Southampton Arms

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Critics' choice
15 Love It
Southampton Arms © Ed Marshall
Dartmouth Park

The sign outside announces ‘ale, cider, meat’, and that pretty much sums up what’s on offer at the best pub in Gospel Oak. The interior might make you think it’s still 1936, as would the cash-only policy. The addition of cheese and charcuterie boards to the offering of meaty bar snacks is about as modern as it gets here.

The roster of lovingly tended ales and ciders, all from small independent producers, changes regularly – but Dark Star, Mighty Oak, Moor and Sambrooks are among the names you might encounter. There’s also mulled cider. One of the many great things about the Southampton is that it retains its mixed clientele, long-time residents and newcomers alike – and of all ages. There’s also a pub dog. This is a true local hero.

Venue name: Southampton Arms
Address: 139 Highgate Rd
Opening hours: Open/snacks served noon-midnight daily
Transport: Gospel Oak rail
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:10
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

En route to a show at the Forum just down the road, my friend and I passed this pub and decided that we would pop in for some food and drink after the concert in a few hours' time. Upon doing so, we found that the food was all gone :( Not sure if it was eaten (likely) or just put away, we busied ourselves with a bowl of peanuts and by reading the taps to make our selections. I'm a cider fan so I grabbed a pint of something called "Singing Cider" - I hated it and asked the jovial barman if I could have something else. He granted my wish and presented me with something a little less dry. My friend had a Jamaican Stout, I think - he is a beer drinker and thought it was fantastic. Nice people who take pride in what they offer, cool interior that reflects the products well. I'd return.

Stefany R

Great pub.  Is quite uncrowded if you go during the middle of the day.  Very bare bones in a refreshingly old-fashioned way with an old Victorian tiled fire place that they actually use.  People can sit with their groceries and read the newspaper while having one of their many regional ciders and local beers and an enormous toasted cheese bap, or meat pie.  They play great vinyl too.  Love this place and the people who run it, very cool.


this is the best pub I've been to in London, and definitely the best in NW5. on wednesdays there's a couple of grandpas that play jazz, since we discovered them we go there every single wednesday to hear them play.


Beer and Cider top noch! + amazing atmosphere and beer garden.

Finton Stack

An absolutely cracking little pub, possibly my joint favourite (with The Harp at Charing Cross) in London. A fantastic range of real ales, ciders and new-wave keg beers, all at very reasonable prices (this must be one of the last bastions of the sub-£3 pint), top-notch snacks (pork pies, roast pork rolls) and great decor and atmosphere. The only down sides are that since it's fairly small it can get very, very bust, and it's a 45 minute train-ride from my house.


Love this place. If you live in London and you love beer (or cider), you should drink here at least once.


One of London's best. Has to be. Only downside is how busy it can get but it deserves its business so what can you do? Just get in and have a pint!


Found on here when visiting from the states and in search of a good beer. While not to many pubs in London, this was by far the best. Amazing selection, great atmosphere and friendly staff. No nonsense and no frills. Just a great boozer and great beers. If I lived in London I'd be back weekly! Wish I had found sooner in my visit.


Was very, very crowded the (week)night I went in, so you might struggle for space here. The beers are good though - although I was a little disappointed that given there are now good craft lagers coming in to London maybe these chaps could expand their "real ales/ciders only" to include a couple of quality lagers?


Great pub, really good pork baps. As good as visiting a beer fest.