9 Cool Men Share Their Favourite London Pubs | SLMan
@RICHARDLEEMASSEY
It’s no secret that London has some seriously good boozers. But with over 3,500 to choose from, finding your way to the best ones isn’t always easy. Looking to branch out from your local? Nine cool guys introduced us to their favourite pub in the capital, and their usual order there…

Richard Lee Massey, founder of APT

“Twelve years in Hackney means I’m loyal to my neighbourhood, so I'd have to choose The Marksman. I love old boozers, but I love them even more when restored in a way that suits the modern punter. The Marksman is a spruced-up Victorian pub with handsome wood panelling and plush leather seating, but upstairs has the main attraction. Chefs Tom Harris and Jon Rotherham (both formerly of St. John in Clerkenwell) commissioned one of my favourite designers, Martino Gamper, to create a destination in its own right. Upstairs, expect an upholstered panelled ceiling, bespoke tables, customised Ercol chairs, linoleum-clad floors and an all-round, colour-blocked interior... It's f*cking fabulous. I usually order a Braybrooke Keller lager with a Sunday roast, or the beef and barley buns.”

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Nathan Rollinson, content creator

“My go-to is The White Hart in Barnes. On the banks of the Thames, it has that carefree countryside feel, providing respite from the concrete jungle. The service is great, and they pay attention to detail to all the important things. One of my favourite dishes is the butternut squash wellington with chestnuts, roasted cauliflower, tenderstem broccoli and creamed spinach, which I have with a glass of wine – their selection is great. And I can’t not mention the famous Sunday roasts. Pop in whether you’re in need of somewhere to recharge after a long day, or a refuel after a walk along the river.”

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James Sleater, tailor & founder of Cad & The Dandy

“God, I love the pub – the quainter the better. I’m not opposed to the rise of the gastropub, but from my experience, the stickier the floor, the greater the chat. Some of my best nights have started at very sour smelling establishments with no cocktail list, but plenty of characters. Asking me to choose a pub is like asking me to choose a favourite child, but based purely on the amount of time I spend there, it’s got to be The Burlington Arms – a Savile Row local. Besides being the best-dressed pub in London, it also happens to serve the best scotch eggs in town. The first one I had post-lockdown, smothered in English mustard and chased down with a Guinness, was revelatory. I’m not a poetic kind of man but I’d write an ode to the Burlington scotch egg. The Guinness isn’t half bad either.”

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James Kerslake, founder of Tom Savano Cocktails

“I bloody love The Holly Bush in Hampstead Heath – it’s exactly what you imagine a pub would be like in a Hugh Grant movie. On top of the hill, surrounded by period properties and tangled vines, you can take in the smell of wood smoke in winter. Inside, there’s a warm glow around the bar, with lots of passageways leading through to seating areas. I love looking around for the perfect cosy nook to pull up a chair, with friends or on a date. I always try to get near the fire, but there’s another great spot in the far corner of the bar where you can people watch. On a warm night, you can sit at a picnic table and gaze out over London in the distance. I always order a good NZ sauvignon blanc (large) or a spiced rum and coke – they have a great selection of spirits to choose from.”

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Darren Kennedy, TV host & broadcaster

“For a great pint The Coach & Horses on Greek Street is an unsung gem. Get a seat by the bar if you can and get lost in another world of conversation. If you like people watching, perch yourself on one of the benches outside and watch the weird and wonderful characters of Soho pass by. It’s a welcome relief from the likes of Soho House and Kettners.”

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Mathias le Fèvre, model

“When autumn arrives, so does my craving for Sunday roasts. This season is all about long nature walks rewarded with a pub treat. After a hectic work week, a ritual of mine involves catching up with a good friend, walking in the gem that’s Battersea Park, and enjoying a pint and a celebratory meal at The Prince Albert. Stylishly spread over two floors with an open fireplace, park views and a great selection of draught lagers, it’s a winner. The chicken and ham pie is great, as are the hearty puddings.”

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Adam James, tailor & founder of Adam James Bespoke

“My favourite pub in London has to be The Sun Tavern in Bethnal Green, my local when I lived in the East End. It’s a brick-lined 1850s building with a weathered bar that serves local microbrews, a great selection of whiskies, and punch cocktails. It’s a proper east London institution with a neighbourhood bar that honours its roots. The atmosphere is cosy and there’s always a great vibe. Most importantly, it’s where me and my partner Catherine had our first date. Here, a whisky is a must.

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Salvo Russo, Sommelier & Head of Wine at Heliot Steak House & The Hippodrome

The Spaniards Inn on the edge of Hampstead Heath has to be one of the best. My favourite kinds of Sundays are spent walking my cocker spaniel on the heath, taking in the views and the ever-changing colours, and finishing up with a roast, pint of Guinness and a bottle of Domaine Latour-Giraud Meursault Cuvée Charles Maxime, which offers incredible value for money. The pub is great all year round with an amazing outdoor heated area – ideal if you have mucky pups with you.”

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