The British certainly know how to do a good fireplace. Whether in pubs, restaurants or bars in London, crackling fires keep punters toes’ warm – and provide the perfect ambiance for a mug or few of mulled wine. Whether you opt for historic pubs like The Spaniards Inn, The Bull and Last or The Star Tavern, or one of the more sophisticated cocktail bars in London, there are plenty of fireplaces to choose from in this town. Let’s just say the city’s had a lot of practice in keeping the cold away.
1. The Garden Lounge at Corinthia London
Fancy snuggling up under a cosy blanket by a roaring fire while star gazing in the centre of London? Well, throw in a cocktail or two and we have a winner. Guests need only amble downstairs to the elegant Garden Lounge, gather a throw about them and sip on a warming winter cocktail. There’s hardly a better seat in the house than the two sofas just next to the fire… well, apart from the two sofas in front of the other fire at the opposite end of the lounge!
2. The Princess Victoria
Another vestige of London past, The Princess Victoria pub in West London has a history that dates back to the early 19th century and once operated as a Victorian gin palace. These days, it’s still a Victorian-styled gin bar, and two handsome, marble fireplaces with crackling fires keep customers warm like it’s 1829.
3. The Spaniards Inn
How did literary legends like Dickens and Keats keep the cold away during the winter months? Visitors can find out if they stop by The Spaniards Inn, a Hampstead pub on the edge of the Heath that was once frequented by both scribes – and which has been a local legend for the last 400-odd years. There’s a cosy fireplace in its midst, and plenty of nooks and crannies to hide away in.
4. The Star Tavern
The Star Tavern is known far and wide for being the pub in which the Great Train Robbery of 1963 was planned, but Belgravia residents know it as a cosy little local. Settle in with a flagon of sloe gin or a dram of whisky next to the crackling fire.
5. Merchants Tavern
Merchants Tavern is not only a superb restaurant but also one of the best bars in London for expertly mixed cocktails. Brick walls and dark wood channel a midcentury vibe, while braised meat and roasted veg are upscale yet still wonderfully hearty. Settle in by the corner fireplace – both warming and the source of fragrant waftings of kindling wood.