The glorious pub – England’s oldest form of drinking establishment and a quintessential cornerstone of British drinking culture. With over 5,000 of them in the greater London area, there’s practically one on every block. They range in size and atmosphere, from quiet joints catering to neighborhood locals to loud rambunctious scenes with live music and drunken crowds.
Below are four diverse pubs in London that are sure to satisfy your thirst after a long day of work in London.
Those looking for a rowdy good time need look no farther than The Rocket, located in King’s Cross in close proximity to the ultra-hip Camden Town neighborhood. Surrounded by a number of nearby universities and colleges, and offering killer drink deals, there is never a lack of beautiful young party-goers at this hectic pub. With bar games, a pounding dance floor, and late hours, The Rocket is always a hotspot for anyone interested in some old-fashioned booze-fueled mingling.
If you’re interested in an alternative scene, forget the English and head straight to O’Neill’s, located in the Chinatown section of the Soho district. During the day, O’Neill’s dimly lit interior and cozy, simple décor is populated with blue collar and friendly locals enjoying heavy stouts and deep dishes of shepherd’s pie. But the unassuming building fills up at night with all types of people looking to avoid the chic club scene. As the second floor opens its doors, live rock musicians take the stage, playing the classics. When the cheap drinks have you feeling warm and fuzzy, head up into the packed room and rock out to renditions of The Police while you try to find your own Roxanne on the dance floor.
The Lock Tavern
The Lock Tavern is an ultra-hip pub in Camden Town that is a go-to spot for music lovers. The large two-story pub, with cozy interiors and outdoor areas on both floors, brings in some of the best music in London. But check the schedule ahead of time, because this tavern is known for its diversity, putting on shows ranging from live rock music to dubstep to Korean pop. It’s an eclectic mix of fun-loving hipsters and lively crowds that make for a pub experience far beyond the traditional.
The Old Queen’s Head
Sometimes the name of a place is all that it takes to catch your attention from the street and pull you inside, but this centuries-old Camden Town pub is much more than meets the eye. The historic décor of leather seating, gold-framed portraits, and a 17th century fireplace creates a deceivingly proper atmosphere. Rowdy trivia and comedy nights are a regular occurrence early in the week. And on a weekend, first time visitors here will stare in wonder as a bunch of hipsters and rockers congregate in the mannered pub, like muggles at the sight of robe-toting characters with owls heading for platform 9 ¾.
The later it gets, the more booze flows and finally a neon sign will flicker from a dark stairwell indicating what everyone has been waiting for: the second floor is now open. The upper room of The Old Queen’s Head turns into a decadent party as big-name DJs and indie/electro bands take the stage, and the atmosphere quickly strays far from what the proper name implies. So if you’re looking for a night of shameless drinking and dancing but don’t want to deal with the commotion of a nightclub, go to The Old Queen’s Head, where even after hundreds of years, is still the place to be.