Autumn – it’s finally here. And with it evening chills, walks through carpets of crispy auburn, and chunky knit covering up pasty flesh once more. Most importantly, though, Sundays will be fun again as (for me at least) the focus moves from Friday night debauch to end-of-weekend languishing. And with nowhere better on earth to rake spare hours into the hazy past that the English boozer, time to seek out those pubs that have lain empty, dark and smelling of farts for the last six months.
As I’ll be spending an inordinate amount of time ensconsced in these places between now and April I thought it was time to round them all up into some sort of leaderboard, a living list from which readers can delve into the city’s finest. Under the vague ‘gastropub’ umbrella it will encompass any traditional pub that serves food beyond last night’s cheese ‘n’ onion sangers and pickled eggs, and will no doubt lean heavily towards Sunday roasts.
So, thanks to a complex and baffling points system known only to me (think Four Weddings’ bridal bitchiness with the ‘dress’ category replaced by ‘drink’, Metacritic metrics with Urbanspoon standing in for Rolling Stone, and Paul the Octopus breaking into the National Lottery’s Arthur and doing keepy uppy – plus a healthy dollop of random discrimination) here it is: the London Gastropub Leaderboard. It will grow over time. Words with a line under them are links to reviews. Feel free to comment with your own favourites, and suggestions for where we should go next. It’s an evolving collection, and only reflects places I’ve personally been. It doesn’t feature bad pubs, only my favourites in descending order.
London’s Most Best
Paradise By Way Of Kensal Green (Kensal Green)
The Spaniards Inn (Hampstead)
The Charles Lamb (Islington)
The Bull & Last (Highgate)
The Albion (Islington)
The Crown & Goose (Camden)
The Holly Bush (Hampstead)
The Princess Victoria (Shepherds Bush)
The Mall Tavern (Notting Hill)
The Londesborough (Stoke Newington)
The Gipsy Moth (Greenwich)
The Flask (Highgate)
The Trafalgar Tavern (Greenwich)
The Three Crowns (Stoke Newington)
Dean Street Townhouse (Soho)
The Dartmouth Arms (Forest Hill)
The Rose & Crown (Stoke Newington)
The Daniel Defoe (Stoke Newington)
London’s Least Best
The top of my head is pretty blank right now so hit me up – where did I forget? Where should I investigate?