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Top 10 Pubs of London
London has a plethora of great pubs to chose from, but there are a few whose history and character set them apart from the common London pub. Here is a list of 10 great London pubs that I have put together, any one of which will provide you with that great British experience you are seeking.
#1) The Salisbury- As Queen Victoria's favorite London pub, as well as my own, this historic site sits at the heart of the West End, complete with beautiful Victorian décor of cut-glass mirrors, old-fashioned banquettes, and bronze lighting fixtures. Famous for its Victorian appearance, as well as its homemade meat pies, the Salisbury is a great pub to stop in for a drink and hot meal when cruising around the West End of London.
Tube Stop: Leicester Square
#2) The Prospect of Whitby- Dating back to 1543, this East London pub is the city's oldest surviving riverside pub. The notorious pub gained notoriety as a meeting place for smugglers, thieves and villains of all sorts. According to legend, offending criminals would be tied up outside the pub to wait for the tide to come in and drown them. The Prospect serves great British dishes, as well as stocking a healthy selection of beers on tap. With a first floor balcony terrace and beer garden, it is a great place to come for a drink in good weather while overlooking the Thames.
Train Stop (Overground): Wapping
#3) The White Hart- Reputedly licensed in 1216, this London pub boldly claims the title of oldest pub in London, a fact that is hotly contested. The pub is located just a block south of the popular Oxford St, bringing to the pub a healthy mixture of patrons. Serving great British dishes daily, hosting a wide selection of tap beers, and bringing in a diverse crowd, the White Hart is a neat pub in the heart of central London action and well worth a stop in.
Tube Stop: Tottenham Court Rd or Holbourn.
#4) Cittie of Yorke- Listed in the National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors, this unique pub is not your average London pub. Although the present building dates from the early 20th century, the site has hosted a pub since the early 15th century. The pub's dark paneled front bar, numerous nooks and crannies, as well as its great hall, bring a visitor back to London's medieval past. With great British dishes, selection of fine British ales, and plenty of space to wander, it's one of the most unique in London's laundry list of great pubs.
Tube Stop: Chancery Lane
#5) The Eagle- As one of London's oldest pubs, the Eagle retains many of its original features. Here you can find great beers on tap, quality food, quality service, and a great atmosphere. The Eagle is a bit off the beaten path, at least compared to many other London pubs, so this would be a place to enjoy a quite ale and leisurely fraternize with the local patrons. I love this place for the combination of its historic look, great food and service, and a low key ambiance.
Tube Stop: Angel or Hoxton
#6) The Dog and Duck- Located in the heart of Soho, this bustling pub never sees a dull moment. As one of Soho's historic pubs, it is frequented by locals and travelers alike. A great place to grab a pint and have a good laugh, and with the well preserved Victorian décor, this lively pub provides all the atmosphere you would expect in a historic British pub.
Tube Stop: Tottenham Court Rd or Leicester Square
#7) Ye Old Chesire Cheese- This pub has stood on the famous Fleet Street for centuries, having to be rebuilt in the Great Fire of 1666, which only adds more fuel to the fiery debate surrounding London's actual oldest pub. Ye Old Chesire Cheese has long played a role in London's social scene, playing host to many famous British personalities, most famously Charles Dickens. The lack of lighting in the pub creates an air of gloom, which for many visitors adds to its charm. Well worth a visit and a great place to pop in and grab a pint.
Tube Stop: St. Paul's
#8) The George Inn- This Southwark pub can be traced back to 1542, with an inn most likely occupying the site previously. As the only remaining galleried coaching inn in London, the pub now belongs to the National Trust. Located in Southwark, the neighborhood where Shakespeare lived, it is likely the master of plays frequented the local watering hole. A great place to relive some history, grab a pint and listen to some live music.
Tube Stop: London Bridge
#9) Grenadier- One of London's most famous pubs, the Grenadier was a local watering hole for the Duke of Wellington's officers on leave from fighting Napoleon. The pub reportedly pours the best Bloody Marys in town, and is famous for its filet of Wellington beef.
Tube Stop: Hyde Park Corner
#10) Trafalgar Tavern- Built in 1837, the Trafalgar Tavern adds to the laundry list of attractions in Greenwich. This riverside pub became famous for its whitebait, and other staple British dishes. The Trafalgar has great food, a wide selection of beers on tap, beautiful Victorian décor, a friendly staff, and a nice big deck overlooking the Thames. I really love stopping in here for some good food and a pint on the deck after a long day of sightseeing in Greenwhich.
Light Rail Stop: Cutty Sark or Train Stop: Maze Hill
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