Six of our favourite city pubs
The best city pubs buzz with conversation and energy. These are six of our favourites for settling in and soaking up the atmosphere over a great lunch or an evening meal that slides into a lively night. You can view our full collection of city pubs here.
The Hayden is a surprisingly peaceful place to rest between dives into London’s trendy Notting Hill. Right around the corner you’ll find antique shops, boutiques and the famous Electric Cinema – it’s the ultimate lounging experience with cashmere blankets and waiting staff bringing you drinks.
The menu consists of freshly prepared classics; such as pan-fried salmon, portobello mushroom burger and ravioli. With food served all day and a great cocktail menu, The Hayden is always ready to be your private bolthole.
This majestic building was once the office where fees were taken from traders heading for market. It still serves as a stopover for people browsing Lancaster’s shops, but is now a bright and friendly space where you can enjoy locally sourced food and superb ales under tall stained-glass windows.
Ponder a varied menu; locally potted shrimps, Lancashire hotpot, and steak and ale pudding all appeal. In the bar, sandwiches are packed with the likes of Lancashire cheese and chutney. Well-kept Thwaites cask beers await, and there’s a selection of wines by the glass.
Designed with a nautical theme in a nod to its namesake, this smart and sophisticated pub isn’t afraid to let its hair down. Kids and dogs are welcome, there are games and cards around and, when the weather permits, enjoy BBQs and a little sunbathing.
The modern British food is a draw: there are popular Sunday roasts, and a huge outdoor fireplace for barbecues and hog roasts. Sip Dorothy’s Gin and have a spot of lunch in the garden out the back.
The lettering on the window reads “Meat. Bread. Beer”, and while the menu inside is a little more extensive, it stays true to simple, superb food and great brewing. Hot Scotch eggs, dirty burgers and flatbread kebabs are enough to make anyone track the place down after wandering the quiet city quadrangles.
In the contemporary-rustic bar and dining rooms, and to the sheltered terrace, locals and tourists flock for 23 rotating beers, 100(ish) gins, and 50+ whiskies. This is the 19th-century beer house brilliantly reinvented.
Halfway between trendy city pub and community village local, The Crown embodies the best of both and puts itself at the centre of Hastings in every way. A crackling fire and board games, live music, craft sessions and even a haircut corner, all go perfectly with the great local food and a pint of Romney Marsh.
With Tess and Andrew at the helm, the Crown celebrates fantastic local produce and menus bristle with local artisan producers: freshly caught fish, vegetables from a walled garden, and homemade bread by Emmanuel Hadjiandreou.
A pub that completely embodies and inspires its community. There are music events, yoga sessions, story nights and more, but most people just drop in for a pint and a bite in the bright, friendly bar. The sourcing is superb, the beers local and extensive. Not the most central, but well worth the walk.
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