Part of our Best Pubs in London microsite. Is your local listed?
The Black Lion (not to be confused with the pub of the same name in nearby West Hampstead) is blessed with one of the most sumptuous interiors of any pub in London. The ceiling, walls and bar are magnificently furnished with brass panels, gilding — and any number of other decorative techniques we're not equipped to describe — that even our camera had a hard time taking it all in. It's all Grade II-listed.
If the ornate decorations remind you of the Black Friar near the Thames, then that's because the two pubs had the same designer, T Callcott.
Had you come here a few years back, you'd have been refused a beer. Not because you're underage, but because the pub stopped selling it, in protest at the practices of their PubCo owners.
One change of ownership later, and things couldn't be more different. The Black Lion now stocks a very respectable array of ales. I mean, look:
The food looks absolutely delicious, with a large range of small plates to stock up on, or else try one of the large sharing platters.
As well as its obvious beauty, the Lion is also a voluminous place. A side room for functions and dining holds dozens, while a smaller beer yard serves al fresco drinkers.
All in all, it's hard to argue that there's a finer pub anywhere in Kilburn or West Hampstead. An absolute winner. And if you can't tear yourself away, they have 11 guest bedrooms upstairs.