Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Black Horse

Black Horse
The tendrils of London's craft beer scene have snaked all the way out to the Hertfordshire border, where Barnet stands proud in the form of the Black Horse. This is the home of the simply named Barnet Brewery, and though they were in the process of adding more ales during our visit (with a 'coming next' board to prove it), our pint of a tipple called Here Comes The Soulstice certainly hit the spot, and there were six others to choose from on our first visit. 1/3 pint tasters are available, as are £10 Barnet Brewery t-shirts, as modelled by the friendly barman.
There's a separate dining area at the back of this surprisingly large pub, and a garden that you sense must be teeming in the summer (though understandably empty on our 4pm weekday visit). The main pub area includes an elderly man eating from a basket and a particularly yappy dog, though whether they are permanent fixtures we can only speculate. The wine list was average — the focus is on the beer. The Barnet Brewery's beers are, as yet, not sold anywhere else. Taste the exclusivity.
The pub's not just nominally horsey — there are pictures of horses being ridden, shoed, and in various states of gaiety, including in the gents. Art work of Old Barnet also brightens up the place, if a black and white photo can brighten up a place.
The yappy dog had fallen asleep by the time we left the pub, we are happy to report. It was entirely absent on our second visit. And a third, which also lacked any home-brewed ales. 

the Redchurch

Redchurch Brewery

Redchurch Brewery

More of a brewery tap than a pub, but we have no issues including the Redchurch in these pages, because it's ace. You'll find it beneath one of the railway arches down Poyser Street. It's not exactly well signed, nor does it look like a bar, so watch out for the open door with lots of kegs and fermenters. The tap room is up the stairs, and serves all the brewery's usual tipples — all named after local areas: Hackney Gold, Shoreditch Blonde, Hoxton Stout, Bethnal Pale Ale, etc. The Old Ford Export stout is exquisite, and perhaps the best dark stuff we've ever sampled. At a heady 7.5% though, you don't want to be drinking this all night.
The brewery started from the owner's home on Redchurch Street Shoreditch, hence the name. It migrated to its current home in 2012, soon opening the public tap room. The space is cosy and a bit cramped when busy, but the large tables ensure you get a bit of perching space and encourages chatting between groups. Punters get to choose the music, not via a jukebox but by flipping vinyls on one of two decks. "Anything but the bloody German drinking tunes LP," confided the bar staff.
The bar's open Saturday each week, occasionally on other days, and you can also book onto a 45-minute brewery tour, which includes samples. Do it.

Beard Friendly’ Hackney pubs are joint winners

Both pubs were declared joint winners after a tied online poll, organised by The Beard Liberation Front (BLF), an ‘informal network of beard wearers’.
BLF Organiser Keith Flett said there had been a record vote for the award.
“Beards and East London are something of a media stereotype but the Cock is very much a functioning pub with a diverse range of customers and beers,” he explained.
“Like many things the BLF does, the Beard Friendly Pub poll is a mix of the rather light hearted with some more serious points lurking behind.
“The Beard Friendly Pub will have an ambience that welcomes beards, that is, at least some of the bar staff will be hirsute and a noticeable numbers of the customers as well.
“It will also sell beard friendly beers - that is not just standard bitters and lagers but interesting IPAs, stouts and much else in cask, keg and bottle.”
The Bag of Nails in Bristol came top outside London.

Pub music free

Pub music free

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The best pubs in London have to have certain qualities. Blooming good beer and ale for one, a bit of their own unique personality and one of Movebubbles key requirements…no playing of loud ridiculous music. First, lets travel over to North London…
 North London

The Jolly Butcher – Stoke Newington 

If you’re a huge beer and ale fan then this is where you need to go. This pub sources new brewer’s from all over the country. They keep up to date on the best ales out there by keeining in “constant contact” with beer writers and reviewers and others in the industry – sticking with the out and out favourites whilst also taking chances on newer brews. Some sample casks you won’t find on the website as they are just being tried out so check at the bar for what the new treats are!
Address: 204 Stoke Newington High St, London N16 7HU

BrewDog – Camden

Brew Dog the brewery bar
Photo credit: www.squaremeal.co.uk
BrewDog was first distilled up in bonny Scotland and BrewDog in Camden was the first to hit south of the border. The pub is within a stone throws distance of both Camden’s under and over ground stations and is a stalwart for craft beers in an area where crazy, indie chic bars can often overpower the good old-fashioned craft beer bars.
Address: 113 Bayham Street, Camden, London NW1 0AG

The Washington – Hampstead

The Washington pub Hampstead best pubs in London
The same owners as The Trafalgar in Chelsea, The Washington has less of an English Country feel than the Trafalgar and is a bit more of a smart city pub. It’s a great place to go when you fancy something authentic but a bit more civilised. The interior is beautiful polished wood and gold trimmed mirrors and you’ll be able to grab yourself a comfy leather chair, booth or table if you want to get an extremely good bite to eat.

Auld Shillelagh – Stoke Newington

For a good old fashioned Irish pub, look no further than the Auld Shillelagh. It opened almost a quarter of a century ago with a bar, some stools a toilet and a dartboard! It now boasts a sunny beer garden and serves the best Guinness you’ll find in the big smoke! It shows all sports and live music weekly. A cracking Irish Bar with a sporty twist.
Address: 105 Stoke Newington Church St, London N16 0UD

The Lansdowne – Primrose Hill

The Lansdowne has been open since 1992 with an aim of bringing “high quality pub eating” to Primrose Hill. The inside is shabby chic and the wine list is good with a choice of different beers on tap. The Lansdowne is very popular with the locals which is always a good sign… Gwyneth Paltrow is even a fan.
Address: 90 Gloucester Ave, Primrose Hill, London NW1 8HX
Phone: 020 7483 0409

Island Queen – Islington

The outside of the pub Island Queen in Islington
Photo credit: www.tripadvisor.co.uk
To go to the polar opposite of the bars above then head to the truly-uniquely named Island Queen in Islington. This bijou bar has outlandish furniture and original features that go hand-in-hand with the high ceilings and crazy attention to detail! The bar offers a long list of speciality drinks that can be enjoyed in comfy, cosy settings in this backstreet bar.
Address: 87 Noel Rd, London Borough of Islington, London, Greater London N1 8HD

Best pubs in Central London

The Trafalgar – Chelsea

The Trafalgar in Chelsea
When you want a traditional English pub with a touch of glamour, this is where you should head. A glamorous but comfy interior give that great traditional pub feeling but just without any of the shabbiness that put some people off hanging out in pubs. This is the kind of place you go to celebrate your mum’s birthday or enjoy a hungover Saturday brunch with your new Chanel pumps on. The Trafalgar is also renowned for its tasty Sunday Roasts.

Antelope – Belgravia

Outside of the Antelope pub in Belgravia
If you’ve spent the day shopping in Sloane Square and the King’s Road then a pint in this traditionally decorated pub in Belgravia will go down fantastically. The bar dates back to the 17th century and it offers a fine selection of ales, food and welcomes families.
ddress: 22 Eaton Terrace, London SW1W 8EZ

Best pubs in South London

The Royal Albert – New Cross

Royal Albert pub in New Cross
This pub in New Cross encapsulates ‘London’ and ‘pub’ perfectly. The charming and higgledy piggeldy inside with its thick velvet drapes cocoons you away from the high street and you enter a cosy world of worn in leather sofas, pub games, grandma chandeliers, strong cider and good food. It’s popular with the older Goldsmith student crowd and a few work there so it has a young bohemian vibe. You can spend hours playing battleships on Sunday over a hot chocolate and a roast dinner. When the pub quiz starts, you may as well settle in for the night!
Address: 460 New Cross Rd, London SE14 6TJ

The Old Brewery – Greenwich

Old Brewery in Greenwich at night
Photo credit: www.intertitles.com
The Old Brewery is located within the grounds of The Old Royal Naval College, right next to the last tea clipper The Cutty Sark. They boast on-site, experimental brewers as well as 50 classic beers from around the world. A lively café by day and a vibrant restaurant in the evening with an outside courtyard surrounded by flowers leading into a small bar and pub (by far the best part of the venue), The Old Brewery certainly offers something a little different to the average bar and eatery.
Address: The Pepys Building, The Old Naval College, Greenwich, London SE10 9LW

Priory Arms – Landsdowne Way

Don’t be put off by the plain website. If beer and laughs are your thing then the Priory Arms is made for you! With 5 real ales and ciders on tap along with some of the best Belgian, German, American and English beers on offer there’s plenty to quench the thirst. Food is served till 10.30pm but the icing on the cake is the theatre upstairs that holds comedy, improv and even cabaret nights!
Address: 83 Lansdowne Way, London SW8 2PB

Best pubs in East London

Spurstowe Arms – Greenwood Road

This is one of the most popular and fashionable pubs in E8 with London’s leading names in fashion often spotted in the beer garden on a sunny afternoon. The bar is crammed on weekend evenings full of fashionistas and its local creatives.
Address: 68 Greenwood Rd, London E8 1AB

The Grapes – Limehouse

The Grapes 07 05 2014
Photo credit: www.spitafieldslife.com
This bar dates back almost 300 years and is rich with culture and history. One of the joint owners of the bar is Sir Ian McKellen aka Gandalph and the pub has been mentioned by Dickens, Welles and Arthur Conan Doyle, who sent Sherlock Holmes there in search of opium in one of his novels. You’re guaranteed a story with every pint in this ancient tavern.
Address: 76 Narrow St, London E14 8BP

Carpenter’s Arms – Whitfield Street

This listed building is a pub with all the fantastic charms of old, blended with a fresh new refurbishment. It boasts intimate booths and comfy sofas but the real selling point is the rooftop garden which has its own bar and space for thirty people, available for private parties. The food is modern classic with great snacks available too; sausage rolls and salt and pepper squid amongst the picks of the best.
Address: 68-70 Whitfield St, London W1T 4EY

Best pubs in West London

Harwood Arms – Fulham
Inside of the Harwood Arms
pic found on londonist.com
A collaboration of some great minds, Harwood Arms aims to deliver quality British food and excellent wines and beers in a relaxed, friendly, proper pub-like atmosphere! Along with this they want to keep the pub’s traditions alive and host a busy pub quiz on the first Tuesday of each month.
Address: Walham Grove, London SW6 1QP

Anglesea Arms – South Kensington

When a London bar serves Cornwall’s Doom Bar, it’s our duty to tell you about it! The Angelsea Ams is a picturesque traditional British pub with plenty of outdoor seating for when the sun comes out. High quality gastro pub style food is available along with a choice of 6 ales.

The Dove – Hammersmith

The Dove in Hammersmith
Photo credit: www.tellwalk.co.uk
Set right on the River Thames, The Dove has been offering high quality food and ales for a long long time! Their riverside Terrace offers alfresco dining with cracking views of the River and the pub is also a great spot for the annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge.

The Queen’s Head – Brook Green

Outside of the Queens Head pub
Pic from pub-explorer.com
A complete gem of a pub. It may look small from the front but go in and the cavernous interior opens up into one of the best pubs in West London. It has a huge outdoor beer garden that’s an oasis on a hot day, especially when it’s quieter at the weekend. Busiest times are on summer weekday evenings as workers from Hammersmith flock there in droves. The food is particularly good too, don’t miss the Sunday roasts! Sitting in the sun with a cider and a plate full of beef and Yorkshire pudding is our favourite way to spend Sunday.

 Churcill Arms – Kensington

Churchill arms pub best pubs in London
Easily one of the prettiest pubs in the UK, the flowers outside this pub have won the ‘London in Bloom’ awards for two years running. The pub serves authentic Thai food cooked by the Thai chefs in the pub kitchen. It’s recommended you reserve a table as it can get busy
Address: 119 Kensington Church Street, London W8 7LN



Not all is what it seems on the surface at the Morpeth Arms. Lurking beneath the pub in our basement is a corridor of holding cells that are rumoured to be haunted by prisoners and prison workers from the nearby Millbank Penitentiary. Prisoners were led from their cells through underground tunnels to the lock up underneath the pub, where they were kept whilst they waited to board convict ships or the floating prisons, ready to take them to the land down under! #oldschoolpunishment #moderndaytreat

Ever heard the term POM? Wondered what it actually means? We have heard loads of explanations, but the one we like and believe to be true is P.O.M- Prisoner of Millbank. The Morpeth Arms, a place to drink, a place to eat and a place steeped in history! #morethanjustapub

A sophisticated and stylish room made for socialising. Situated on the first floor (no more hidden gems, I promise) with stunning views over the River Thames, the room gets its name from the famous MI6 across the water.

The sophistication and style comes from the room being themed on 1920’s secret agent and exotic dancer- Mata Hari. Perfect for almost any occasion, it would take a true secret agent to sniff out a room like this!

We even have our own sets of binoculars hanging from the windows so you can spy on the spies! So, if you would like to hold your gathering in the Spying Room, give Gary a call and he will go through all the T's and C's and hopefully get you booked into our diary. Be quick though, the room is very popular.