The pub is a London staple that is woven into the fabric of the city’s cultural and social heritage—we’ve picked seven exceptional options to try on your next visit to the UK capital.
The Audley Public House, Mayfair
Art appreciators may wish to visit this new pub and restaurant from Artfarm, the hospitality arm of the prestigious gallery, Hauser & Wirth. The Audley Public House is on the corner of Mount Street and South Audley Street in Mayfair, offering a local pub experience with a suitably artistic edge. The ceiling showcases a specially commissioned piece by British artist, Phyllida Barlow, which is crafted from collaged hand-painted paper in a range of vibrant shades that contrast beautifully with the dark wood interiors of the bar. Other artwork in the pub includes pieces by Martin Creed, Rodney Graham, and Don McCullin. Paris-based design studio Laplace was the lead architect behind the restoration of the space, enlisting British craftspeople to revive the heritage of the pub.
Executive chef Jamie Shears’ (formerly of 45 Park Lane) menu of pub snacks features classics like Scotch eggs and is complemented by a range of draught beers and ciders, including Sambrook’s Brewery–one of the oldest brewers in London.
The Cadogan Arms, Chelsea
Reopened in 2021 following an extensive restoration project, The Cadogan Arms is a Chelsea institution with close to two centuries of history as a public house. Its striking mahogany bar sits against amber-toned stained-glass windows and is surrounded by plush seating and lavish chandeliers.
The best of British menus were conceptualised by renowned chefs James Knappett (noma, Kitchen Table) and Alex Harper (The Ledbury and The Harwood Arms), and features dishes such as beef and Guinness pie with clotted cream mash, black cabbage, and gravy, and fillet of Cornish seabass with brown crab colcannon and shellfish bisque. The wine list offers more than 100 bottles, and a comprehensive beer list includes established breweries as well as craft options.
The Wigmore at The Langham, Marylebone
The Langham’s resident pub, The Wigmore, opened in 2017 in a former banking hall, which is carried on through the décor that fills the space. Arched high ceilings, parquet flooring, and marble surfaces are finished with brass lamps and studded leather bar stools.
The food menu is overseen by the prestigious chef Michel Roux Jr. (Le Gavroche) and is quintessentially British, with dishes made using seasonal ingredients sourced from the finest producers. Bar snacks include buttered crumpets with steamed crab, and the famed XXL stovetop three-cheese and mustard toastie. There’s also a wide range of beers and cocktails, including a house Saison brewed in partnership with Yonder Brewing.
The Harwood Arms, Fulham
This culinary treasure in West London is the first and only London pub to be awarded a Michelin star. The Harwood Arms was opened in 2009 as a joint venture between Australian-born chef Brett Graham (The Ledbury), restaurateur Mike Robinson, and Edwin Vaux of Vaux Brewery. Menus highlight British produce, game, wild foods, and interesting wines.
Head chef Jake Leach (Fera, The Ledbury), who took the helm of the kitchen in 2021, strives for locality and sustainability in his dishes, which could include starters such as venison pâté en croûte served with Port and peppercorn jelly with homemade pickles; and mains like Cornish cod with roasted cauliflower and brown crab butter.
The George, Fitzrovia
This two-storey establishment offers two distinct concepts—a more casual, traditional pub downstairs, and an upscale dining room upstairs. The downstairs pub underwent a five-year renovation, reopening in 2021. It pays homage to the site’s historical relevance as a hub for the political, cultural, and social movements of the late 18th century and as a home to writers and poets of the 20th century. Classic pub snacks such as a black pudding Scotch egg and classic Ploughman’s are served alongside 11 UK varieties of cask beer and craft ale.
Upstairs at The George is a space that has been designed to reflect its Georgian heritage with large regency windows and antique furnishings. A dining room seats up to 28 guests, with menus that feature elevated yet comforting classics like house-made and cured sausages and mash, and Scottish langoustine scampi with chips, tartar sauce, and crushed peas. A separate English sparkling wine bar serves more than 80 labels from English wineries, including some that are not available anywhere else in the UK.
The Princess Royal, Notting Hill
In the heart of Notting Hill, The Princess Royal reopened in April following a major renovation project. It’s home to a stylishly appointed restaurant and bar as well as four individually designed guest rooms. Menus by chef director Ben Tish are Mediterranean inspired with a focus on snacks, small plates and sharing dishes.
Interiors, conceptualised by Georgie Pearman, are said to have been inspired by the pub’s Victorian heritage, with reclaimed Victorian doors, stained glass panels, and handpicked furnishings. The garden and courtyard space, which has been planted with olive trees, was designed by the renowned landscape architect Jinny Blom.
The Pig & Butcher, Islington
This welcoming gastropub in North London has become celebrated among locals and visitors alike for its high-quality fare focused on sustainable, seasonal British produce, with meat butchered onsite. Australian-born head chef Sean Garrett (The Harwood Arms, The Ledbury) has created starters such as the 55-day dry-aged Hereford steak tartare with pickled Enoki, smoked bone marrow cream and confit egg, and mains like Saddleback pork with pickled girolles, carrot, and mustard purée.