With as many as 17,000 pubs, depending on whose estimates you believe, London’s wealth of imbibing riches means you’re never short of options for a tipple or two in the capital.
Perhaps unsurprisingly among this vast number of boozers and bars, a fair few are situated in rather unusual places. Here are three of the best quirky venues in London at which to enjoy a beverage.
The pub that floats – Tamesis Dock
At high tide, simulate the feeling of being drunk before you’ve even had a drop by jumping aboard Tamesis Dock, a floating barge bar that’s permanently moored on the south bank of the River Thames between Vauxhall and Lambeth bridges.
Serving a full range of drinks, including jugs of quintessentially English Pimms and craft lagers, it’s the ideal place to wile away a summer’s evening taking in stunning views of the Houses of Parliament just a mile downstream.
The converted 1930s Dutch barge even has a function room below deck for hosting parties – pirate fancy dress optional.
The ale and cider bar set in two listed lodges – Euston Tap & Cider Tap
Station pubs are often not somewhere you’d normally go unless you had a train to catch, but the Euston Tap and its sister Cider Tap, set in two grade II-listed stones lodges on either side of the entrance road to Euston Station, are a connoisseur’s delight and well worth a visit whatever your travel plans.
With a drinks list including eight rotating cask ales, 20 keg beers, 150 bottled beers and a rotating selection of nine sparkling and six hand-pull ciders from the UK, you’re rather spoilt for choice.
The old station lodges are so tiny that everyone spills out into onto the pavement on sunny evenings for a relaxed drink and chat while the madness of the rush hour Euston Road traffic carries on alongside them.
The cocktail speakeasy hidden behind a fridge – The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
Taking the speakeasy concept to new heights when it first opened its Smeg fridge door in 2011, the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is found beneath the Breakfast Club near Liverpool Street Station – but only if you know the (not so) secret (anymore) words that grant access to a hidden staircase and the subterranean wonders beyond.
Once inside, you’ll find a cosy prohibition atmosphere and delicious list of cocktails, which are made to perfection by skilled and friendly bartenders. Drinks currently on the menu include Aloe, Is It Me You’re Looking For, featuring, you guessed it, aloe vera, and A Mary Berry Kinda Gateau containing chocolate and orange bitters for a bit of Great British Bake Off flavour.
Common to many newer venues in London, they don’t take reservations and entry is on a first come first served basis so you may have to wait and have a drink upstairs in the Breakfast Club depending on how busy it is downstairs.
And no, I’m not going to tell you what the password is!