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Cosy Pubs in The Capital

Our resident pub lover is back with his favourite London drinking holes. Written by George Cowie

My geography of London is oriented around pubs. I was a late adopter of the smart phone and so through my 20s I developed my own internal GPS. Here is a list of my favourite landmark boozers to navigate you through the city.

The Nags Head, Belgravia

On a mews street off Belgrave Square this tiny little pub with a coal fire and a ban on phones is an absolute gem. Beer snacks are limited to cheese and onion crisps, the lunch menu is Irish stew and the bar staff are rude. I love it.

The Seven Stars, Holborn

This narrow 1602 pub tucked behind the Royal Courts of Justice is full of barristers celebrating and commiserating at the end of the day. A resident bar cat called Thomas Paine wears an Elizabethan ruff and catches mice. Proprietor, Roxy Beaujolais is a boisterous hostess and an excellent cook.

The Southhampton Arms, Kentish Town 

I love this pleasingly stripped-back place. Its no-frills but the well-worn wooden benches, open fires and massive sausage rolls feel luxurious.

Ye Olde Mitre, Holborn

Cheese and ham toasties served with jars of chutney and english mustard. Sorry to be size-ist but this pub is not for tall people.

The Mayflower, Rotherhithe

This Docklands drinking den has been around for 400 years. Go for a sauna in the undercroft of the Finnish Church in old Rotherhithe and then settle in for a couple of drinks overlooking the river.

King Charles I, Kings Cross

This place has got soul. Buddy Holly on the jukebox, Elvis’ face in stained glass in the window, a honky tonk piano, sit by the fire, the bar is cash only.

The Dog and Bell, Deptford

Hidden away on a 60s housing estate by the river in Deptford this pub was lucky to survive the Blitz. Sea shanties on Wednesday nights are a nod to its maritime past.