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southampton arms, pubs with fires

London’s best bars and pubs with open fires

Find the best pubs with fires in the capital, perfect for a warming winter drink

By Laura Richards
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If you’re looking to diversify your socialising this winter while staying safe in your ‘bubble’, taking the household somewhere cosy will also mean supporting your local pub in trying times. Whether it's in a trendy gastropub, a hip new bar or an old man's pub, there's an open fire waiting for you somewhere this winter. Pubs with wood fires have that authentic touch, but gas fires are equally warming. You'll find them all in our guide to London's best pubs with fires – get down early to guarantee the warmest armchair or sofa spot. Book ahead and expect table service 

The best pubs with fires in London

Andover arms
Andover arms
Ben Rowe

The Andover Arms

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Hammersmith

In a villagey spot (known locally as Brackenbury) you'll find this handsome Victorian pub offering plenty of room for drinking as well as dining. It feels all the more like a proper boozer thanks to its wood-panelled bar, faded carpets and a roaring fire.

chesham arms, pubs with fires
chesham arms, pubs with fires
Andy Parsons

Chesham Arms

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Hackney

The interior of this local Hackney boozer has been tastefully renovated to look like your textbook Great British pub. Claret-coloured walls make it cosy as hell, with a couple of fireplaces for extra warmth and Scrabble for when you really want to make it a session.

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The Holly Bush

Bars and pubs Pubs Hampstead

This welcoming Dickensian pub in Hampstead has an ancient interior, reasonably priced food and wooden booths to slide into. Its two wood and coal-burning fires make the pub the perfect place to head following a stirring walk across the heath – or at least up the steep road to the pub.

ivy house, pubs with fires
ivy house, pubs with fires
Photograph: Andy Parsons

The Ivy House

Bars and pubs Nunhead

This Grade-II listed building is full of handsome features. If you can peel your eyes away from its glitzy stage, there's an open fire to feast your eyes on. And it's almost as warming as the community feel at London's first co-operative pub.

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Pineapple

Bars and pubs Pubs Kentish Town

Kentish Town locals adore this pub, so good luck getting a seat near the coal fire in colder months. The shelf just by the fire is stacked with books and board games to keep you occupied while you warm up your toes. Essential after a walk on nearby Hampstead Heath.

Pride of Spitalfields

Bars and pubs Pubs Spitalfields

This carpeted pub is a bit of a relic, with a character rather than an image. But its fire is pretty as a picture when you're feeling the winter chill. Sadly, the cat pictured here, Lenny, passed away in 2019 – he loved curling up by the fire. Pay your respects over a pint.

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Rose

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Fulham

More of a pub with food than a gastropub, the Rose has seen a few name-changes over the years, including the Legless Ladder and, most recently, the Fulham Tup. The muted walls are dotted with prints of ladies in various states of undress (more tasteful than it sounds). Candles twinkle and locals lounge on church pews and leather sofas. Eat, drink and get cosy on one of the armchairs surrounding the fire.

The Salisbury

Bars and pubs Pubs Green Lanes

In this grand old building at the north end of Green Lanes you barely have to share bar staff: it's absolutely massive. You may have to fight for those fireside armchairs, though! Taxidermy cases and ornate cornicing decorate the central, beer-focused bar, a jukebox plays music in the main room and a projector plays sport in the second.

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Southampton Arms

Bars and pubs Pubs Gospel Oak

The bulbs are bare and the floorboards worn at this Kentish Town pub. It’s sparse, it’s simple and it’s really rather splendid. The regulars are more mature than in most pubs, and some bring along their canine companions. Purchase some traditional snacks, a pint of scrumpy (this is a cider and ale house, after all) and seat yourself and your dog beside the wood-burning fire.

the virgin queen
the virgin queen
Photograph: Andy Parsons

The Virgin Queen

Bars and pubs Pubs Haggerston

They’ve gone to great lengths to make this pub interior look old-timey. It’s panelled in gorgeous carved wood and fabric-covered pews act as seats in the small drinking space. And the pièce de résistence is a roaring fire that fills the small space with plenty of warmth come winter.

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duke of hamilton
duke of hamilton
Photograph: Andy Parsons

The Duke of Hamilton

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Hampstead

This 300-year-old pub in Hampstead plays on its historic name with decorations that tell the story of a duelling duke. Beyond that, a wood-burning fireplace adds plenty of character – and warms up what is otherwise a slightly cold-feeling decor of neutrals and greys. You’ll be the one duelling it out to get a seat by the fire, which pairs pretty well with a bountiful plate of roast chicken on a Sunday.

The Albion

Bars and pubs Craft beer pubs Kingston

This craft beer haven is operated by Big Smoke Brew Co, and if we know anything, it's that there's no smoke without fire. An adorable ornate fireplace is well stocked with logs and decked by two comfortable leather armchairs. A great position from which to sample the brewery's range.

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Anglesea Arms

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Shepherd’s Bush

This popular Hammersmith gastropub reopened in July 2014 and continues to keep punters cosy with its open fire in the winter months. They've added a gastropub menu and a friendly cat roams the pub for even more of the cosy factor.

Antelope

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Tooting

There’s lots to like about the Antelope in Tooting, not least its good gastropub food. With three fires to choose from (two coal-burning options in the bar and dining room, and a wood fire in the games room) there’s every chance you’ll find a spot near the hearth – just be prepared to do battle for one of the pub’s fireside chesterfield armchairs.

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New_ClaptonHeart_Josh_Kearns.jpg
New_ClaptonHeart_Josh_Kearns.jpg
© Josh Kearns

Clapton Hart

Bars and pubs Pubs Clapton

With a half-finished look and cavernous main bar area, this hipster pub may be spacious, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be toasty warm. It generously keeps three wood fires alight (two in the front bar, one in the dining room), and also serves a simple food menu together with a good selection of British-brewed real ales including Deuchars IPA and Redemption Trinity.

New_Commercialw.jpg
New_Commercialw.jpg
© Alys Tomlinson

Commercial

Bars and pubs Herne Hill

There's a lot to like amid the noise (aural and visual) in this pub, not least the most interesting selection of beers and spirits in the area, including Budvar Dark, Paulaner and guest ales such as Pedigree, served in dimpled pint mugs and warmed by a total of three toasty fires.

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The Dove - Ext_0034v2.jpg
The Dove - Ext_0034v2.jpg
Photograph: Dove

Dove

Bars and pubs Pubs Hammersmith

The Dove is famed as a prime pub from which to watch the annual Boat Race, but don't overlook it in the winter months when its Dickensian charm comes into its own, particularly when a fire is lit and is one of the few things lighting your way around the low-beamed rooms.

The Eagle

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Ladbroke Grove

A perfect local if ever there was one, The Eagle is dark and cosy come winter, with dark wood floors and those all-important comfy seats by the fireplace. An island bar topped with two big, bold tanks (the traditional, ‘bright’ kind), holds the brewery’s Raw lager if you’re in need of cooling off.

Venue says Children eat half price, Monday to Friday, 4-6pm. Children must be 12 years or under & there must be a dining adult. Join the fun, book now!

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Grapes

Bars and pubs Limehouse

If you're wondering what the Thames docks might have felt like before their Disneyfication into Docklands, these narrow, ivy-covered and etched-glass premises aren't a bad place to start. Come in out of the cold and huddle up in front of their fire.

Jerusalem Tavern
Jerusalem Tavern
Scott Wishart

Jerusalem Tavern

Bars and pubs Pubs Clerkenwell

Proof that not all ‘new’ pubs have to be homogenised chains, the Jerusalem Tavern serves in a building that dates from the early 1700s, but it has only been a pub since the 1990s. Beer on tap is from the superb (and organic) St Peter’s Brewery in Suffolk. The coal-burning fire, just to the right beyond the entrance, fits perfectly with the surroundings.

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Lady Mildmay
Lady Mildmay
© Andy Parsons

Lady Mildmay

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Newington Green

This Newington Green retreat gets the thumbs up from us for its cracking Sunday lunch, welcoming staff and impressive board game line-up, but add to that a real fire to curl up next to and you'll understand why it's hard to steer clear come winter. You may even make friends with Sidney the dog if you're lucky enough to bag fire-side seats.

The Leyton Star

Bars and pubs Pubs Leyton

This pub had a 2016 reboot and now boasts a shiny new look and a recommissioned fireplace. And it's a grand-looking wood-burning one, to boot. To warm you further, expect footie screenings and a pun-filled menu of tasty pub grub.

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The Mayflower
The Mayflower
Photograph: The Mayflower

The Mayflower

Bars and pubs Pubs Rotherhithe

You can practically feel the history stepping inside this old Thamesside pub that dates back to 1620. Luckily the open fire will warm your cockles in this slightly haunting but always charming inn, particularly useful if you've been out on its water-facing deck at the rear.

Old Coffee House

Bars and pubs Pubs Soho

Don't let the name put you off, Soho's Old Coffee House is a pub through-and-through. If its dark, worn and dated features and old man-ish clientele aren't comfort enough for you, make a beeline for the coal-effect fire in a rear corner and rejoice in the fact that 'proper' pubs like this still exist in the capital.

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People's Park Tavern

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Victoria Park

Victoria Park's most handsome pooches hang out with their owners in this welcoming and somewhat sprawling boozer. Lucky them, as they curl up by a log burner on nearby sofas while their masters work their way through the papers or gaze on at the big screens showing match day highlights.

Prince George

Bars and pubs Pubs Dalston

Make merry in Dalston with Czech beer and real ale (Pride, Brakspear, Woodforde’s Wherry) – there are plenty of good wines by the glass too. The Geroge's free jukebox (one of the best in London) means there’s always a party going on, so don’t go expecting to take a quiet nap alongside the wood- and coal-burning fires.

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Princess Louise
Princess Louise
Alys Tomlinson / Time Out

Princess Louise

Bars and pubs Pubs Holborn

Old Louise's other jaw-dropping period features will likely distract you from the fact that this Victorian pub in Holborn has an inviting open fire to enjoy, too. Battle it out for a place beside it and you'll also be afforded privacy from snob screens for a cosy old pint.

The Racketeer

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars King’s Cross

This artfully distressed and faded pub and bar suits winter time very well indeed. Royal blue walls, feature tiles and wooden floorboards set an absolute mood for posh pints and affordable cocktails. And then there’s a rear snug with its own wood-burning stove. If you’re lucky enough to bag an armchair in here, you better settle in for one of the cosiest sessions going in London.

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Sir Richard Steele003.jpg
Sir Richard Steele003.jpg
© Tricia de Courcy Ling

Sir Richard Steele

Bars and pubs Belsize Park

This old boozer oozes battered character: hand-painted Sistine-esque friezes, dripping candles and weird papier-mâché oddities hanging from the ceiling. Clientele is an eclectic mix of older regulars and the Primrose Hill set and there's a roaring yet pretend fire in the back room.

Three Kings of Clerkenwell.jpg
Three Kings of Clerkenwell.jpg
© Scott Wishart

Three Kings of Clerkenwell

Bars and pubs Clerkenwell

This popular pub is decorated with an eclectic selection of bric-a-brac, which includes a fibreglass rhino head, a plaster Egyptian dog, an autographed photo of Dennis Bergkamp and old maps of Islington. It’s kitsch but cosy – particularly if you opt for a pint of traditional ale and a strategic position by the crackling coal fire.

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Olivia Hemingway Photography
Olivia Hemingway Photography
Photograph: Olivia Hemingway

Wenlock Arms

Bars and pubs Pubs Hoxton

A gorgeous log-burning fire greets regulars – both human and canine – at backstreet boozer the Wenlock Arms. A large hearth helps spread the fire's toasty heat around the room, with banquettes and stools nearby hotly fought over. Order from brilliant beers and salt beef sandwiches for even more comfort.

The Wrestlers

Bars and pubs Gastropubs Highgate

Popular with Highgate locals (students and celebs alike) the Wrestlers has a large roaring log fire to the right as you enter, whose comforting smell fills the room and mingles with delicious Sunday roast aromas. A beaten chesterfield sofa is near-enough to feel the warmth but not make your glow too rosy.

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