Food & Drink

The 20 best places to drink by a fireplace in London

Published On 11/27/2014 Published On 11/27/2014
The Palmerston
Beach Blanket Babylon
W Lounge and Wyld Bar, W Hotel London
Hawley Arms
The Earl Spencer
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1. Punch Room 10 Berners St, London, W1T

Hidden in the back of the stunning Edition Hotel, this micro bar is truly sexy as hell. Specializing in punches (they’re in the name, after all), bring some friends, and be ready to share concoctions in every size, shape, and style. Snag a couple seats by the fireplace. With wood panels and huge armchairs, this West End hotel bar is a perfect place to hit when you’re rolling with a small crew and feel like splashing some serious cash.

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2. The Rookery 69 Clapham Common Southside, , London, SW4 9DA

After honeymooning on the fair island of Manhattan, Rookery's owner decided to duplicate the relaxed, urban-rustic vibe of the Lower East Side, filling his white-tiled joint with reclaimed furniture & touches including an impressive iron spiral staircase and a cracked mirror so large whoever defaced it will continue to have horrible things happen to him even in the afterlife.

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3. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese 145 Fleet St, London, EC4A 2BU

There has been a pub at this location since 1538 and has served such famous patrons as Mark Twain and Charles Dickens. And the same things that kept them in business then keeps them in business now: a friendly atmosphere, cold brews, and tasty pies.

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4. The Clapton Hart 231 Lower Clapton St, Hackney, London, E5 8EG

Sitting somewhere on the edge of classic boozer and hipster cool, these guys rock a good selection of local and international craft brews, plus quirky furniture, and board games.

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5. The Palmerston 91 Lordship Ln, East Dulwich, London, SE22 8EP

This East Dulwich spot definitely crosses over into gastropub territory complete with truffles, brains, and cote de boeuf. It's also got a couple solid fireplaces, which makes it all pretty much perfect.

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6. The Cat's Back 86-88 Point Pleasant, London, SW18 1NN

If you’re looking for a proper neighbourhood pub that still has an eye on current times, this is it. With a surprisingly curated playlist of indie and rock, a menu of salivation-worthy dishes, and a fireplace, it’s no wonder it has such a core group of regulars.

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7. Bassoon Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2BD

Artfully intertwining sound and sauce, this open-fireplace "art deco music room" makes good on said self-description through a resonating-soundwave pattern on the ceiling, jazz-inspired artwork, and ivories regularly tickled on a seven-meter-long grand piano that actually forms the bar itself -- putting players so close to the drink, Captain Fantastic could become Admiral Fantastic.

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8. Beach Blanket Babylon 19-23 Bethnal Green Rd, Shoreditch, London, E1 6LA

Opened in 2007, this upscale Shoreditch bar and resto serves up modern European cuisine for all meals of the day, and their bar features a large selection of cocktails, wines, finger foods, and more.

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9. Scarfes Bar 252 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EN

With high ceilings, modern chandeliers, crazy artwork, overstuffed furniture and a drink list that would intimidate a lesser person, Scarfes Bar is the place to be. Get pulled into this massive, yet cozy room, claim a spot by the huge fireplace and feel like the royalty you obviously are. Insider’s tip: check out the insane back bar, a Sunday burlesque show, and the resident pup.

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10. The Prince George 40 Parkholme Rd, Dalston, London, E8 3AG

You know what's better than a free juke box loaded with great music? A free juke box with great music, PYTs, and a roaring fire to sit and observe from when it's chilly out. It's not the quietest spot in the 'hood, but if you wanted tranquility -- stay at home.

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11. W Lounge 10 Wardour St, Leicester Square, London, W1D 6QF

If you want to feel like you’ve stepped into some slightly futuristic sci-fi film, head to the Lounge at the W by Leicester Square. Once you’ve battled the hoards of tourists outside, you can chill out with a cocktail next to one of its fireplace columns, safely enclosed within pillars of glass, dotted around the space.

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12. Upstairs at Rules 34-35 Maiden Ln, London, WC2E 7LB

As you might expect, the oldest restaurant in London is fairly opulent: dark wood, red leather & velvet, candles -- it’s a proper old-school man cave, 1798 style. And their cocktail bar upstairs oozes that same comfortability before even throwing in a fireplace by the bar.

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13. The Coburg Bar Carlos Pl, London, W1K 2AL

Glamour, style, and impeccable service is what you can expect from this Covent Garden drinkery. With high ceilings, massive wingback chairs, and a fireplace, The Coburg is a perfect spot to grab a perfectly made cocktail and settle in.

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14. The Antelope 76 Mitcham Rd, Tooting, London, SW17 9NG

To simply call this a gastropub is to undersell how awesome it is, but it’s a good start. It's got two coal-burning fireplaces and a big wood burning one in the games room, so battle it out for a chesterfield.

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15. The Hawley Arms 2 Castlehaven Rd, Camden Town, London, NW1 8QU

This longstanding local is a classic watering hole just by the stables in Camden. The young and beautiful gather here to knock back cheap(ish) drinks and listen to a good soundtrack and live acts.

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16. The Southampton Arms 139 Highgate Rd, Highgate, NW5 1LE

These guys aren't about flash -- bare bulbs, white tiles, cash only, and no phone, -- but with a roster of 18 hand-pulls all from independent breweries, a fridge full of meat, and a fireplace, it really doesn’t matter.

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17. The Holly Bush 22 Holly Mount, Hampstead, London, NW3 6SG

As far as traditional pubs go, this place ticks a lot of boxes: dog-friendly, epic Sunday roasts, a stone's throw from Hampstead Heath and not just one, but two, fireplaces. Grab a pint, a pot pie, and settle in.

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18. The Earl Spencer 260-262 Merton Rd, Southfields, London, SW18 5JL

Having bagged a Bib Gourmand award, you can expect that the folks here they may know what they’re doing. With a roaring fire in chilly weather and a great selection on tap, this place becomes coziness solidified.

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19. The Jerusalem Tavern 55 Britton St, Clerkenwell, London, EC1M 5UQ

Owned by St. Peter's Brewery (who specialize in using all British ingredients for their brews), the Jerusalem Tavern also has great food that is a cut above almost all else.

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20. The Three Kings 7 Clerkenwell Cl, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 0DY

At this Clerkenwell spot, the decor is filled with oddities like a fiberglass rhino head, a jukebox playing 45s, a wall covered in playing cards, vintage typewriters, plus some big comfy chairs and a coal fire spewing out heat in cool weather.