Great Britain Recommendations for top London pubs?

Discussion in 'Europe' started by ghostwalker, Aug 10, 2012.

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  1. ghostwalker

    ghostwalker Crusader (757) Sep 3, 2005 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I'm just getting ready to visit London for a week of post-Olympic tourism. I'm very interested in visiting more than a couple of traditional pubs for some real ale and top notch pub grub.

    Here are a few questions for the London BAs:

    Any suggestions for pubs in the Tower Bridge area? Looking for my local with this one.

    Sounds like the Old Thameside is pretty close by, any personal recommendations there?

    Can I bring my kids (10, 12 years old) in with me for food (for all) and a few brews (for me)? I hear differing reports on this one, hence the question.

    Best Fuller's pub?
    Best Young's pub?
    Best stop for Taylor's Landlord?
    Number one don't miss pub for all of London?

    I know I can always use BeerFly for this, (and I already have), but I am interested in responses from locals here. Also, BeerFly reviews can be old info, sometimes...

    One more side question: Best Curry Restaurant close to the Tower?

    Thanks for any info that you care to pass on. If you ever visit Boston, Beermail me and I'll be happy to return the favor.

  2. Darwin553

    Darwin553 Initiate (67) Jan 5, 2009 Australia

    Most pubs will say no and for good reason...too much of a disturbance to patrons, nothing on the food menu can always bring them to a wetherspoons (generic name but trades under different names) as they are basically everwhere just look for the pub that has the prices out front.

    No 1 pub that you can't miss? Well I am biased as it was my local: The Cask: Pub and Kitchen in Pimlico. And it isn't too far away from Tower Bridge, if you catch the tube that is :wink:
  3. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,716) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Find a pub next to a maccy d and shove the kids in there for a few hours.

    For Fullers i'd recommend the one next to the brewery, can't remember the name though, it has a solid range plus food, plus you can always nip next door for a brewery tour and the brewery shop. Just a short walk from Turnham Green station (District Line westbound from Tower Hill, turn left out of the station, walk down to the end of that road and take another left onto Chiswick High Road, walk down a bit more and go right onto Chiswick Lane and walk down that until you get to the big A road, then go under the road and you're there).
  4. deeblo

    deeblo Initiate (55) Dec 17, 2011 Antarctica
    Beer Trader

    Either Cask Pub and Kitchen in Pimlico or its sister pub Craft Beer Co in Clerkenwell. Cask serves food, Craft just has bar snacks, but I've never seen kids in either.

    The Kernel brewery is pretty close to Tower Bridge. I'd recommend stopping by on a Saturday morning/afternoon if you can.
  5. ghostwalker

    ghostwalker Crusader (757) Sep 3, 2005 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Excellent, the Cask and the Kernel Brewery are both going to be musts. How about the Rake? It seems to be rather new, for London, but what I'm reading online sounds pretty interesting.
  6. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (617) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    You shouldn't miss the Royal Oak (44 Tabard Street) which isn't that far from Kernel. It's a lovely Harvey's pub that sells a good range of their beers, including cask Mild.

    As for Taylor's Landlord, the Gunmakers at 13 Eyre Street Hill, Clerkenwell usually has in excellent condition. And close by you've got the Old Mitre, a lovely old pub now owned by Fullers but also selling other breweries' beers.

    The Fullers brewery tap, BTW, is called the Mawson Arms. The beer is usually in excellent ciondtion there. It would need to be, as the brewers regularly drink in there.

    If you're after beautiful pubs, there's the Black Friar (174 Queen Victoria Street) which has an amazing art deco interior. Also the Argyll Arms (18 Argyll Street, just around the back of Oxford Circus tube) it's one of the few pubs to retain all its wood and etched glass partitions. The bar is divided up into a series of little booths, each with their own little piece of bar. And, if you've got your kids in tow, they are allowed in the upstairs room ro eat.
  7. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,716) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Fixed, based on what was going on when I was there.
  8. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (617) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    The brewers most definitely don't drink those. John Keeling drinks Chiswick. Derek Prentice drinks various different cask beers.
  9. Ruds

    Ruds Initiate (0) Sep 15, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    Yeah - I pop by the Mawsons on a Friday afternoon once a few months

    You tend to find a 50/50 split in terms of workers drinking their own products vs Strongbow/Lager

    Usually the men in suits are on the real and the lads in overalls on the fizz ... with some variation of course!
  10. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,716) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Must have been staff from a different fullers brewery then.
  11. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (617) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    I've drunk with the brewers many times in the Mawson's. Not a pint of Lager or cider amongst them.
  12. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,716) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Like I said, must be staff from a different brewery named Fullers then.
  13. Kinsman

    Kinsman Champion (863) Aug 26, 2009 California

    I'll +1 the Black Friars recommendation for it's unique/beautiful interior. Beer wasn't bad either. Started chatting with a Canadian fellow in the Olde Mitre while I was there and he brought me down there afterward to show me around. I'm glad he did as it turned into quite a fun evening. Still amazed with myself as a drunk American tourist I managed to find my way back to my friends flat at the end of the night.

    Another pub worth visiting thats not too far from Tower Bridge is the Market Porter, just across from Borough Market. It's a beautiful market to visit as well, and their is a bottle shop inside the market if you're interested.

    Since you're bringing your kids along, I would highly recommend taking a boat ride down the river to Greenwich for a day. Great place to walk around and to take the obligatory shot straddling the prime meridian and the museum there was pretty kid-friendly. Greenwich Union is a short walk away and is a good place to grab lunch and get fresh Meantime beers. I didn't have kids with me but I'm guessing they would be kid friendly, especially during the lunch hour.
  14. deeblo

    deeblo Initiate (55) Dec 17, 2011 Antarctica
    Beer Trader

    The Rake is worth checking out. It's pretty small but has a good selection. They have a bunch of bottles and update their cask/keg list daily:
  15. surfadelic23

    surfadelic23 Initiate (0) Aug 25, 2005 Florida

    Check on the Harp on Chandos Place...Pommelers In Bermondsey is a few minutes from tower bridge, has a good beer selection, is a whetherspoons (check if they're having a festival...the whole chain that is)...Love the Rake, small but nice... LOve black friars... extrordinary interior and had TTLL+ 4 other ales when I was there last (YMMV)... Barrow Boy and Banker right off London Bridge is a converted bank that's a Fuller's House... Usually has the whole line on and saves a trip to Chiswick...For Fullers, I'm partial to the Churchill Arms (do good thai food) and The Victoria over by lancaster gate's nice...Killer Indian restaurant across from it too! Cask in Pimlico is awesome very modern feeling though...

    :relaxed: Will be in Boston in September, what are your top 10 pubs/beer bars? Will be there two nights...
  16. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (617) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    Deep Ellum. Great place.
  17. surfadelic23

    surfadelic23 Initiate (0) Aug 25, 2005 Florida

    thanks. Will do...
  18. reprob8

    reprob8 Initiate (94) May 22, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    but you said BREWERS, not staff. And I can confirm the Brewers always drink cask.
  19. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,716) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Must be a different brewery named Fullers then.
  20. kelvarnsen

    kelvarnsen Disciple (395) Nov 30, 2011 Ontario (Canada)

    Local people might have more information, but when I was in London and we were near tower bridge we went to the anchor tap and I really liked it. It was a Samuel Smith pub and they had a really good range of their beers. The prices for everything (beer and food) were also probably the most reasonable we had when we were there. Plus it was cool because the pub was like a bunch of little connected rooms, and it also had an outside drinking area.
  21. paxton1978

    paxton1978 Initiate (0) Aug 8, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    you're being kind of a d1ck here, Essex. patto1ro is pretty much unmatched in his knowledge on this kind of stuff. I can imagine that Fuller's STAFF were drinking macro lager/cider, but unless you heard them say 'I'm a brewer' then they weren't the brewers.
  22. CwrwAmByth

    CwrwAmByth Poo-Bah (1,716) Jan 24, 2011 United Kingdom (England)

    Yeah but it's fun, besides I though you'd all have realised by now not to take me seriously.
  23. Robert_N

    Robert_N Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2012 United Kingdom (Wales)

    The Draft House is in the Tower Bridge area, they seem to let children in, well definitely in the food area anyway.

    Plenty of bottles, kegs and cask and they don't shy away on offering samples, good value on the food also.
  24. ghostwalker

    ghostwalker Crusader (757) Sep 3, 2005 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Loved my trip to London! One of the world's best cities, period. Thanks for all the info and ideas.

    Very much a case of "too much to see, not enough time". So, in the end, I couldn't really do any "destination" pub stops. We mostly just stopped at something near whatever else we were doing, but I found some gems.

    An easy favorite was the Museum can guess why I was in the area. Landlord and Old Peculiar on cask! Historic building and decor. Great food too.

    Founders Arms, right next to the Tate Modern. Young's Special on cask and a monstrously huge double cheeseburger that hit the spot after a long day's walk.

    An Adnams pub almost on the Tower Bridge, can't recall the name. Bridge House, maybe? I hear it's the only Adnams pub in London. There was a Samuel Smith's pub one block over, also. Good stops for variety.

    Found a couple of Fuller's pubs and tried the London Pride. Never saw ESB on cask though, a bit disappointing.

    Oddbins at London Bridge station had a good selection of Kernel brews. I sampled five. Good brews all. I think the Export Stout was my favorite, but the Imperial Brown Stout was also excellent. Glad I grabbed these, because our Saturday was far too busy to go to the brewery, as I had planned.

    Wish I could go back again this weekend.

    My top Boston area recommendations:

    Redbones: Great BBQ and Southern comfort food. Always something good on tap, and usually a cask or two also.

    Sunset Grill: Too many taps, really, but I always find something worth the trip. A few years back, I fondly remember finding Hopmouth DIPA on cask. Five of us had several pints each, finally finishing the cask off. Best cask IPA I've ever had.

    Lord Hobo: Top notch place. Great beers, great beer events. I met Sam Calagione there once. The food is good too, but I'm there for the beer.

    Cambridge Brewing Co: Belgian ales, Wild Ales, just really unusual stuff. Yep, they have it all. Interesting food, too.

    A couple of bottle shops:

    Colonial Spirits in Acton is top notch. Tim the beer guy finds some amazing and rare stuff. I found Landlord in bottle there recently.

    Julio's in Westboro is probably the best beer store in the state, maybe the best beer store I have ever seen. If you have time and additional luggage capacity, a trip is in order.
  25. surfadelic23

    surfadelic23 Initiate (0) Aug 25, 2005 Florida

    Glad you hit museum tavern... One of my favs and it's never disappointed anyone I've sent there! I've been to the adnams pub you mentioned. It's nice. Thanks for the Boston tips! Did you find a good curry house? .re too much to see... Lol, I try to get over for a few weeks each year... Just wait til you start traveling around england! Then your time gets spread even thinner! Try to get up to York next time great pubs/history/minster/league2 football..Also, Edinburgh is Awesome too!
  26. ghostwalker

    ghostwalker Crusader (757) Sep 3, 2005 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I dragged the family up to Brick Lane/ Whitechapel one evening for curry. Tried for Tayyab's, but the huge line dissuaded us. Then we walked up the Lane looking for Aladin's, which I didn't have directions for. Ended up getting dragged into The Monsoon by a tout (it wasn't too random, I had heard the place was good from somewhere online) and had a nice meal, fairly cheap. I would have headed back up there for another try at Aladin's another night, but not enough curry for me is too much for my wife...

    I also wanted to mention that we did hit Barrowboy and Banker one afternoon. Pretty pub, nice venison house pie, and the Fullers seasonal was very tasty on cask. We ate on the dining level, up top. That was a mistake, as no one else was up there at that hour. Was a bit lonely watching all the folks enjoying their pints down on the floor. Beautiful place, though.

    The limited time issue is exactly the reason I didn't try to do anything outside London, as much as I wanted to see Stonehenge, etc. Even a trip to Kew Gardens for my wife chewed up a couple of extra hours in back and forth tube trips. I felt our best days involved prior planning and moving linearly from place to place at our natural pace.
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