Merry mulled boozing, cosy log fires, pigs in blankets, lashings of gravy, twinkling lights, jolly pub-goers; what’s not to love about pubs at Christmas time? And what better place to kick start the festivities than the UK’s lively capital, London. It’s not just the winter rooftop bars in London that go all out in December, the more traditional pubs also get in the spirit.
However, with so many Christmassy pubs in London to choose from, knowing which is going to be most cosy and downright merry isn’t easy. So, to help make the decision easier, we’ve compiled a list of those that we think deserve the title of “best Christmas pub in London”. From pubs with roaring fires and Christmas trees in the corner to those that go all out with fairy lights galore, we’ve got a festive pub in London to suit every yuletide taste.
8 best Christmas pubs in London
Set within a Grade II-listed building that was originally built as a house in the 1790s and used as the Assembly Rooms in the 1800s, The Holly Bush eventually became a pub in 1928. And, ever since then, this Christmassy pub in London has been pulling in punters from near and far. As a quaint, historic Christmas pub in London, The Holly Bush retains its oldy-wordly, higgledy-piggledy air, with a low-ceilinged bar area and dark wood furnishings. Having been featured in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, this festive pub does things the old fashioned way. So you can expect to curl up next to a toasty open fire with a decent pint or a mug of mulled wine or cider. When it comes to the food, The Holly Bush in Hampstead won’t disappoint either. They do a cracking Sunday roast, with the choice of sirloin of beef, roast cornfed chicken breast, south coast loin of pork and butternut squash and feta wellington, all of which come with a side of seasonal vegetables, Yorkshire puds and a healthy dose of gravy. With such a delicious menu, we don’t doubt their Christmas dinner will be just as spectacular.
Some say Christmas doesn’t start until you hear ‘Fairytale of New York’ on the radio. We say Christmas doesn’t start until The Churchill Arms finally flips the switch on their lights. Located on Kensington Church Street, this is one of the best Christmas pubs in London thanks to the fact that it transforms into a giant Christmas tree every December. This year, this Christmassy pub in London will be decorated with a whopping 80 trees and 18,000 fairy lights. Inside, the décor is a little more subtle so you can relax with your favourite festive tipple without the blinding of thousands of twinkling lights. Similarly, the menu at this Christmassy pub in London doesn’t quite live up to the exterior display given that it’s Thai-inspired rather than your traditional turkey and cranberry sauce. Nevertheless, the food is delicious and certainly worth a try!
Located on the pretty New Quebec Street just around the corner from the infamous Oxford Street and Marylebone, The Grazing Goat is a beautifully restored festive pub in London that sits on the land where Lady Portman used to graze her goats (hence the name). Inside, you’ll fine a cosy, rustic space that gives country pub vibes despite being in the heart of London. Think blazing fires, warm lighting, and a large bar which serves everything from draught beer and wine to gin and cocktails. This Christmas pub in London serves up unpretentious gastropub-style food that is made using locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. And with their Christmas menu already available to view, you can start planning your feast in advance. Find starters of duck liver with winter truffles and pastrami cured Scottish salmon. Mains of Norfolk bronze turkey and roasted Angus sirloin. No Christmas dinner is complete with dessert, so choose from the likes of chocolate and chestnut tart, Christmas pudding with brandy sauce and lemon steamed pudding.
Dating all the way back to 1904, this historic Hampstead boozer is housed within a Grade II-listed building that can be traced back even further, to the 18th century, when it operated as a space for the Hampstead mineral water business. Tucked down a flagstone alleyway just stone’s throw from Hampstead Heath, this Christmassy pub is ideally situated for a Christmas Eve walk. You’ll love The Flask for its sophisticated décor, complete with a well-restored wooden bar, antique pictures hanging on the walls, and two roaring fires to warm your hands and feet. At the bar, they’ve got Young’s Winter Warmer on draught along with a locally renowned mulled wine recipe to try. The food menus are also designed to impress, packed full of good ol’ British staples like 21 day aged steak, pork belly, beer battered cod and Young’s beef burger.
Set within what was once a bowls club, this is a rather unique Christmassy pub in London that channels serious granny chic vibes, but in a good way. And that’s what makes this one of the best Christmas pubs in London; rather than sitting on hard wooden chairs, you can sink into an old armchair under a slightly off-centre lamp and get all cosy with a glass of your chosen festive tipple. The space might looked a little unloved, but that’s its USP; the vintage mirrors, wood panelled walls, upholstered armchairs, frilly lamps. While it might feel like you’re visiting granny’s for Christmas, you’ll only find 20- and 30-somethings in this festive pub in London, drinking everything from Calif-Oregon Amber Ale from the Belleville Brewing Co to Tusk IPA from nearby Twickenham.
The perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of Camden Town market and just around the corner from Regent’s Park, The Spread Eagle is a lovely Victorian-style Christmas pub in London that’s become something of an institution in the Camden community. Inside, you would think this London festive pub was of the gastro variety, featuring a handsome dining room area that blends the charm of a traditional country pub with more fun, modern pops of colour and personality. Find bold blue panelled walls, light-up signs, velvet and leather seating, and large floor-to-ceiling windows. This Christmassy pub in London makes the perfect spot for festive boozing with friends or for chilled out meals with loved ones. On the food menu, you can choose from the likes of hearty homemade pies and light bites to an excellent Sunday roast.
The Cutty Sark Tavern is a homely riverside pub set in the stunning Greenwich, known best for its amazing views, mouth-watering food and irresistibly cosy décor. Set across three floors, the interior décor of this festive pub in London is traditional rustic at its best. With plenty of cornered spaces to tuck away in, low ceiling beams and large open fires, there’s nothing more you need to see you through winter. This Christmassy pub in London serves a menu of rich pub grub featuring all our favourite classics, from beef burgers and fish & chips to fish pie and sausage and mash. They’ve even got their Christmas dinner menu up and running already, featuring all the essentials, including roast celeriac soup, crown of turkey, pan roast duck breast, Christmas pudding and treacle tart. As for the drinks, this Christmas pub in London serves a selection of bottled lagers from all across the globe, spectacular cocktails and, of course, mulled wine!
Lore of the Land is an expensive-looking pub located in Fitzrovia that is owned by the one and only Guy Ritchie. Despite clearly trying hard to be more authentic than it really is, this Christmassy pub in London certainly pulls off cosy vibes. The space is Victorian-looking, with expensive artwork plastered on every wall and the staff are formal with a uniform of waistcoats. Downstairs, you’ll find the bar where an impressive beer range from all over the world is served. By contrast, upstairs, you’ll find a farm-to-fork restaurant with a slightly pretentious menu of small plates.
So, there you have it – our pick of the very best Christmas pubs in London. From the uber-cosy to the modern and quirky, head to if you’re heading to the capital for a winter break this year, be sure to try out some of these Christmassy pubs!
Be sure to to check out our guide to the best romantic hotels hotels in London for somewhere to stay during your trip.