Crackling fires, seats you can sink into and plenty of comfort food – this is what a good cosy pub is all about.
There are lots of cosy pubs in London, but here are just some of our favourites. Grab a drink, order the pie and mash, and settle in.
The Holly Bush
Find a cosy bolthole at The Holly Bush, which fits perfectly into the quaint Hampstead village it calls home: an open fire, stripped wood floors, a choice of ales and wide-ranging Sunday roasts. Lose yourself for a long afternoon, and don’t be shy about saying hello to the locals. Or reward yourself with a cool tipple after a walk on nearby Hampstead Heath.
The Coach and Horses
Spot this mock-Tudor pub nestled between more modern neighbours in swanky Mayfair. Dating back to the 18th century, The Coach & Horses retains a traditional feel and offers a range of cask ales to sample.
The Nags Head
Snuggle up at Belgravia pub The Nags Head (53 Kinnerton Street), a favourite drinking spot for celebrities and locals for generations. It maintains its friendly, welcoming reputation and – unusually for a London pub – has a "no mobile phones" rule, which helps to keep things quiet so you can focus on the Adnams beers on tap.
Ye Olde Mitre Tavern
Brush up on your history at Ye Olde Mitre, a tavern once frequented by Queen Elizabeth I. It’s a bit tricky to find this Holborn Circus spot, which has housed a pub for more than 500 years, but it's well worth the effort for its maze of intimate rooms to hole up in with friends.
The Anglesea Arms
Fight the urge to head straight for the riverside pubs in Hammersmith and you will be rewarded with The Anglesea Arms, a cosy pub tucked away just outside the green space of Ravenscourt Park. The wood-panelled bar and warming fire are the fitting accompaniments to a traditional British menu, featuring six rotating real-ale pumps.
Find all the traditional must-haves of a cosy pub at the William IV. This Hoxton spot offers everything from a real fire, real ales, board games and newspapers, to Sunday roasts and comfy chairs. And, this being the East End, you can also get a craft beer and brunch on weekends.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese
Step back in time at Fleet Street institution Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. Rebuilt in the 17th century, it's welcomed Charles Dickens, Dr Johnson, Alfred Tennyson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle through its doors. As you'd expect of an old pub, it's small and cosy with an open fire adding to the time warp feel.
The Spaniards Inn
Shake the dew off your boots after a walk in Hampstead Heath at this warming pit stop. The Spaniards Inn counts literary royalty as ex-locals, including Dickens and Keats. Nowadays, its popular for its Sunday lunches, open fire and sprawling walled beer garden.
The Southampton Arms
Spot the sign outside reading "ale, cider, meat" and you'll quickly get an idea of what this cosy pub is about. The Southampton Arms is a truly old-fashioned pub, with a wood-burning fire, cash-only policy plus numerous hand-pulled ales and ciders.
Get here early to grab a coveted fireside sofa spot at this mainstay of Tooting in south London, The Antelope. There are eight hand pumps with a rotating selection of regional and locally sourced real ales, and the food has a European twist (but it still serves a mean Sunday roast). The interior is an eclectic mix of banquette seating, wood-panelling and etched-glass windows, all of which attract a young, trendy crowd.
The White Horse
Mix with the "in" crowd at The White Horse, a favourite of the well-to-do Chelsea and Fulham set. This cosy pub is the whole package with an always-impressive selection of real ales, good food, roaring fires and Chesterfield sofas. Expect a posh crowd in a pub that has earned the nickname “The Sloaney Pony” over the years.
Beat the winter blues at The Dove on Broadway Market, where board games, British microbrews and Belgian beers are the order of the day. Food covers all the classics, from fish and chips to pies and legendary Sunday roasts.
The George Inn
Former coaching house The George Inn is the only National Trust-owned pub, and it’s a good one to have. Tucked away down an alley near London Bridge, this sprawling pub maintains its rustic beams, beautiful gallery and cosy interior. The courtyard area also has heaters and old-fashioned lamps to cater for the often-heaving crowd of drinkers.
The Leather Bottle
Cosy up in a revamped shepherd's hut on the terrace of this south-west London pub, where in the winter, the BBQ is retired and the massive beer garden is kept nicely heated. The food at The Leather Bottle is well sourced and Young's provide the ales.