Over the past 5 years in London, I have come across some pubs that are real gems. Here is a round-up of some of my favourite pubs in the various parts of London I have lived in since moving here. They are all great places to go if you would like to experience a British pub filled with locals.
The Morgan Arms – Bow
My current local, The Morgan Arms pub in Bow is lovely. It‘s a gastropub, but the restauranty bit is kept to the back which keeps the front bit feeling more like a traditional pub. The staff are friendly, one even came out from behind the bar to help me carry my drinks to the table (you don't get that everywhere in London!). The food is high quality, with a rotating seasonal menu, and the ales and ciders change around so you can always enjoy an old favourite or find something new to try.
The Castle – Holland Park
The Castle is a great pub down the road from Holland Park tube station, on the corner of Holland Park Avenue and Clarendon Road. This was my old local when I lived on Clarendon Road in Notting Hill. It has a dark feel to it, but it is friendly, and busy. If you are lucky enough to grab of the cosy areas in the back, it is a fantastic spot to spend an afternoon catching up with friends. The Castle is also a great place to meet before heading over to Cool Monkey across the road for some great Thai.
The Ladbroke Arms – Notting Hill
The Ladbroke Arms is a pub also near Holland Park Tube station, tucked away behind a police station on Ladbroke Road. This small pub is a great escape from all the tourists on nearby Portobello Road. The crowd here is a good mix of old and new locals. They serve lovely food, which is very popular with the regulars. In writing this post I found out that the The Ladbroke Arms and The Morgan Arms pubs are connected, a fact that doesn't surprise me as they both have a great feel, are friendly and comfortable, and neither have music blasting so one can really have a good catch up with friends.
The Princess of Wales – Primrose Hill
Princess of Wales is one of the pubs I frequented when I lived in Camden (my local was the Hawley Arms…nuf said) and was looking to escape the Camden crowds. The Princess of Wales is a pub with a traditional feel to it, except for the Banksy piece in the really nice enclosed garden out the back (a bonus for those into their graffiti art). As with all my other favourites, the pub has a friendly feel to it; the staff are welcoming and those in the pub are a mix of young and old who are all just relaxing with friends. The pub offers meals or, if you just want some chips or dessert, they are equally accommodating.
The Landsdowne – Primrose Hill
The Landsdowne, also in Primrose Hill has a different feel to it than the Princess of Wales. To me it almost feels like an old school room. The crowd here is on the younger side and a celebrity sighting is not uncommon. However there is more to this pub than celebs, the food is fantastic, especially their pizzas for which they are known for. It is a buzzing place full of friends enjoying great food around the good-sized tables.
No matter where you are in London if you look around the corner from the main street you are sure to find a great local pub where you can spend hours relaxing, eating and drinking with friends. There are many more I could list here but hopefully these will get you started!
Meet Michelle Brideau: I've worked in travel for over 10 years and have travelled extensively over the years. My fascination with travel, other countries and cultures started at a young age. Growing up in Canada I was especially fascinated by England, another country so similar, yet so different with just a body of water separating us.
When the opportunity came to move to England I leapt across the pond, and here I am still in London 5 years later. I love exploring all this great city has to offer, and having Continental Europe at my doorstep is a dream come true.
I blog about travelling, and living life abroad in London, with the occasional rave about coffee, gadgets and great fashion finds at Bluenose Girl.