It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a Londoner in possession of a tenner, must be in want of a beer. Literary references aside though, I think we can all agree that no trip to the capital’s West End is complete without knocking back a few beverages in some of London’s most scenic drinking halls. It is a fact that the concept of a bar crawl was created so that you could take in the sights and sounds of a city whilst getting drunk (this may or may not be true). So, if you’re looking to get tipsy in some top locations read on to find some of our favourite spots in London.
The Porterhouse, Maiden Lane
Expect a unique experience at The Porterhouse
This is by far and away one of the best pubs you will find in London. Spread out across multiple floors, this deceptively colossal venue offers thirsty visitors a vast selection of beers from all over the world, a healthy choice of wines and spirits and, of course, a short but sweet menu of all your favourite classic cocktails. Most nights of the week, The Porterhouse has live bands blasting all sorts of music genres, you might even catch a few cheesy pop hits if you time your visit right.
Scarlet’s, Upper St. Martin’s Lane
The perfect place for a more sophisticated beverage and not bang smack in the centre of the, sometimes, overwhelming buzz of Soho. Like cocktails? Scarlet’s has got you covered with its admirable selection of classic and champagne creations. It also serves up some rather gourmet dishes if you’re in for the long haul. Hit this bar on a Friday or Saturday night for the best experience. This place definitely thrives when the working week is done.
The French House, Dean Street
Live Entertainment at The French House
Out with a group and have some cash to burn? Why not knock back a few bottles of spectacular French wine? Food is only available at lunchtime so unless you’re planning on starting early you’ll have to fill up before you head over. The atmosphere at The French House is oh-so French and the clientele are a bit more up-market. Head here for sophisticated conversations and glass-clinking galore.
O’Neills, Wardour Street
No night out is complete without paying a visit to your local O’Neills and getting drunk in the West End is no exception. This Irish delight has your standard cheap (by London standards) wine and lager offerings, a few cocktails and an extensive line up of live music and sports events. The pub is huge and pretty decent in terms of décor as well. Great for a quick pint or 2 (or 6).
O Bar, Wardour Street
Cocktails! Cocktails! Cocktails!
O Bar understands us. What I mean by this is that O Bar gets the fact that we don’t want happy hour to be just one hour. The more hours, the happier we are, right? Every day until 8pm O Bar quenches parched Londoners at a price that will make you weep with joy. Cocktail jugs for under a tenner? Yes, there really is a god. He lives in O Bar.
The Sun and 13 Cantons, Great Pulteney Street
Sometimes we need to escape the glamour and glitz of Soho cocktail bars and treat ourselves to a pint of lager in a good old English pub. The Sun and 13 Cantons satisfies all your beer-related needs and more. This under-rated drinking house is certainly one of the better pubs in London and they have “seasonal kitchen residencies” meaning every season they have not just a new menu, but a new chef as well from some exotic part of the world. Because you need something to wash down with all that ale.
Barrio Central, Poland Street
A truly vibrant bar
The perfect antidote to the traditional English pub, this vibrant Latin themed bar serves up wicked mojitos and blasts out salsa beats that you just can’t help wiggling your hips to. Wednesdays through to Saturdays are the best days to pay a visit to this exotic venue and if you can get there before 7pm you can pick up a cut-price cocktail to kick off your evening.
Have you been to every place on this list? Where did you last go on a pub/ bar crawl? Leave a comment below.
Main Image Credit: Bar image courtesy of The Sun & 13 Catons
Image Credit: The Porterhouse courtesy of The Porterhouse
Image Credit: Live Entertainment courtesy of The French House
Image Credit: O Bar courtesy of O Bar
Image Credit: Vibrant venue courtesy of Barrio Central