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There have been a splurge of pubs refurbishing and reopening across London, likely due to lockdown restrictions having been lifted. Here is a round-up of our top five pub reopenings in the capital, including for great gastropub food, an unlikely combo with tacos, and being exceptionally pup friendly. We have intentionally explore venues outside of the key LGBT hotspots, for inspiration when in other areas of London besides Soho, Clapham and Vauxhall.
The Footman, Mayfair
Following a stylish refurbishment by parent company, The Metropolitan Pub Company, The Footman has increased space on the ground floor for drinks, and upper floors now for dining. The pub was originally established in 1749 and set just off Berkley Square, a 15 minute walk from the centre of Soho. The menu ticks all the gastro-pub boxes elevating all dishes without alienating the diner away from traditional menu options – they even got us giddy about gammon (read our full review here). The price point is about average for gastro-pub food in central London, about £40 per person for 3 courses. The Footman also have a well-curated wine list, whether a glass with a working lunch meal, or a bottle to share for an evening meal.
The Artful Duke, Bromley
Located in TfL zone five, The Artful Duke pub is an unlikely but nonetheless curious candidate for a new pub reopenings across London. This particular venue is located on Bromley high street, so an easy stop off point for those who may be out shopping. On first inspection the pub appears to clash multiple interior design styles, but The Artful Duke holds its own in that it is one of the only pubs we have visited with a separate menu for its four-legged guests. Mans best friend can choose from “It’s a dog’s dinner”, “Sunday ruff roast” (who wouldn’t like one of those), or “oven baked bone biccies”. And to drink, the only choice when it comes to beer for dogs, a bowl of bottom sniffers. Alcoholic drinks are also available for their human owners.
The Chesterfield Arms, Mayfair
Located between Green Park and Hyde Park, The Chesterfield Arms is a hidden gem nestled in Mayfair. A perfect location therefore, if on a date in the park, and the British weather takes you by surprise finding yourself needing shelter. The building has been a pub since 1737, we are informed having been known as the Chesterfield Arms between 1769 to 1938 and once again returning to this name after its refurbishment this year. Menu items are much more traditional pub grub, including game pie and aptly, faggot with real ale gravy.
The Gunmakers, Clerkenwell
Visitors to the Gunmaker should be open for more than just a pint. Starting out in a Bermondsey food truck, Mexican chef Ramon Ramos has brought his tasty tacos to stylish gastropub, The Gunmakers. There’s a pescetarian focus on these tacos, with Baja fish featuring beer-battered catch of the day, and Camarones with grilled prawns, habanero and roasted pineapple salsa. Other dishes include good guac, quesadillos and ceviches, and for the brave. For those wanting to embrace Taco Tuesday, menu items start from £3. Naturally, Drinks-wise, there’s a Tequila and Tonic menu, many mezcals, and Mexican beers.
The Farrier, Camden
The Farrier is a neighbourhood pub located in the northern most area of the Camden Stables Market, keep walking past the Amy Winehouse statue. If you’re meeting friends in Camden for the afternoon, The Farrier has nailed the setting with its wooden interiors and furniture, complementing the industrial/stable building as a venue to feel at ease in. Diners will be hard pressed to find better a better cut of meat for a Sunday roast, and there is a focus on organic wines.