Pubs With Real Fires In London: Cosy Up With A Pint By These Roaring Fireplaces

By Londonist Last edited 7 months ago

Last Updated 22 November 2023

Pubs With Real Fires In London: Cosy Up With A Pint By These Roaring Fireplaces
Pubs in London with a real fire: A bottle and glass of wine in front of a flaming fire in a pub
Can't beat it, can ya? Image: The Rose & Crown

London pubs with fireplaces are one of the best things about the colder months in the capital. Toasting your toes by a roaring open fire, drink in hand, is welcome after a long chilly weekend walk, or a hard day at work. Here are our (and our readers') favourite comfort pubs across the capital.

Pubs with real fireplaces in central London

Pubs in London with a real fire: An old fashioned real fire burning in a nook
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese was rebuilt after the Great Fire of London, but that hasn't stopped them lighting up again since. Image: the_original_ninja_from_ginj via creative commons

The King Charles I, King's Cross

This diminutive drinking hole has masses of character and is exactly the kind of place you nip into 'just for one', only to find yourself so ensconced in its warmth (of welcome and temperature) that before you know it, it's closing time. Wood panelling, wide selection of beers and a bloody good jukebox... why are you still reading this? King Charles I, King's Cross

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, City of London

A predictable inclusion, but a worthy one all the same. Dating back to the 16th century, the Cheshire Cheese is among London's oldest boozers. Rebuilt after the Great Fire of London, there's a certain irony to the fact that its open fire is now one of its biggest draws. That, its cosy old-world charm, and the fact it's a budget-friendly Sam Smiths make this place a shoo-in for a winter bevvie. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, City of London

Pubs with real fireplaces in north London

Pubs in London with a real fire: A fish pie and green in front of a fire
Comfort food in front of a crackling log fire, at The Spaniards

The Pineapple, Kentish Town

Located on a rainbow-hued backstreet, a minute or so from Kentish Town station, this well-located pub has a vibrant community spirit (see for instance, its yearly Easter bonnet parade), and if that doesn't warm your cockles, then its Thai grub and four — yes four — functioning fires certainly will. The Pineapple, Kentish Town

Pubs in London with a real fire:  A roaring fireplace with gold lettering on it advertising ale
One of FOUR fires. Image: The Pineapple

The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead

The aroma of the log fire is the first of your rewards having reached this out-of-the-way boozer — perhaps a mile's walk from the nearest tube. But that's not all: wooden rooms upstairs, a rich (possibly apocryphal) history involving a certain highwayman, and plenty of beers (a rotating selection of cask and tap), make for a very cosy boozer. It's popular of course, so get in early if you want a seat within sight of those crackling logs. The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead

The Holly Bush, Hampstead

A stashed-away pub with character by the barrel-load: an ornate glass back-bar, dark wood panels and pew-style seats contribute to a look which has barely changed since the 19th century. An added quirk is the chalked-up weather forecast on a blackboard, perhaps to help customers decide whether to leave the pub or not; we'd say it's probably best to assume it's cold and wet and stay put by the fire. It's a Fuller's pub, which gives you an idea of the beer list, and if you get hungry some half-decent pies are on hand. The Holly Bush, Hampstead

Pubs in London with a real fire: People eating and drinking in a dining room with a real fire
Come for a beer, stick around for a pie.Image: The Holly Bush

The Alpaca, Islington

The only gold fireplace on our list, the Alpaca's bling mantlepiece gets particularly festive over the Christmas season, when stockings are hung above the mantlepiece. They do a festive menu over December too — maybe you can coax the boss into having your Chrimbo party here. Otherwise, those fireside armchairs are a smashing spot for a G&T anytime between October and April... The Alpaca, Islington

Pubs in London with a real fire: A gold fireplace with Christmas decorations around it
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... Image: The Alpaca

The Wrestlers, Highgate

Recline with a mug of porter in this snuggly, wood-panelled hostelry (which claims to date back to 1547), while putting your feet up in front of the roasting fire. The welcome here is warming in more ways than one; Heath dog-walkers and other Highgate locals give the bar a friendly atmosphere. Traditional English fare — roasts and sticky puddings — will heat you up from the inside and set you up for the bracing walk home (or more sensibly, the nearby tube). We once had the pleasure of drinking here during a power cut, when candles provided the only light. The Wrestlers, Highgate

Pubs in London with a real fire:  A festively festooned pub with a fireplace
If this doesn't warm your cockles, nothing will. Photo: The Wrestlers

The Flask Tavern, Highgate

This is where you'll find us when some quality pub time is in order. The Flask in Highgate (not to be confused with The Flask in nearby Hampstead) has many a tale to tell. With famous ex-punters including Byron, Shelley and Keats, this place is steeped in history and familiar faces still visit. Kate Moss lives opposite, although if she's having a swift one, you'll have a job spotting her thanks to the dark, candlelit atmosphere and endless private nooks and crannies. Food is good with a seasonally changing menu of English pub food. And in colder months, the light a few fires. The Flask Tavern, Highgate

Pubs in London with a real fire: Someone stoking a fire
Fire realness. Image: The Flask

The Southampton Arms, Kentish Town

There's a Victorian tiled fireplace at this no-nonsense boozer with a stupendous beer selection. 12 hand pumps dispense cask ales from independent brewers, a further six are dedicated to ciders — and the food selection is very meat-oriented. It' gets so full of bodies in here at times, you wonder of they need a fire at all. The Southampton Arms, Kentish Town

Pubs with real fireplaces in south London

Pubs in London with a real fire:  a selection of cheese and port being enjoyed by the fire
Pub goals. Image: The Crooked Billet

The Crooked Billet, Wimbledon

Get the best of a countryside village pub without leaving London at The Crooked Billet. Two warming fires mean you don't have to be first through the door at the weekend to get a toasty hearthside spot. Drinks on offer are the usual fare for a Young's pub, although as per the image above, you could alway splash out on a bottle of port. Proximity to the Common means it's a very dog-friendly place, so you can take along your pooch for a post-walk pint. They even do homemade dog biccies. The Crooked Billet, Wimbledon

Pubs in London with a real fire: A pub fire with a statue of a deer on the mantlepiece
The Clapham tap has awesome craft beers, and a lovely fire to boot. Image: Londonist

The Clapham Tap, Clapham North

There's no dearth of decent pubs in this neck of the woods, but the Clapham Tap get plaudits from us for two reasons: the beer (a cornucopia of craft offerings from the likes of DEYA and Kernel), and — come wintertime — the corner with a real fire — a rare thing for an earnestly craft beer bar. The Clapham Tap, Clapham North

The Plume of Feathers, Greenwich

Feel smug as you bypass some of the more touristy places in Greenwich and slip into this proper locals' pub, where the welcome is as warm as the roaring fire. One of the oldest pubs in the area, there's decent-enough food and a fair selection of beers, but it's the cosiness you won't want to leave. Just one more? Oh, go on then. The Plume of Feathers, Greenwich

Pubs in London with a real fire: the frontage of the Old Red Lion, with decorative windows
Kennington's Old Red Lion seems to gesture you in. Image: The Old Red Lion

The Old Sergeant, Wandsworth

A charming pub mixing some odd decor, with traditional seating and — if the weather demands it — a crackling fire. Snuggle into the cosy interior, and order some tasty pub grub to go with your beer or glass of wine. The eclectic theme continues down into the menu: sample international hot dogs, a variety of Mexican dishes or, in the past, roast python — though things have become a bit more traditional since those days. The Old Sergeant, Wandsworth

The Alma, Crystal Palace

A freehouse serving a seriously good selection of beers, we'd have to say plump for a London Black or plum porter if it's properly frigid out — but whatever you choose, enjoy it if you can in one of the fleecy chairs by the open fire. Going back outside can wait another hour or two. The Alma, Crystal Palace

Pubs in London with a real fire: A roaring fireplace with a fleece on a chair next to it
It's going to be difficult to get back up again... Image: The Alma

The Park Tavern, Eltham

Whether you've been out for a bracing walk in Avery Hill Park, or visiting local tourist spot Eltham Palace, this smartly turned-out establishment provides a warm and welcome place to put your feet up with a real ale in hand, and gradually allow yourself to be able to feel your extremities again, as they thaw out by the fireside. The Park Tavern, Eltham

Pubs in London with a real fire: A roaring fire with decorative tiles around it
And what a pretty fireplace it is too. Image: The Park Tavern

The Old Red Lion, Kennington

It’s not just the crackling fire or the whiff of mulled wine as you walk into this low-beamed former Antic pub — now taken over by Portobello Brewery — that makes it a perfect winter spot. It’s also the way they've converted old toilets into a conservatory to provide tight alcoves to cosy up in and make your own. Enjoy typical pub food, a regularly changing ale selection and a friendly welcome to boot. The Old Red Lion, Kennington

Pubs with real fireplaces in East London

Pubs in London with a real fire:  Coffee and cake in front of the fire
Stay for dessert and coffee? How could we say no. Image: The Gun

The Chesham Arms, Hackney

Maybe you've been watching the footy on Hackney Marshes and now need something stronger than a Bovril. Perhaps you've been meandering along the canals of east London, and are in search of some homely hospitality. Wherever you've been, wherever you're going, the Chesham Arms, with its super selection of beers, and beautiful wood burning stove — presided over by Pomona, goddess of fruitful abundance — awaits. The Chesham Arms, Hackney

The Approach Tavern, Bethnal Green

One of the more excellent pubs in a neighbourhood blessed with many, The Approach is a big, high-ceilinged, dog-strewn Victorian boozer on a long, leafy road running up to Victoria Park. The location — along with a great draft beer selection, solid pub food and big sports fixtures being screened in the beer garden — keep both the indoors and outside packed in all seasons, but in autumn and winter the best place to be is with a beer and some bar snacks near the fireplace. The Approach Tavern, Bethnal Green

Pubs in London with a real fire: A roaring fire in a wood panelled pub
Might stay here till spring, actually. Image: The Rose & Crown

The Rose & Crown, Stoke Newington

Gorgeously wood panelled/flagstoned, and offering ultimate comfort dishes (think sausage and mash, chicken & chorizo pie) that'd already be enough to get us to call in at this Stokey boozer on any frosty afternoon of the week. And then there's that fireplace, roaring away like no one's business, chopped logs waiting at the side to be plopped in one by one. You might want just want to hang around here till next spring. The Rose & Crown, Stoke Newington

The Gun, Isle of Dogs

This Isle of Dogs institution melds gastropub with traditional boozer, as if that were the easiest thing in the world. Nautical paraphernalia and deep leather armchairs provide traditional touches, while a stonking view of The O2 lends the Gun wow factor. Those armchairs we mentioned also happen to flank a rather wonderful fireplace. Sink into your seat, sink a real ale or two, and watch the boats (hopefully not sink) on the Thames outside. The Gun, Isle of Dogs

Pubs with real fireplaces in west London

Pubs in London with a real fire: a young couple enjoying a drink by the fire
A pub worth travelling for. Image: The Dove

The Dove, Hammersmith

Aged beams and cosy corners combine with a delightful view of the Thames to make this one of those pubs so lovely it's worth travelling across town for. Hunker down by the open fire in a proper pub chair with a pint of one of the nearby Fuller's brewery beers and you'll soon forget it's raining yet again. The Dove, Hammersmith

Image by The Mitre, Holland Park.

The Mitre, Holland Park

After a redesign earlier in 2023 the Holland Park pub's looking a lot more country estate/hunting lodge than it used to, all heavy leather chairs and chandeliers and sizeable martinis, with the fireplace easily the best thing about the reno. The food here's decent but service can be chaotic; our favourite path through the Mitre's just a seat at one of the little horseshoe cluster of tables around the fireplace, a cocktail or beer, and a bar snack or two from their very rich, terrine-and-tartare-slanted menu.  The Mitre, Holland Park

The Fox, Hanwell

If in your mind's eye you think a fireplace isn't complete without a dog warming itself nearby, this is your kind of pub. That, plus a bar stocked with more ales than you can count make this an excellent stop-off if you're visiting the fascinating area of Hanwell. The Fox, Hanwell

Pubs in London with a real fire: A pretty fireplace with mirror above it and pumpkins on the mantlepiece
Jazz and roasts make this a blissful Sunday spot. Image: Bull's Head

The Bull's Head, Barnes

Live soul, jazz and blues is a staple of this old boozer that's voguishly done up, and overlooks the Thames. You really can make a Sunday afternoon of it here: a beer by the fire, followed by the roast beef — then a G&T backed by saxes and piano, as the day gradually melts into evening. Nice. The Bull's Head, Barnes

The White Horse, Parson's Green

The so-called Sloaney Pony is a pub which many a Londoner holds close to their hearts, and for good reason. With at least eight beers on tap and over 80 interesting options by the bottle, it's at the top of its game for ale, and unlike many a beer destination it has genuinely great food, too. Throw in a roaring fire flanked by comfy Chesterfields and you have quite a winter hide-out. The White Horse, Parson's Green

Words by James Drury, Joanne Gould, Ben Norum and Will Noble. Thanks to all of our Londonist followers who've sent us their own fireplace suggestions too.

To find more cosy pubs with fires near you, search our database of the best pubs in London.