers some top-class wines and a menu that will be hard to pass up. A gigantic antipasto platter for two, traditional Sunday roast and rhubarb and ginger syllabub? Yes please! It’s also a great place to come for a late breakfast/early lunch – brunch gets its own menu – and it has a large cocktail menu. What more could you want?
The Mayflower, Rotherhithe
For a real sense of history, have a drink in this pub on the banks of the River Thames. In 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America in their very own Mayflower from the nearby landing steps. Then called the Shippe, the current Mayflower stands on the same site, though in a building that dates from the 18th century. With oak beams and wooden paneling, it is a wonderfully traditional English pub with a great link to history and fantastic views of the Thames to boot.
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