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London’s Best Pubs and What to Drink When You Visit

London is home to the best pubs in the world, but sometimes the choices can be a little overwhelming. How do you separate the classic boozer from something a little more exciting? Our team have been out and about searching for the best pubs London town has to offer – here are their top picks, and what to order once you get there!


Want to find more unmissable London pubs? Take a look at our February competition prize, ‘A London Pub for Every Occasion’.   Whether you want to relax in a garden or shelter from rain, marvel at architecture or enjoy a live act, find a convenient meeting point or a place to hide, bring your dog to the pub or stroke the resident cat, it is Herb Lester’s role to anticipate your desires and act as your guide. With 161 tried-and-tested pubs, plus a handy fold-out map of London.The competition winner will also be treated to two pints. All you need to do is name your favourite pub and tell us why you love it! Email all answers to


Here are the team’s favourite pubs:


Favourite Pub: The Coach and Horses, Soho
Why: The pub is famed for its connection with Private Eye magazine’s staff, and it’s a great haunt for Soho personalities. Landlord Norman Balon has given himself the title of “London’s rudest landlord” – which is a reason to visit in itself.
Favourite Tipple: Bitter


The Crown and Shuttle, Shoreditch
Why: There are food trucks in the back garden, which is enormous by the way. You couldn’t wish for anything more!
Favourite Tipple: The Prosecco – it’s on tap!


The Grazing goat, Marylebone
Why? The food is incredible! I love the seabass with Champagne sauce – very decadent!
Favourite Tipple: There’s only one thing to go with that sea bass – a crisp glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc!


The Spaniard, Hampstead
Why? This pub’s located at the top of Hampstead Heath, so it’s great to work up an appetite stomping over en route to the pub for the best Sunday lunch going. Keats and Dickens are known to have frequented the pub for inspiration and it is also haunted; there’s a book behind the bar of the spooky goings on in the pub.
Favourite Tipple: I have to say it is normally a thirst-quenching pint of Camden Hells.


Chef Fernando
The Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park
Why? Because it’s got a great, friendly atmosphere, it’s just around the corner from my house and everyone knows my name! They also have the coolest garden in town. Favourite Tipple: IPA! Or, when the weather feels tropical(ish), they have the coldest Heineken to enjoy in the garden.


The Cutty Sark, Greenwich
Why? Amazing views, fab atmosphere, live music and most importantly – great grub!
Favourite Tipple: A half of Greenwich meantime beer – when in Rome!


Old George, Bethnal Green
Why? It’s a quirky East End pub with a great pub garden for the summer; it has a lively atmosphere and great food.
Favourite Tipple: A bloody Mary (with Roast Beef after strolling around Columbia Road Market!)



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