Cosy pubs in south west London and Surrey
As we brace ourselves for the winter months ahead, the quest for the ultimate cosy pub begins, and we’ve got some suggestions
The Hand in Hand, Wimbledon
This Wimbledon haunt features low ceilings and fireplaces and is adorned with candles – ideal for a Sunday session. What’s more, its proximity to the Common makes it a firm favourite among Sunday amblers, particularly those with canines in tow, with the pub winning doggy pub of south west London back in 2016. The pub staff feed friendly pets with goodies from the kitchen, and run Dog of the Day competitions which please both pets and owners.
The Antelope, Tooting
This epic drinking den stretches and bends like a twisting maze with multiple bars and rooms. Two of its rooms offer visitors to the Tooting tavern open fires, and there is another wood fire in the games room, meaning there is a good chance you’ll be able to hunker down and find a spot on the hearth. Complementing the snug setting, the Antelope’s ceiling is adorned with twinkling fairy lights, and its wooden flooring is carpeted with homely Persian rugs.
The Rookery, Clapham Common
Warmly welcoming with the enticing glow of candlelight, the pub is artfully decorated with shadows bouncing off the exposed brick walls, wooden floors, and an open fire at its heart. The menu offers an array of cuisines as well as typical Sunday foodie fare, with the grilled loghorn rib eye steak with fries and black pepper aioli a favourite among diners.
The Duke’s Head, Putney
In prime position overlooking the Thames and with windows that gaze out across the water towards Fulham, this dominating Putney pub is an epic Victorian boozer with high ceilings, and big sash windows that flood the rooms with autumnal light. The spot also offers some great Sunday lunch options, and particularly prides itself on its standard of Yorkshire puddings, and rightly so, with puffy and battery puds the unquestionable star of the plate.
The Albion, Kingston
Come the colder seasons, the humble Albion comes into its own offering Kingstonians a much-needed dose of hygge. With its homely and intimate low ceilings, a dimly-lit bar that oozes ambiance, and the cosy leather armchairs perfect for sinking into, it’s an idyllic spot after a long day of scuffing shoes and kicking up autumn leaves. Opt for a spot by the fireplace and muse over the impressive selection of keg lines and craft ales on offer.
Perched atop Richmond Hill, the Roebuck welcomes all with a tasty winter menu and snug wooden interior. Its main lure is undoubtedly the exquisite vista out the front that stretches all the way off into the Surrey hills. The view has long inspired greats of the arts and literature world from Turner to Wordsworth, and continues to stop happed up walkers in their tracks as they emerge from the gates of Richmond Park after a wintry walk. Time your visit perfectly and you can bring a mulled wine out onto the viewpoint and watch a low autumnal sun cast its golden glow over the Thames.
The White Swan, Twickenham
Along the towpath from Richmond to Twickenham and almost equidistant between the two is the beckoning bar of the White Swan. The pub makes the most of its prime riverside location with a charming outdoor patio that seemingly floats on the Thames at high tide, but during the winter months its punters are enticed inside with its cosy front room and sensational Sunday roasts. Riverside walkers and mucky pups can dry off by the warmth of an open fire accompanied by a pint of Naked Ladies, a local favourite ale named after the frolicking marble statues of York House just a stone’s throw from the pub’s front door.
The Mute Swan, Hampton Court
Amble along the Thames loop from Hampton Court to Bushy Park and you’ll pass by The Mute Swan, a friendly pub with a curved bar and spiral staircase making for an open and welcoming interior. The Mute Swan is virtually on the doorsteps of the royal palace and visitors are reminded of the area’s heritage with spectacular views overlooking the historical bend in the Thames. Come winter time and the views transform with the seasons, as the original Tudor section of the famous palace looks particularly wintry and whimsical shrouded in mist or a smattering of snow.
The Colton Arms, Fulham
An intimate little pub tucked away in the backstreets of Fulham, the pint-sized and unassuming Colton Arms is the type of establishment where you can easily while away an autumnal afternoon cosied up in a snug next to the open fire. Its front room leads round the back where you can take a seat in the plush and cosy restaurant and muse over the menu which includes an array of great British foodie feasts, from wood pigeon with chestnut and whole sharing roasts.
The King’s Head, Teddington
This is a cosy relaxing place with its open fires and pub food with a French accent that changes with the seasons. Expect dishes such as slow-roast pheasant breast and duck leg cassoulet. We love the way the pub makes the distinction between very young kids (mini burger and fish finger) and a menu for younger diners with more grown-up tastes (the likes of moules frites).