London is a place that is filled to the brim with paces to kick back and enjoy a quiet pint, a glass of fine wine or a cocktail. But there are some special places where those who want to combine having some fun in a social setting and enhancing their brainpower should have on their bucket list of watering holes. It doesn’t matter if you are into board games, video gaming, arts and crafts, branded tables; London has got the right pub for you. Here are 10 of the best.
Step into Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese and you are entering a literary haven that has seen the likes of Dickens, Wodehouse and Twain regularly step in to throw off the worries of their creative endeavours.
The building itself is a slice of London history. Dating back to the 17th century it opened its doors just after the Great Fire of London when the city was reinventing itself. It served as watering hole for the newspaper crowd, but today those patrons have been replaced by the trendy set.
Get your game face on when you walk through the entrance of this great pub in Caledonian Road. This is a place where e-gamers come to congregate and simply have some fun. Think ‘sports bar’ but for the gaming crowd.
The themes and fun are unashamedly aimed at gamers. Even the drinks reflect their interests with classic instant classic shots such as ‘Doom’ and the ‘Stimpack’: just a couple of the varied choices. Each night a game is featured and patrons can take their seats in front of a screen and join in the console-based fun. For those who want a less frenetic experience, watching the action on one of the wide screens is highly recommended.
If board games are more your cup of tea, then Droughts is the place to be. Aside from classics such as Backgammon and of course Droughts, there are a number of other choices to keep the mind ticking over. Favourites among patrons are throwbacks like Hungry Hippos and more adult-themed games such as Cards Against Humanity. But there are plenty of more intricate strategy options such as the ‘Game of Thrones’ game.
Get another glimpse into London’s past by visiting the last surviving Gin Palace in the city. The views of the incredible St Paul’s Cathedral are simply wonderful. The history of this classic pub include a stint as a debtor's prison which serviced Newgate Prison. Some of the original cells still remain – but now they’re used for a much gentler purpose, as beer cellars.
If arts and crafts as diverse as building a Lego creation, learning about the fine art of colouring or any number of art and creative pursuits are what makes your heart beat a little faster then this combo café and bar is where you should be. It can be found in King’s Cross and patrons can enjoy a different theme each evening of the week.
Another pub which is a slice of London history. This pub has been around since the 14th century, but it was rebuilt in 1720. Beer choice is great and you’ll be part of the ongoing history of a magnificent piece of London’s heritage. Worth a visit not only because of the history but also the fact that it was recently voted the city’s third best pub.
Visit King’s Cross Station and step back in time with a visit to the booking Office in the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Best known for excellent cocktails in an opulent setting this venue boasts a 29 metre long bar. Worth a visit to enjoy the ambiance of a venue that is situated on the grounds of the old King’s Cross booking hall. Stay for long enough and you can enjoy a great breakfast as well.
Another venue that caters to those who love their video games. This pub in Dalston is a great place to relax, with cocktails that offer a hat tip to popular and classic games (try the ‘Alien: Inebriation') and a slew of ‘free play’ consoles scattered across the venue; it’s a gamers paradise. Launch nights when new games hit the market see gamers flock to the venue.
This venue is sheer class. It’s not a pub, but rather a tea and coffee room. This is a place to relax to the soothing sounds of piano that gently waft through the air. Make a point to visit the fantastic museum that makes up part of the attraction.
Get back in touch with a more youthful version of yourself at this venue. Classic 90s tunes and that old favourite pizza taking pride of place on the menu make it a simple late-night pleasure. Don’t ignore the possibilities of that classic console tucked away in a nook – it’s great old-school fun.