London’s most cosy pubs

Planning some festive drinks? Or just after a spot to warm up in the winter months? Try these seriously cosy London pubs
Cross Keys, Covent Garden, cosy London pubs
Ben Rowe

Lounge around on roughed-up sofas and bask in the glow of a burning fire – these cosy London pubs are crying out to be treated like your home away from home in the winter months. From creakingly old inns with nooks for hiding to modern pubs that know how to turn on the festive charm, find somewhere in the capital to get seriously cosy over winter drinks.

London pubs for a cosy catch-up

cross keys, cosy winter pubs
Ben Rowe
Bars and pubs, Pubs

Cross Keys

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

Year-round, this central London pub has a jumble of old ornaments hanging from its ceiling and making it feel a bit cramped (in a really great way, obviously). But add to that the seasonal tinsel and you’ve got one of the most festive-feeling pubs in London.

the holly bush, cosy pubs
© Rob Greig
Bars and pubs, Pubs

The Holly Bush

icon-location-pin Hampstead

The Holly Bush is a maze of tiny rooms that prove popular with many punters as a place to nurse a quiet pint by the roaring fire. Those who don’t come from London can pretend they’re back in the shire thanks to the villagey feel you get from the Hampstead location.

Venue says Holly Bush Christmas 2018! We can't promise snow this Christmas, but we can promise cosy spaces and fireplaces! Visit our Christmas page.

Bars and pubs

Churchill Arms

icon-location-pin Kensington

The Churchill has been dubbed London’s most festive pub thanks to the display of Christmas trees and lights that covers the inn's exterior each year. But duck in for a tipple and feel just as comforted by old-school carpets, bric-a-brac on the ceiling, a roaring fire and equally fiery Thai food.

Bars and pubs, Gastropubs


icon-location-pin South Hackney

This sprawling Belgian beer pub just off Broadway Market is great for getting the circulation going again after a winter saunter down the market stretch. Get rosy-cheeked on wheat beers and blondes and find further warmth in overflowing bowls of moules marinière. There are plenty of corner tables at the rear or there’s sofa seating near the bar for group gatherings.

Rob Greig
Bars and pubs, Craft beer pubs

Queen's Head

icon-location-pin St Pancras

It’s a diddy little pub near King’s Cross, but the Queen’s Head makes its own atmosphere with jazz nights round the piano and with board games to help happily pass the time in quieter moments. The craft beer selection is cracking and should give you that edge on the next round of dominoes.

The top 10 bars and pubs in London - Pride of Spitalfields
© Charlotte Mayhew
Bars and pubs, Pubs

Pride of Spitalfields

icon-location-pin Brick Lane

Two words: pub cat. Lenny is the Pride of Spitalfields' resident mog and he’s practically a local celeb. Other cosy things about this 'proper' boozer include patterned carpets, a wood-burning stove, charming locals and free roast potatoes handed out to customers for snacking on every now and again. 

100 best bars and pubs in london, balham bowls club
© Gemma Day
Bars and pubs, Gastropubs

Balham Bowls Club

icon-location-pin Balham

While this former bowls club is quite roomy, it has two compact spaces to the rear and the side that channel some serious living room chic. Get settled in on an old, beaten armchair under a lamp with its shade set off kilter and you’ll feel all the cosy feels.

Bars and pubs, Pubs

Royal Oak

icon-location-pin The Borough

This perfect pub has a horseshoe bar at its centre and is surrounded by Victorian carved wooden doors and partitions. Enjoy the villagey feel of drinking pints of real ale delivered to the pub from Lewes' Harveys brewery, great for washing down a pickled egg or two. Head here after a trip to Borough Market for a festive day to remember.

cosy pubs, french house
Ed Marshall
Bars and pubs, Pubs

French House

icon-location-pin Soho

Who’d have thought you could find such sweet shelter in central London? But this pub has been turned to for cosy sessions for centuries, since strangers here are just friends you haven’t met yet. If you can bag a corner or a seat at the bar, the atmosphere will warm you through and through, especially with a glass of vin rouge in hand.

Island Queen003_.jpg
© Rob Greig
Bars and pubs, Pubs

Island Queen

icon-location-pin Angel

Etched mirrors, tall ceilings, greenery and a ridiculous amount of comfy sofas make this backstreet Islington pub a great go-to in groups. Bag yourself an armchair in the pub’s parlour for added cosiness and revel in the slightly out-there colonial vibe the pub seems to reach for. Visit on Tuesdays for the camaraderie of quiz night.

Bars and pubs, Pubs

Cutty Sark Tavern

icon-location-pin Greenwich

Find Greenwich’s second most famous Cutty Sark down by the river, where three floors of cosy-cornered spaces all offer a view of the Thames. Soft furnishings, low ceiling beams and a menu of rich pub grub complete the warming line-up, even if the walk by the river to get here can be fairly brisk.

Bars and pubs, Pubs


icon-location-pin Kentish Town

You have to pull back a thick, velvet curtain to even get inside this cosy AF pub down a Kentish Town backstreet. Then, battle it out for front row seats by one of its fires. Our personal favourite is found down one side of the pub and is flanked by a stack of board games. Get settled in; it’s cosy o’clock.

Bars and pubs, Pubs

Prince Alfred & Formosa Dining Rooms

icon-location-pin Maida Vale

Welcome to snob screen city. This wood-clad Victorian pub is so divvied up, you can have a little area all to yourself if you time your trip well. Duck down to get through tiny doors and pretend you’re living back in ye olde days when everything was 100 percent more cosy.

Bars and pubs, Pubs

The Running Horse

icon-location-pin Mayfair

This old Mayfair boozer has been lovingly restored with a horsey theme and a toe-warmingly beautiful fireplace, backed with British Racing Green tiles and topped with horse sculptures on the mantelpiece. Chesterfields surround it, making it all the more snug, particularly around Christmas time, when a beautiful tree is added to the mix.

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