It’s cold. It’s dark. It’s wet. Well, chances are it could be. London’s wintertime weather is far from one of the city’s high points, but remember: if it didn’t make us want to hide indoors, we’d almost certainly not have as many brilliant pubs as we do.
With that in mind, we’ve picked out the cosiest, most warm and snuggly pubs we could find around the capital to help you embrace the chilly season.
Between them the below have ales in abundance, mulled drinks aplenty, board games galore and some of the comfiest seats in the land. Every single one of them also has a roaring open fire… or in some cases two or three.
These are London’s best cosy pubs with open fires:
The Anglesea Arms, Ravenscourt Park
Not far from the park itself, this wood-panelled pub is dominated by its crackling fire, backed up by a solid beer selection, good wines and gastro dishes.
The Antelope, Tooting
Tooting institution The Antelope has not one fire, but three. This includes one in the bar, one in the dining area and one in the games room, so you can warm your cockles whatever you’re up to.
Chesham Arms, Hackney
With two open fires, games, a big and rotating selection of beer, and cosy red walls to boot this is one of the best pubs for hiding away in until summer’s back – at which point you can head out into the equally lovely beer garden.
The Gun, Docklands
This 18th Century pub gets its cosiness from its old world decor as well as its numerous nooks and crannies, punctuated by open fires. It also boasts views over the Thame and Canary Wharf, and a confident kitchen that turns out better-than-average pub grub.
The Harlequin, Clerkenwell
The green walls on this pub’s frontage will entice you and then its large open fire, board games galore, good beer and cosy wooden beams will ensure you stay.
The Holly Bush, Hampstead
This compact 19th Century pub is handy for wintery walks on the Heath, but you’ll definitely need to warm-up by its roaring fire afterwards. Dark wood panels throughout and an ornate glass back-bar add to its charm, while a menu dominated by pies offers sustenance. Just beware that even ghosts find it too cosy to leave – it’s rumoured to be haunted.
The Jerusalem Tavern, Clerkenwell
The London home of Suffolk’s St Peter’s Brewery, this small – and usually packed – pub has the whole range on draft which pleases beer fans. Add an abundance of nooks and crannies, and a fire which fills the whole space with heat and smoke-scent, and a range of tasty bar snacks and you have a winner.
The Portobello Gold, Notting Hill
Any pub which has tree-house style raised areas full of comfy cushions has to be a good one, right? Add a roaring fire, reliably friendly service and a good selection of well-priced beers plus mulled wine and it’s up there with the best of them.
The Prince Albert, Battersea
Close to Battersea Park and the river is this warm retreat. Find yourself a space in the book-lined Bridge Room where comfy leather chairs flank an open fire.
The Lass O’ Richmond Hill, Richmond
This local gastropub is effortlessly charming and thoroughly cosy. Grab a seat by the open fire and tuck into drinks and snacks before or after a walk in Richmond Park down the road. If you get too comfortable you might want to skip the walk altogether, though.
Rose Crown, Stoke Newington
With wooden beams, a stone floor and an open log fire that roars on all but the hottest days, this boozer isn’t far off being your archetypal traditional pub. It also offers board games, great roasts and a sizeable selection of ales.
Southampton Arms, Kentish Town
This cider and ale house is a simple, sturdy favourite that stands out mainly for the selection and quality of its drinks. Come winter it has another winning feature – its large, roaring wood-burning fire.
The Spaniard’s Inn, Hampstead
This is the second pub in Hampstead on our list, and the Hampstead pub on our list that is rumoured to be haunted. In fact, it’s in our top 10 most haunted pubs in London. Ghouls aside, it boasts a roaring fire, comfy seats and plenty of cosy historic charm. There’s also a dining area for those wanting more than a pint and a scotch egg.
The Three Kings, Clerkenwell
An open fire, a rhino’s head and walls almost completely filled with assorted bric-a-brac make this pub exactly the kind of place you want to stay the evening and hunker down in.
The Trinity Arms, Brixton
Set just away from the bustle of Brixton Road, this boozer is best-loved for its large outdoor space in the summer, but inside is even better. It has a quirky design full of knick knacks, comfy seats, board games and an open fire that dominates, and also offers a decent line in food with its Sunday roasts a particular draw.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, City
This pub is among the very oldest in London. There has been one sitting on its Fleet Street site since 1538, and the building itself dates back to 1667, when it was rebuilt following the Great Fire of London. Its dark wood panelled walls, low-lit interior and saw-dusted floorboards mean that popping in feels like a Dickensian time warp, while its roaring fire and the scent that goes with it is always a highlight.
Do you have any other suggestions for cosy pubs with open fires that should be featured? Tweet us and let us know. Visit standard.co.uk/restaurants for the latest news and reviews from London’s food scene. Follow Ben Norum on Twitter @BenNorum Follow Going Out on Facebook and on Twitter @ESgoingout