A London pub


5 Historic London pubs for a warm wintery pint

Published June 19th, 2017

Skip the mile long lists of hundreds of great British pubs and head to these 5 historical London institutions to get a taste of where London’s drinking culture all began.

There’s something magical about ordering a pint on a blistering cold day in London once you’ve stumbled into the warmth of a cosy, unravelling at the seams, public house. As you sit in a wooden booth nursing your ale and look around it becomes apparent that these walls hold more stories than you’d ever be able to collect over a lifetime.

There are a handful of pubs in London that have been around since before Shakespeare and the fact that they’ve not turned into a dusty museum and you’re able to actually experience these for yourself is an incredible privilege. Despite the destructive efforts of the Great Fire of London, Second World War bombs and post-war planners, these pubs are still around and are some of the best bars in London.

1.Ye Olde Mitre Tavern

Considered one of the more difficult pubs to find, Ye Olde Mitre Tavern is certainly worth the hunt. Its most famous purported client was none other than Elizabeth I herself. She’s said to have danced around a cherry tree that is still there to this day.

The current structure was built in 1772 though previous iterations had been around since the mid-1500s and continues to belong to the Church of England Diocese of Ely, Cambridgeshire, because of its origins as the tavern for servants of the Palace of the Bishops of Ely. You’re basically doing God’s work by drinking here.


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3. The Dog and Duck, Soho

Located in the trendy Soho area, The Dog and Duck has had many a famous patron from literary great George Orwell to the Queen of British Pop herself, Madonna. The ornate Victorian interior features intricate tiling and ornate mirrors that you can go and check out for yourself.

4.Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese

Despite popping up on many a historic pub checklist, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is still a go to London pub with a rich and storied history. Holding a place in many a literary and journalist’s hearts, the pub was once frequented by Charles Dickens and Samuel Johnson. After the Great Fire it was rebuilt in 1667 when no attention was paid to mobile phone reception so if you head down to the cellar bar, it’s almost as though you’re back in 1667.


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5.The Seven Stars

This petite bar was one of the few places to escape unscathed by the Great Fire and is now more than 400-years-old. Positioned just behind the Royal Courts of Justice, you can expect to find barristers just out of court during the lunch and after work rush-hour. Though it doesn’t look like much from the facade, there’s a great selection of ales inside.

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Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a travel writer, digital content creator (read: takes photos/videos with her iphone and sometimes a real camera) and former retail and youth trend forecaster. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she makes her home in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @samaaldenton.