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  • Writer's pictureJoshua S

Where to Drink in London: The 100 Club!

Updated: May 17, 2022

When I moved to London, my work gifted me a book of the best 100 places in London to drink and I've been making my way through it ever since, seeing which pubs and bars are worthy of being in the book.Some are undoubtedly warranted of a spot in the top 100 - one of which is, to this day, my favourite place in London. Others are mediocre and make me question the author. So, in no particular order, here’s my review of them and whether I would recommend them to you.


As someone who prefers cocktails to beer, I will do my utmost to not be bias towards bars over pubs. As a Brit, pubs are in my DNA, so I like to think I’m a good judge of them.


Reminder: please don't be put off by the photos! Most were taken over 3 to 4 years ago, before I pretended to be an amateur photographer. The pictures were taken purely to prove to friends that I'd actually been there!


The Mayflower £

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Rotherhithe


An old-style pub in a historic part of London. In East London and south of the river, it’s quite awkward to get to if you‘re not on the Overground line (the orange one). However, if you do stay out that way or have any easy connection, or looking for an excellent pub by the river and don’t mind travelling, this is a must-visit.


It’s nautical-themed due to the trade ports from centuries ago in the area. It’s warm and cosy inside with a true local’s vibe - the terrace outside is a treat, overlooking the river and back into the City of London.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes!


Two Passports' Rating: 8/10



The Dove £

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Hammersmith


On the other side of London, but still on the Thames, in Hammersmith is the Dove. It boasts the UK’s smallest bar, only accommodating two people. If you are lucky enough to find it empty, absolutely sit in there and soak up the history, along with the fantastic drink selection on offer. Another terrace hanging over the river with fantastic views of the city, it’s a definite must visit and easier to travel to. However, Hammersmith isn’t a ground-breaking neighbourhood for tourists, so it might be something on your second or third visit to London.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes

Two Passports' Rating: 7.5/10



The George Inn £

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Southwark


An authentic 17th-century coaching inn now pub, blessed with a big courtyard out front to hang out with city workers and soak up the atmosphere.


It's fun, but its business can be off-putting, as it's so popular for city workers in the area. Get there before 5pm and enjoy.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes


Two Passports' Rating: 7.5/10



The Rake ££

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Borough


An eclectic craft cider house outside Borough Market, The Rake is different to anywhere I’ve visited in London. It is the place in London for cider lovers. It presents the menu on an electronic board in the pub, consisting of what’s in season. Some are extremely expensive, ranging upwards of £12 a pint, but they mostly range from £4-£6 each. All made within Britain.


There’s a really good vibe too - small inside and out, but get to know the locals and enjoy!


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes


Two Passports' Rating: 8.5/10



Euston Tap £

Where is it? Pub

Where is it? Kings Cross

An unusual pub split into two buildings that face each other, Euston Tap explores craft beers and ciders, displaying their menu on a chalkboard. Walk up the spiral staircases for cool views over the area and an intimate setting. Great with friends!


It’s the setting that gets it in the book, and being so close to King’s Cross underground lines helps too.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes


Two Passports' Rating: 7.5/10



The Booking Office ££

What is it? Bar

Where is it? Kings Cross

In the same building as St Pancras International (yes the train station) is the Booking Office, an overwhelming setting of vast space. It hits you at first and you think 'wow,' but it soon wears off and you look at the over-priced menu and pay £6.5 for a beer.


Does it deserve to be in the book? No


Two Passports' Rating: 6/10


Bar Pepito ££

What is it? Wine bar

Where is it? Kings Cross


Now we’re talking. If you want a taste of Andalusia in London, and want to be in on a little secret, Bar Pepito is the spot. It defines tucked away, so much so that you think it’s a speakeasy. Type it in Google, follow and trust the directions. You may feel like you’re walking round the back of a shopping centre, but it’s in a tucked away in a square of about three or four restaurants and bars. Bar Pepito is adorned with ham, bottles of wine and Spanish paraphernalia. The food is fantastic too - an absolutely must visit.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes - absolutely!


Two Passports' Rating: 9/10



Crown & Anchor £

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Stockwell

Down in the depths of Stockwell and nothing interesting. It’s a good pub with a good selection of drinks, but nothing special and unsure how it’s in the 100 Club. Move on.


Does it deserve to be in the book? No


Two Passports' Rating: 5/10


Well & Bucket £

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Bethnal Green

Sitting at the top of Brick Lane, the Well & Bucket is quite cool and a good visit if you’re staying East London. It has a cool bar in the middle of the pub which you can sit round. But nothing much going for it other that that.


Does it deserve to be in the book? No


Two Passports' Rating: 6/10


Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese £

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Fleet Street


A fun pub in a medieval setting, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is split over three floors of corridors, passages and basements, with bars throughout. A fun place that transports you back in time on a famous London Street; Fleet Street was the old newspaper district. As you walk down the street, you’ll see ghost signs of old companies and their offices.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes


Two Passports' Rating: 7.5/10


Vinoteca ££

What is it? Wine bar

Where is it? Multiple locations - I visited the bar in Marylebone


This is a small Italian chain dotted around London. It didn’t sparkle, especially after visiting Bar Pepito. It’s perfectly nice, but there are much nicer elsewhere that will leave an impression, so move on.


Does it deserve to be in the book? No


Two Passports' Rating: 7/10


The Harp £

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Charing Cross


Old beer mats scattered over the ceiling above you, and dark wood leading you to the tight bar. It’s one of the few authentic pubs in a very tourist-y area of London. There are better further out of the city, overlooking the Thames, but considering it’s so central, it’s very good.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes


Two Passports' Rating: 8/10



The French House £

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Soho


Simple and rich with history. The French Resistance would drink here in WW2 and to this day, French flags fly outside, and paraphernalia adorn the walls. There are no pints, only halves; put your phone away too, that’s not well received. Enjoy the setting and the company.


It’s historic and quirky and I think that’s why it’s in the book. And that’s fine by me.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes


Two Passports' Rating: 7/10



The Lyric £

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Soho


Now we’re talking. This is a must visit, especially on a Sunday. Cosy, friendly, and fabulous food, especially their Sunday Roasts. Excellent meat, beautiful roasted vegetables and lashings of gravy served in a giant Yorkshire pudding (another British staple - you’ll love it). This is for two people.


Genuinely excellent food.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes - absolutely!


Two Passports' Rating: 8.5/10



Prospect of Whitby £

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Wapping


Our favourite pub in London, the Prospect of Whitby is nestled in a maze of former workhouses from the mid 1800s, the pub itself dates back to 1520 and hangs on the River Thames. Its terrace provides wonderful views over Canary Wharf.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes - absolutely!


Two Passports' Rating: 9.5/10



Mr Fogg’s Residence £££

What is it? Cocktail bar

Where is it? Mayfair


I mentioned at the start that one of the places in the book has become my favourite in London. This is it. It’s incredible. A feast for the eyes and the senses. The bar is based on Phileas Fogg, the fictional character who traveled the world in 80 days.


The lavish menu plays on his experiences and new-found spices of his journey from afar. It's important to note this is an experience rather than a regular drink out. It's somewhat hidden on Bruton Lane in Mayfair, but the Victorian-dressed guards will guide you to the location. It's special and will be a discussion point for years - it's our favourite place in London.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes - absolutely!


Two Passports' Rating: 10/10

Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town ££

What is it? Cocktail bar

Where is it? Liverpool Street


London is well-known for its secret bars and speakeasies (if that makes sense?), and the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is legendary. Go to The Breakfast Club diner in Liverpool Street and say to the server "I'm here to see the Mayor", and they will show you through a secret passage to an incredible world of mixology and cocktails. Get there for Happy Hour and make sure you try the food too!


There are secret Breakfast Club bars dotted in Canary Wharf, Clapham, and Southwark.


A fun stop for something a bit different.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes - absolutely!


Two Passports' Rating: 8.5/10


Jamaica Wine Bar £

What is it? Bar

Where is it? Liverpool Street


Tucked down a side street is this Victorian bar with an inviting entrance. Its downstairs is dimly-lit and intimate, and its tables are made up of antique wine bottles. Don't order a cocktail - they are pre-made with ice thrown in.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes.


Two Passports' Rating: 8/10



Island Queen ££

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Islington


Island Queen in North London is a local's pub with a Caribbean twist. Ornate glass, carved figureheads and tropical plants welcome you to the plush chairs surrounding the bar. Gin lovers will be spoilt for choice!


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes!


Two Passports' Rating: 8/10



Earl of Essex

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Islington


An uninspiring pub. It's perfectly fine, but nothing special. If you're in the area, pop round the corner to Island Queen instead.


Does it deserve to be in the book? No.


Two Passports' Rating: 5/10



The Prince Alfred

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Maida Vale


A fun local's pub serving excellent food. The pub is comprised of separate compartments that you have to bend under to get into - these indicate an authentic pub from the Victorian era, as men would often entertain guests (prostitutes) in these sections and keep it a secret. You'll also notice wooden flaps on the walls that can be turned so drinks can be passed through without an interaction needed. That alone makes it good to go into.


There are also intimate cellars to sit in downstairs - definitely recommended!


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes!


Two Passports' Rating: 7.5/10





Craft Beer Co

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Small chain in London. I visited the pub in Brixton.


If you like your craft beers then it has you covered, but it isn't anything special. There are plenty of places on this list that serve craft beer that are better pubs - Jamaica Wine Bar and Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. Move on.


Does it deserve to be in the book? No.


Two Passports' Rating: 5/10



Crate Brewery & Pizzeria

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Hackney Wick

Nothing special. It's nice outside watching the barges pass by to Camden and has good food, but there are better places in London. Check the place out when it's sunny, but don't go out of your way.


Does it deserve to be in the book? No.


Two Passports' Rating: 6/10


Princess Louise £

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Holborn


An opulent Victorian-era-style pub by Holborn tube station. It's similar in style to Prince Alfred (mentioned above) - dark oak, moveable panels and separate "secret" sections. However, the Princess Louise is a lot brighter and more gold and jewelled. A fun spot if you're in the area - which you almost certainly will be as it's so central.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes


Two Passports' Rating: 7.5


Cask ££

What is it? Cider house

Where is it? Pimlico


A craft cider house deep in the bowels of Pimlico. If you LOVE your cider and you're staying in the area, then you should visit. Otherwise, there's no need to visit.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes (if you like you're cider)


Two Passports' Rating: 7/10


Cable Cafe Bar ££

What is it? Bar

Where is it? Stockwell


A fun place with good vibes and cocktails for £7 in a casual setting, but no need to visit.


Does it deserve to be in the book? No


Two Passports' Rating: 6.5/10


London Cocktail Club ££

What is it? Cocktail bar

Where is it? Small chain in London


A fun bar with an extensive cocktail menu. Good Happy Hour service too - take advantage of the Happy Hour in any of the city's bars (Clapham's is particularly fun). However, there are better independent cocktails bars in London.


Does it deserve to be in the book? No


Two Passports' Rating: 7/10


Queen's Head £

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Kings Cross


An eclectic Victorian-style pub on Acton Street, south-west of Kings Cross Station. A good range of craft beer and cider, and a good atmosphere that's popular with students. Check it out if you must, but there are plenty of other places.


Does it deserve to be in the book? No


Two Passports' Rating: 6/10


BrewDog, Tower Hill £

What is it? Pub

Where is it? Chain of pubs scattered across the city, but Tower Hill is the outpost


A Scottish-influenced, modern-style pub renowned for their IPAs (ales). There are spots across London, but Tower Hill's (in the City) is the best place to visit, as it has games too - you must try out shuffle board - making it to be a great place for date night or to go with friends.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes


Two Passports' Rating: 7.5/10


Happiness Forgets ££

What is it? Cocktail bar

Where is it? Shoreditch

A trendy underground speakeasy bar serving classic and unique drinks made by expert mixologists. It's good. It's hip. It's where you should go.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes


Two Passports' Rating: 8/10


Callooh Callay ££

What is it? Cocktail bar

Where is it? Shoreditch


Low-lit cocktail bar with Lewis Carroll-themed vibes with a list of innovative cocktails. It's fun but nothing special compared to the fantastic bars in Shoreditch, let alone in London. Go round the corner to Happiness Forget.


Does it deserve to be in the book? No


Two Passports' Rating: 6/10



Old Brewery ££

What is it? A pub

Where is it? Greenwich


A really well-located gastropub in one of the most beautiful parts of London. The Old Brewery is in such a lovely setting in the gardens of the University of Greenwich, where you should visit on your London adventure. After walking the historic grounds and marvelling at the incredible architecture, take a drink on the extensive patio by the green.


Does it deserve to be in the book? Yes!


Two Passports' Rating: 8/10

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