Where are the best pubs in London? Ask a Navigator. (Photo: Stocksy/Paul Schlemmer)
London’s cultural scene is as changeable as its weather and keeping up with the changes can be tricky business. But no matter what the weather, you can always find a good pub for a good pint in London. Here are a few of my favorites.
The Camden Town Brewery makes one of the best local brews in the city. Its specialty brews are the crisp and lemony Camden Hells Lager, the dry, fruity Camden Pale, the Camden Wheat with a distinct aroma of banana and toffee and Camden Ink that has a blend of coffee and chocolate. These beers are available year-round. Other seasonal beers include floral and lemony Gentleman’s Wit, the bitter Rude Boy and the USA Hells that has a mix of mango and pineapple in it. On certain days, food trucks are invited to provide guests with a taste of the wonderful street food the city has to offer.
Charles Lamb pub is a delightful hidden gem, tucked behind rows of Regency terraced houses just behind Angel Station. It’s position off of the main street manages to control the crowds, however, leaving the bar bustling yet accessible. With elegant, minimal decor, a sunlit interior that brightens up the afternoon atmosphere, and a selection of delectable bar snacks, it’s easy to see why this hidden spot is a neighborhood favorite. A French wine list available in glasses and carafes completes the selection at this wonderful spot.
An unassuming pub on a comparatively quiet back street on the edge of Covent Garden, Cross Keys gets its name from its unusual sign showing cherubs holding the crossed keys of Saint Peter, keeper of the gates to Heaven. Built in the 19th Century, every inch of wall space in this narrow, grade 2 listed building is covered in pictures, photographs, etchings and posters, ranging from Victorian paintings to Beatles album covers. From the ceiling hangs a collection of copper and brass items, including kettles, pots and musical instruments. It’s an eclectic space, but one that suits Cross Keys, making it a charming place to visit. It’s the perfect place to stop in for a pint, and on Sundays you can get a slice of their special roast. There’s even a functional room in back that can be rented out for parties or events.
James Elliott is an Islington, London native with a lifelong passion for maps, which comes in handy as a Navigator at the St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel.