The best pubs in Covent Garden
A bar chain that helped put ‘craft beer’ on everyone’s lips both literally and figuratively, the Covent Garden branch is the one with the widest selection of brews from around the world. With 30 keg lines and 15 cask pumps, as well as the typically astounding selection by the bottle, you should probably arrive thirsty and curious.
You’ll always spy a smoking-and-drinking crowd at the foot of this pub on the pavement, such is its popularity. Peek inside the flower-fringed window to see a cosy, age-old pub decked out in ancient copper utensils and with a line-up of mass-produced ales and lagers. One of the most perfectly English experiences you’ll get in the West End.
Despite being taken over by Fuller’s, The Harp is still recognised as a real ale haven bang in the middle of town. Stumble up from Trafalgar Square and find its pretty stained-glass exterior. It’s like a church for ale-ficionados, who say praise to those pints as well as interesting ciders and perries.
This alleyway has seen some sights over the years – the pub once hosted bare-knuckle-fights – but the most you get these days at one of London’s oldest pubs is puzzled tourists sipping pints of Bombardier. The Lamb & Flag is a traditional place for lager and a ploughman’s lunch and is perfectly tucked away from the lost crowds near Leicester Square.
A poshed-up take on a traditional West End pub, Mr Fogg’s Tavern is decked with flowers on the outside and strewn with bunting indoors. Expect hefty sandwiches and way more than a warm pint of ale, with punches and wines dominating the drinks list. Fancy.
If you’re not after the trad pub experience in the centre of town, come over all Continental at Lowland, a brightly logoed and Benelux-themed beer bar. Chow down on mussels and drink Dutch and Belgian beer options from 15 taps served in half-pint measures of two-pint jugs.
This gleaming hostelry with a busy terrace does a fine line in international beers and hearty fare. Underpinning it all are draught stouts and ales shipped over from Dublin parent company Porterhouse Brewing Company. So you can have a bit of the craic in the middle of Covent Garden.