Popular Watering Holes of London

Popular Watering Holes of London

Great London Drinking Establishments

I’m assuming you’ve seen the london attractions that you want to see.  All the walking and photograph-taking might have made you thirsty.  If that’s the case your trip to London has to include a visit to a pub or two.

The pub is as much a part of British culture as fish and chips or a cup of tea.  You can truly say you have mixed with the locals once you have bought a round or two at the bar.

Pubs can also tell you a great deal about British history and these five have just as much to say as a visit to a museum.

Londons pubs and barsThe Star Tavern, Belgravia:  This establishment has seen many famous people pass through its doors including Diana Dors and Peter O’Toole. It also has the perhaps more infamous claim to fame of being the place where The Great Train Robbery was planned in the early 1960s.

The French House, Soho: This pub was used as a meeting place for members of the French Resistance.  This includs the General de Gaulle, during the Second World War. Today it retains a French flavor and even the alcohol is served in measures used across the Channel.

The Dog and Duck, Soho: It was here that the novelist George Orwell used to drink, maybe gathering ideas for his next book. It has been mentioned that in more recent times Madonna has dropped by on occasion.

The Lamb and Flag, Convent Garden: This pub can also boast it has been the hangout of great writers.  With Charles Dickens frequenting the bar as well as 17th Century poet John Dryden. This pub holds regular celebrations with the bunting being hung out every St. George’s Day.

The Viaduct, Newgate Street: Opposite the Old Bailey, this pub may have acted as a temporary gaol at one time. It is also the last surviving Victorian gin palace in London and the perfect place to visit for a G&T.

Cocktail Bars

If you prefer cocktail bars or even taking in a cocktail masterclass in london, then the world is your oyster in London.  This is especially true in recent years as the trend for cocktails has seen a resurgence. Callooh Callay, Love & Liquor, The Lucky Pig, Mr. Fogg’s and the extravagantly named Opium Cocktail and Dim Sum Bar are all worth heading to. Party the night away without a care in the world as you can always burn those calories off with more sightseeing tomorrow.

We’ll always recommend  that you join us for a cocktail lesson (or two) when you visit the capital. It’s a great way to get involved in a fun activity that gets you trying new experiences.  We’ve got all sorts of venues, from the intimate and refined, to the clubs and extravagant party venues. If a cocktail class is on your to-do list, make sure to get in touch with us for the best deals and options.

enquire about a cocktail masterclass

Hidden Secrets

If you like your drinking establishments a little more tucked away, try these out for size.

Tamesis Dock, Albert Embankment: Get on board for a pint or two at this floating pub. This 1933 Dutch Barge, that used to travel the waters of the Seine, now offers great food and cold beer.  Even better you can sit outdoors and watch the sun set over London as you eat.

tamesis dock albert embankment

The Mayor of Scaredy Town, Spitalfields: This truly is a secret, hidden away beneath The Breakfast Club. On arrival you need to say you would like to see the Mayor.  Only then will you be led downstairs to discover the bar hidden behind a door disguised as a SMEG fridge.

Putt In The Park, Acton: If you want a little exercise alongside your cold beer then head to the park next to Acton central railway station. Here you can enjoy a round of mini golf while enjoying a pint or two. This is a tranquil destination where you will be surrounded by greenery and the sound of running water from the small streams dotted about.

The Nightlife…

London Nightlife

When you want to enjoy the London nightlife you need not worry about being short on choices. Stand-up comedy, cabaret, clubbing cocktail making or the enjoyment of fine wines or whiskies, it’s all on offer.

The following three areas of the Capital are worth exploring as they have a great deal to offer in terms of nightlife.


Camden is a great place to visit day or night as it is a hub of the arts. During the day Camden Market offers a wide array of stalls selling handcrafted wares including clothing, jewellery, leather goods and artwork. As the sun sets head to one or more of the quirky pubs, many of which offer live music. The Black Heart is the place to try locally brewed beer from the Camden Town Brewery, such as Camden Hells Lager.

The Dublin Castle is less about the look of the pub and more about the ambiance and the music. It is one of the pubs around London where new bands come to prove themselves.  Over the years it has featured the likes of Madness and Blur. It bills itself as the only true pub left in Camden.  With its roaring fire in Winter and relaxed atmosphere, you may just agree. It also features unknown indie and alternative bands.  So if you want to discover new music The Enterprise should be on your tour.


There are plenty of nightclubs on offer in Mayfair although you may need a slightly larger bank balance to make the most of them. For Seventies Chic and a groovy dance floor head to Loop Bar. Trader Vic’s is all about the South Pacific and thus you need to enjoy a cocktail or two as you soak up the atmosphere. By the same people who brought us the Playboy Club is Baroque.  This has lush surroundings and a mix of party nights, often with live music on offer.


Head to Soho in the West End for a mix of high energy nightlife. The Box has seen many celebrity clients over recent years. Bar Rumba and the St.Moritz Club are famous basement bars, and the latter has been a hub of entertainment for decades. If karaoke is more your thing, but you prefer to do it in relative privacy, then head to the pods inside Lucky Voice Soho where drinks and nibbles are also on offer.


We’ll let you know where to head to the morning after your night out with some london culture

Written by Joe Thomas