Talisa Dean 11/11/22
Alongside alcohol, a fireplace is easily the best way to warm your cockles – making a pub with a roaring hearth pretty much the cosiest place the laws of physics will allow.
So, as the mercury makes its merry way to the bottom of the thermometer, we’ve pulled together a list of what we’d consider to be the cosiest pubs in London. Which means all you need to do is sit back, crack the spine on a good book, and order a hot toddy.
Behold, the best London pubs with open fires…
JUMP TO: NORTH | EAST | CENTRAL | SOUTH | WEST
The Albion | Islington
A relic from when Islington was fields and farmland, The Albion boasts a wisteria-filled beer garden for summer; and low hanging chandeliers, wood-panelled walls, and log fires for the frostier months.
Details: 10 Thornhill Road, N1 1HW
The Duke of Hamilton | Hampstead
A Hampstead pub that’s a little off the beaten track, with plenty of beer on tap, a formidable Sunday roast, and a jazz bar in the cellars with live music Thurs-Sat.
Details: 23-25 New End, Hampstead, London, NW3 1JD
The Holly Bush | Hampstead
Back when the Holly Bush was built – in the 1790s – fireplaces were pretty much the only form of heating. That and alcohol. So it explains why the venue has a lot of both. You can either cosy up to the hearth in the main bar, or head to the dining room and warm your cockles on the fire there…
Details: 22 Hollymount, Hampstead, NW3 6SG
The Queen’s Primrose Hill | Primrose Hill
A stone’s throw away from Regent’s Park, The Queen’s offers up a large selection of craft beers and wines, as well as an impressive food menu. In the summer time you might opt for the terrace (overlooking Primrose Hill itself) but in the winter you’ll more likely be fighting for a spot by their fire.
Details: 49 Regents Park Road, NW1 8XD
The Wrestlers | Highgate
The Wrestlers has stood on this site since 1547, and the wood panelling, log fire and stained glass windows give you a real sense of stepping back in time. The food and drink, however, is fully up to date – so you can enjoy craft beers and Korean Fried Chicken while soaking up the olde worlde charm.
Details: 98 North Road, N6 4AA
The Gipsy Queen | Gospel Oak
Quizzes. Live music. Craft beers. Fire. And an ever-changing line-up of mouthwatering residencies in the kitchens, from Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki to sharing plates of Turkish mezze.
Details: 166 Malden Road, London, NW5 4BS
The Southampton Arms | Gospel Oak
After a long winter walk across Hampstead Heath you might find yourself here – at the south-western corner – and should that happen to be the case, you’ll also find a guaranteed minimum of 18 British craft beers and ciders, as well as an upright piano and open fire by which to enjoy them.
Details: 139 Highgate Road, NW5 1LE
The Island Queen | Angel
Boasting all the charms of a Victorian gin palace, the Island Queen is an eclectically designed spot just up from the canal – perfect for warming up by the fireside after a brisk walk.
Details: 87 Noel Road, N1 8HD
The Old Queen’s Head | Islington
How do we love thee? Let us count the ways. 1. Booze. 2. A weekly quiz night. 3. A carved stone fireplace. 4. Lucky Chip burgers. 5. The club nights upstairs. 5. Sunday Socials with roast dinners, Bloody Marys, board games, and free use of the karaoke room. 6. The Karaoke Room.
Details: 44 Essex Road, N1 8LN
The Spaniard’s Inn | Hampstead
This 16th Century pub wears a lot of badges: not only is it one of London’s oldest drinkeries, it was also immortalised in Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, AND is thought to be where Keats wrote Ode to a Nightingale. It has a beer garden, roaring fires and mulled wine in the winter, plus a daily changing food menu to suit every occasion – including sitting down to write a seminal work of 19th century poetry.
Details: Spaniards Road, NW3 7JJ
The Wells | Hampstead
Think deep sofas, log fires, and board games. The beer list is big, the wine list is long, plus they’ll even knock you up a cocktail if you fancy it. And they’ll do it wells.
Details: 30 Well Walk, NW3 1BX
The Pineapple | Kentish Town
This pub is a true local favourite, as proved when it was threatened to be turned into flats – the locals rallied round and petitioned so hard the decision was not only overturned, but the bar actually got listed with English Heritage to boot. As well as the usual hard stuff, they serve pretty decent Thai food all days of the week. Plus there are frequent tap takeovers, plenty of cosy gas fireplaces, and cats.
Details: 51 Leverton Street, NW5 2NX
The Flask | Hampstead
Like every good flask, they’ll keep you both warm & watered, with a healthy drinks list, pub grub, and two crackling fireplaces seven days a week – and every Monday, they’ll even give you free cheese with your wine.
Details: 77 Highgate W Hill, N6 6BU
The Drapers Arms | Islington
Every Valentine’s Day, owner Nick Gibson donates the entire day’s earnings to charity. Which is almost as heart-warming as the log fire crackling away in the corner.
Details: 44 Barnsbury Street, N1 1ER
Chesham Arms | Hackney
Tucked away on a Hackney side street, this is the cosy kind of place you’ll come and lose an afternoon to (in the best way). Low lit, with exposed brick walls, a huge beer garden and two brick fireplaces for winter, they offer up a wide selection of real ales, from all over the country.
Details: 15 Mehetabel Road, E9 6DU
The Owl and Pussycat | Shoreditch
…went to sea and came back with a boatload of booze. They’ve been storing it in an East London pub since the since the 1600’s, serving it up alongside a decent menu of British food, including a great Sunday roast with a vinyl soundtrack. There’s a cocktail-focussed area upstairs, the Jago, and they have a gorgeous terrace for summer, too.
Details: 34 Redchurch Street, E2 7DP
Clapton Hart | Clapton
It’s a bright and spacious place, the type you’d head to with a group of friends confident you’ll find a table – although there’s also a few nooks and crannies for playing board games (or footsie) if that’s what you’re in the market for. They have an open fire to cosy up to in winter, and out the back is a large beer garden where you can knock back one of the many craft beers, real ales, or wines on offer.
Details: 231 Lower Clapton Road, E5 8EG
People’s Park Tavern | Hackney
Not only is this place a pub, it’s a brewery too – which means alongside a lengthy BBQ menu, they serve up a whole load of house-made booze which you can either enjoy wrapped up in their massive fairy-lit beer garden, or next to their toasty open fire.
Details: 360 Victoria Park Rd, E9 7BT
Prince George | Dalston
We’ve heard Will and Kate are big fans. It’s one of many charming Dalston pubs promising warmth in winter. Hidden down a backstreet, you can drink and dine to the tune of an old jukebox, with a notable number of stuffed animals to keep you company.
Details: 40 Parkholme Road, E8 3AG
The Grazing Goat | Marylebone
You can feast in the downstairs bar decked out with wood panelling and large French doors, or alternatively the dusty green, warmly-lit, first floor dining room might be more your thing. Either way there’s beer, wine, and plenty of cocktails to help ease it all down, not to mention a conveniently located hotel one floor up should things get a little grazy.
Details: 6 New Quebec Street, W1H 7RQ
The Princess Louise | Holborn
Like every good princess she’s elegant, lined with oak and drenched in booze. And she’s been going strong since the Victorian era – even the men’s urinals are Grade II listed. You’ll want to visit if you’re after a cosy spot with jaw-droppingly beautiful decor – frosted glass booths, original tiling and wood panelling – or just a place to play hide and seek with your friends.
Details: 208 High Holborn, WC1V 7EP
Scarfes Bar | Holborn
No, technically not a pub. But there’s nothing technical about the roaring fireplace. Plus, you can still get a beer.
Details: Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, Holborn, WC1V 7EN
The Antelope | Tooting
Did you know before banking Barclays dabbled in beer-brewing? The Antelope did. In fact it was Barclays who founded it in the 1800’s, and it’s been offering up booze, great food, drawing classes, pub quizzes, and banjo lessons ever since. There’s a beer garden out back, and just in case one fire wasn’t good enough they went and got three.
Details: 76 Mitcham Road, SW17 9NG
The Sun | Camberwell
A quick skip from Camberwell Green and you’ll come across this locals’ local, loved for its shabby chic decor – exposed brickwork, textured wallpapers, and quirkily recycled furniture – two huge beer gardens, excellent food and cosy open fire.
Details: 61-63 Coldharbour Lane, SE5 9NS
No.32 The Old Town | Clapham
Part of the reliably sleek family that includes No 197 Chiswick Fire Station and 601 Queen’s Road, this particular all-day bar & restaurant overlooks Clapham Common. And included in its many charms (including roasts, brunches and cocktails) is a roaring fireplace next to a couple of cozy sofas…
Details: 32 The Pavement, SW4 0JE
The Mayflower | Rotherhithe
One of the oldest pubs in London, The Mayflower gets its name from the first pilgrim ship that, a stone’s throw away, left for America in 1620. Frankly, we don’t know how they managed to tear themselves away from the cosy interiors, the roaring fire and the riverside jetty – practically none of which has changed over the past four centuries. There’s a dozen beers on tap, a hearty food menu (including a kilo of mussels) and a cracking roast on Sundays, too.
Details: 117 Rotherhithe Street, London, SE16 4NF
Watsons General Telegraph | Forest Hill
Telegraph stations are terrible at taking compliments. STOP. But this one, now fully renovated into a pub, is a beauty. With its 20 beer tap wall, vinyl-only music policy, giant all-weather-permitted beer garden (filled with sofas and fire-pits), it’s almost enough to literally write home about.
Details: 108 Forest Hill Road, SE22 0RS
Half Moon | Herne Hill
Once upon a time U2, the Police, Van Morrison, and Frank Sinatra all played in the Half Moon’s back room. Nowadays music might be less of a focus, but it does boast four bars, beautiful antique interiors, and a beer garden filled with fire pits fit for late night, winter hangs. Throw in enough beer and/or wine and who knows… you too might start singing after all.
Details: 10 Half Moon Lane, SE24 9HU
The Clockhouse | Peckham
Brace yourself for a constitutional stomp around Peckham Rye, then warm up in The Clockhouse’s cosy interiors with open fires, tweed-wrapped banquettes and mismatched vintage furnishings. They’re dog-friendly, too – what’s cosier than that?
Details: 196a Peckham Rye, East Dulwich, London, SE22 9QA
The Station | Hither Green
Apologies in advance to Hither Green residents, who probably don’t want the best spot in their local pinched by a load of day-trippers. But we will say that this cosy pub is right next to the station, does a cracking roast and has a roaring log fire (complete with dog bed right next to it).
Details: 14 Staplehurst Road, Hither Green, London, SE13 5NB
The Orange | Pimlico
Some West London pubs are unapeeling, but The Orange certainly isn’t one of them. In fact it’s a particularly beautiful place loaded with aged stuccoed walls, wooden furniture, and vintage artwork. Like every decent pub does it serves a long list of cocktails, wines, and draught beers, all of which can be enjoyed downstairs in the ground floor bar or by the fire, overlooking Orange Square, in their upstairs dining room.
Details: 37 Pimlico Road, SW1W 8NE
The Pelican | Portobello Road
Cask ales served in dimple mugs; well-picked wines and stellar cocktails – The Pelican does it all. And it does it all with a roaring log fire, too. Set just off Portobello Road, it’s the perfect bolthole for when the crowds get too much, and you’re in sudden, dire need of delicious small plates cooked up by Brawn’s Owen Kenworthy.
Details: 45 All Saints Road, London, W11 1HE
The Drayton Arms | Kensington
Booze, food, big sofas, and board games. All of that should be enough for anyone, but throw in a fireplace, and it becomes next-level comfy.
Details: 153 Old Brompton Road, SW5 0LJ
Lass O’ Richmond Hill | Richmond
The perfect resting place after a long walk in Richmond Park. The walls are lined with thick wooden beams, the skirting’s painted dark olive green and there are big leather armchairs pulled up close to open fires. Plus if the weather’s right for it/you haven’t already overdosed on fresh air for the day, there’s a big, leafy garden out back.
Details: 8 Queen’s Road, TW10 6JJ
Duke on the Green | Parsons Green
If you’re a Parsons Green local this one’s for you, particularly if you’re into your craft beer. And if beer’s not your thing? They’ve also got plenty of fine wines & cocktails for the taking. Setting-wise think patterns (a lot of them) but in a genuinely tasteful way; there are striped sofas with floral cushions, pendant lighting, wooden tables, and painted mustard chairs.
Details: 235 New King’s Road, SW6 4XG
The Warrington Hotel | Maida Vale
According to urban legend, this opulent Victorian pub was once a high-class knocking shop, with its Randolph Avenue address giving rise to the term ‘randy’. Nowadays it’s just a ludicrously cosy place to get a pint, with a roaring fire, Chesterfield sofas, and jaw-dropping period features anywhere you choose to turn your head.
Details: 93 Warrington Crescent, London, W9 1EH
The Fox And Pheasant | Chelsea
You’ll find it down a picturesque, pastel-coloured mews in Chelsea; a handsome 17th-Century boozer, owned by none other than James Blunt himself. It’s got a cosy, laid-back feel, helped along by three roaring fires in the winter. Food wise you can expect a mix of mostly British dishes, crafted with seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients, whilst for drinks it’s, well, the usual… to put it bluntly.
Details: 1 Billing Road, Chelsea, London, SW10 9UJ
The Elgin | Notting Hill
You know that time-old phrase ‘never judge a pub by its cover’? Well, they definitely hadn’t visited The Elgin before writing that. Its white, tiled counters, distressed wooden floors, and exposed brick walls illustrate beautifully just how good their beer tastes and how perfectly lovely their food is, too.
Details: 96 Ladbroke Grove, W11 1PY
The Alfred Tennyson | Belgravia
Named after Britain’s first poet laureate, this is a fittingly refined spot. Set over four floors, you’ll find pink velvet booths, leather sofas, oak tables, open fires, and large sash windows. At the bar there’s a long list of beers both bottled and on tap, as well as a healthy wine list and cocktail selection to bolster an all-day food menu.
Details: 10 Motcomb Street, W1X 8LA
The Cadogan Arms | Chelsea
There’s a lot of talk around this plush Chelsea pub and its recent decorous restoration – and rightfully so, with dazzling chandeliers, a mosaic floor and a stained-glass backlit bar in the central area. But come winter your eyes will be on only one thing: those velvet armchairs by the roaring fire…
Details: 298 Kings Road, London SW3 5UG
These pubs feel even cosier… after you’ve braved the chill on one of these London walks
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