The Clachan 34 Kingly Street, London W1B 5QH
Formerly The Bricklayer’s Arms. A Beaux Arts turret and dome distinguishes The Clachan from outside. Lovingly-maintained wrought ironwork and intricate carved wood contribute to the very special atmosphere inside this gay boozer. An eclectic range of real ales, handmade ciders and proper pub grub highlight just why The Clachan is so perennially popular.
The George Inn George Inn Yard, 77 Borough High Street, SE1
Dating from 1676, this is the only remaining galleried coaching inn in London. Grade 1- listed and now owned by The National Trust, the bedchambers of yesteryear have been transformed into a restaurant. It is the romance of this unique history, rather than the food on drink on offer therein, that makes The George Inn well worth a visit.
Jerusalem Tavern 55 Britton Street, Clerkenwell EC1M 5UQ
The Priory of St John of Jerusalem was founded in Clerkenwell (then Cleric’s Well) in 1140 AD and the name of this excellent little pub derives from the Priory. The Jerusalem Tavern itself dates from the 14th C. and its open fire has been burning on this same, tiny site since 1720. As well as the full range of St Peter’s beers and ales (brewed with malt from East Anglia and British hops), this award-winning pub serves coffee and on weekdays, good food.
The Old Bell Tavern 95 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1DH
Built around 1760 for the workers constructing Christopher Wren’s St Bride’s Church. What is now the backdoor was then at the front and leads into St Bride’s Courtyard. With traditional triangular stools, a selection of cask ales and honest pub lunches, The Old Bell Tavern is everything a pub should be. Don’t forget to admire St Bride’s spire while you’re here; it inspired the tiered wedding cake.
The Seven Stars 53-54 Carey Street, London WC2A 2JB
For over 400 years, The Seven Stars, tucked away behind The Royal Courts of Justice, has been a favourite of barristers from nearby Chambers. This tiny place, with its steep, rickety staircase, holds no more than about 40 people and is often full to overflowing at 6.30pm.The lunchtime menu is short but always good. Be warned that The Seven Stars closes early; never later than 9pm.
Ye Olde Watling 29 Watling Street London EC4
Said to be built from old ships timbers by Sir Christopher Wren, Ye Olde Watling dates back to 1668, just two years after The Great Fire destroyed this area of London. It is likely that the pub was built for workmen rebuilding St Paul’s Cathedral which is just moments away. Pub lore has it that that the upstairs rooms were used as a drawing office during the building of the Cathedral. Watling Street today is tiny but once, this Roman road leading out of the City and all the way to Wales. Today, the pub has a selection of cask ales and a fair wine list and a good dining room.