Five of the Best London Locals

A's a lightweight, there's no doubt, but he will have a drink every now and again.Over the years has had the chance to sample a good number of London's thousands of hostelries. Like everybody A has his favourite locals, and has taken C to a good few of them in North West London, the East End and the City, close to where he has lived and worked. What follows is A's highly subjective list of five of the best watering holes which are close to A's current and former homes, or places of work. They are in no particular order, and the list is highly subjective. Many great places have been left off, but you have to stop somewhere, right?

The Spaniard's Inn:
In A's view probably the greatest pub in London (although the Prospect of Whitby and the Gun give it a good run for its money), the Spaniard's Inn is an old toll house on the Great North Road. A country pub in the middle of the city, it's a real gem. The beer garden is huge, the interior features atmospheric snugs and fires in winter, and the beer and wine selection is outstanding. The only shame about this place is that it is often besieged: even when the beer garden is open, the place is almost always operating at capacity. This means that: you can't always get a table straight away - be prepared to hover - and they sometimes don't offer all the sides because they are keeping them for the main dishes. This isn't too much of a problem though, as the Spaniard's Inn offers a decent range of posh beer snacks.

Sunny Sundays in NW3

The Gun:
This is a gem of a find, stuck out on a limb in Coldharbour. A lovely pub in the former cannonsmiths' district on Millwall docks, the pub was frequented by Nelson, who used its rooms to meet his lover. Nowadays, you're more likely to find quants here than sea dogs but notwithstanding the lack of naval men, it's still bloody good. It has a decent selection of beers, including its own brew; when we last went it even had Koestritzer on tap, which was mighty fine. The pub lunch is fine too. See here for our review.

The Gun: An excellent choice in Crossharbour

The Edinboro Castle:
One of several pubs named "the something castle" in the name in the Camden area (local folklore has it that each was established to cater to railway workers from a different home nation), this is probably the best of the crop in NW1. Tucked a little off the main drag on the pub is spacious, airy, has a brilliant selection of guest ales which change regularly and solid pub food. In summer, the garden is a delight, with the are kept wonderfully cool by the huge trees that tower over the place. If coming on a Thursday night to Sunday afternoon however, be warned: the place is probably Camden's worst kept secret and is often absolutely stuffed to the gunnels, with good reason.

Taken from Instagram, as we couldn't get any photos of our own :(
The Mitre:
Blink and you'll miss the Mitre: an ancient little pub located on a side alley just off Hatton Garden. The place has been serving thirsty punters since medieval times and it's said that roundheads plotted against the Crown here. Nowadays, the maze of tiny rooms caters to a vibrant mix of  thirsty Clerkenwell creatives, diamond dealers and legal eagles. The beer selection is probably not the widest on this list, but the location and atmosphere more than makes up for it.

The Princess Louise:
In some ways A is cheating putting this one on the list as the Princess Louise serves as a shorthand all three Holborn Sam Smith's pubs (the Olde Cheshire Cheese, the Princess Louise and the Cittie of Yorke). Downstairs has the feel of an an old gin palace, and still has the booths coming off like spokes from the circular bar. Upstairs feels like a private lounge, with sofas, stools and many an old portrait hanging from the walls. What's more, as a Sammie Smith's establishment, the price of beer is  more reasonable here than elsewhere.

Taken from Instagram, due to a lack of photos of our own :(

The Prospect of Whitby:
Not dissimilar to the Gun, but far more familiar to us, the Prospect of Whitby is London's oldest riverside pub, and is located just next to Shadwell basin on the border Wapping and Limehouse. It's been slaking local thirst since the reign of Henry VII, when the area was the heart of London's port. The pub has a history of serving stevedores and pirates and has a distinctive maritime theme. History oozes from every stone of the place: plaques proudly adorn the wall elaborating on the adventures of Captain Kidd (said to have been a regular patron), the history of the Docklands and one even sports a list of every monarch who has been on the throne since the place opened. The small beer garden at the back looks straight out onto the river with fantastic views of Canary Wharf and the Bermondsey wharves.

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