A fairly unassuming looking pub from the outside, but head through the doors and you will be presented with not only a great selection of beer, but also a wealth of incredible whiskies - over 150 of them in fact. A real gem that demands investigation – and a whole evening or two. www.theonlypubcompany.co.uk
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2/10 The Crown & Greyhound, Dulwich Village SE21
Currently under renovation, so you won’t be able to visit until 2016 unfortunately, but this is one of the best places to enjoy a Sunday Roast on a chilly winter weekend. Open soon please, I’m missing you a lot.
3/10 The Freemason’s Arms, Hampstead NW3
Another Sunday afternoon delight. A perfect destination after a walk on Hampstead Heath - there’s a fine selection of Sharp’s ales to explore too. The basement is also home to the Hampstead Lawn Billiard & Skittles Club, if you fancy learning a classic pub pastime.
4/10 Craft, Clerkenwell, WC1
The team behind Craft (or The Craft Beer Co.) have really come up with a winning formula here: passionately curating a list of truly craft beers from all over the world. Alongside the actual list of bottled and draft ales, the pub offer three tiers of tasting flights for groups, including beers that are brewed exclusively for the pub.
5/10 The Dove, Hammersmith, W6
The Dove is one of those pubs where ‘destination’ truly fits the bill. Easy to lose a Saturday afternoon with the range of classic Fullers beers available. Oh, the views across the Thames make one proud to be a Londoner. Head there on Boat Race day and you’ll find one of the most vibrant pubs in London to watch the tension unfold.
6/10 The Toucan, Soho, W1
The only pub in London where the Guinness actually tastes like it should, according to a few of my Irish friends. The Toucan is tiny compared to other Soho boozers, but it’s perfect for a swift after work pint, followed by a visit to the basement, where they stock London’s best range of Irish whiskeys.
7/10 The Bricklayer’s Arms, Soho, W1
Sam Smith’s beer at its finest. Just off the main drag of Oxford Street, so you would expect it to be perpetually full of tourists but it’s surprisingly quiet for a lunchtime pint of Old Brewery bitter or Taddy Porter.
8/10 The Cittie Of Yorke, High Holborn, WC1
Another Sam Smith’s pub, but not just worth visiting for the beer alone. Inside you’ll find probably London’s most perfectly preserved traditional pub décor, complete with ale huge vats. Although the pub actually dates back to 1924, there are records suggesting there has been a pub on the site since 1430.
9/10 The Blackfriar, Blackfriars, EC4V
Built back in 1905, The Blackfriar is actually situated on the site of a former Dominican friary and was thankfully saved from demolition by a campaign led by Sir John Betjeman. The interior is an absolute masterpiece of design; the walls are adorned with ornate carvings and the beer ranges from Nicholson brewery ales to some superb guest listings too. Be warned though, it fills up very quickly.
10/10 The Dolphin, Sydenham, SE26
I had to include this in my list, as it is effectively my local. The beer selection isn’t huge, but it offers a great pint of Timothy Taylor’s and is one of the most child friendly pubs in South London. Does a cracking roast too…