Pubs with Open Fires: North London
The Spaniard’s Inn, Hampstead
A little out of the way, but worth the walk: The Spaniard’s Inn is one of London’s oldest pubs and has been immortalised in works of fiction by Charles Dickens and Bram Stoker. It’s also rumoured to be haunted (ooh-er). It’s very popular with locals, too; so if you like your fire with a side of spook, get down there sooner rather than later and enjoy mulled wine and tasty food by the hearth.
The Holly Bush, Hampstead
For us to include two Hampstead pubs with open fires on our list, you know they have to be pretty special. The Holly Bush is one of the capital’s most Instagrammed pubs and has been featured in the film Hampstead (which starred Diane Keaton and Brendan Gleeson, don’t you know). It’s pretty inside and out, with dark wood panelling throughout and an exquisite glass-backed bar, and plenty of nooks and crannies to shelter from the cold in.
The Albion, Islington
Come rain or shine, The Albion offers the perfect hideaway from the freneticism of the city. With a splendid beer garden for the summer – complete with wisteria – and roaring log fires for the winter, as well as an award-winning roast on the menu, you’ll want to take up permanent residence in one of their comfy chairs.
Pubs with Open Fires: South
The Antelope, Tooting
A pub with a solid gold pedigree. Quite literally: The Antelope was founded by the Barclays (once beer-brewers, now world-famous financiers) in the 1800s. This eclectic pub offers a range of options to help customers while away the hours on cold days, from great food and drink to pub quizzes, art classes, and even banjo lessons. And that’s not to mention the fireplaces: there are three glowing hearths to pick from.
The Crooked Billet, Wimbledon
Fancy a rural retreat but don’t have time to get out of London? Pack your wellies and head to The Crooked Billet in Wimbledon – the perfect pub to relax in after a rousing ramble on the nearby Common. With the feel of a countryside pub, two fires to pick from, and decent grub at a decent price, the Crooked Billet is both cosy and charming.
Old Sergeant, Wandsworth
For a quirky take on a traditional pub, try the Old Sergeant in Wandsworth. Chrome decorations sit alongside classic seating and roaring fires, and a diverse menu has options for traditionalists and daredevils alike: it wouldn’t be amiss to find Italian pizza and South African Springbok curry on offer at the same time. They even cater for canines – the special ‘dog menu’ is available at any time, day or night.
Pubs with Open Fires: East
Chesham Arms, Hackney
Cosy with a capital ‘C’, the Chesham Arms is a hidden gem within the heart of East London. Whether it’s summer or winter, the pub is always lit with a gentle, dusky glow; and in colder months there are two brick fireplaces filled with warming flames. Sample a beer from their extensive menu, which features real ales from across the UK.
The Grapes, Limehouse
The Grapes doesn’t only have a roaring fire, it also boasts a heated terrace over the Thames with amazing views of the city – allowing you to stay cosy inside and out. Better still, this traditional, welcoming pub is owned by the famous actor Sir Ian McKellen, and has become something of a mecca for Lord of the Rings fans (see if you can spot the original Gandalf staff, which is displayed behind the authentic Victorian long bar).
The Gun, Docklands
Bigger and better than ever after a substantial refurbishment, The Gun is a must-visit during any trip to East London. Come for the roaring fires and famously good food; stay for the games (the terrace boasts an impressive collection including giant Jenga and Connect Four) and stunning views across the river to the O2.
Pubs with Open Fires: West
Lass O’Richmond Hill, Richmond
If your travels take you to Richmond Park (which we highly recommend for beautiful views and chilly winter walks), finish up with a drink or four in the Lass O’Richmond Hill. Sink into a plush leather armchair by the glowing coals and enjoy the rustic surroundings: dark olive skirting, thick wooden beams, and gorgeous open fires.
White Horse, Parson’s Green
A classic Victorian pub that’s often packed with locals – and with good reason. Roaring fires are one of the many attractions to be found at the White Horse, which offers great, reasonably-priced food and an extensive beer menu (eight on tap and 80+ by the bottle) in a picturesque setting at the edge of Parson’s Green.
The Pear Tree, Fulham
No round-up of pubs with open fires would be complete without mention of The Pear Tree, which is one of the oldest buildings in Fulham (and dates back to the 1800s). The open fire, candle-lit tables and warm wool blankets on offer make this charming location a perfect winter warmer.