Skehans is a proper family boozer, small in size but large in stature. Here regular live music, pool, darts, footie, old blokes necking Guinness and arty moochers from Goldsmith’s fill the space and create one of the best pub atmospheres in town. It's a unique mishmash melting pot and the result is goddamn good craic. Set up in an old Victorian corner pub, it’s got the look and feel you want from your local; where, as things get wild after dark, you get the sense the night could go anywhere. Meanwhile, out back is a rare unexpected gem: a leafy garden with a converted coach house doing very tasty Thai food to complete this perfect pub package.
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At The Bridge live music, open mic nights and pub quizzes feature on the schedule with much frequency; the quiz actually draws a full crowd on a weekly basis. Ales and lagers available are fairly standard and the wine list features old and new world bottles. The restaurant dishes up classic pub grub and features all the likely suspects, though none will blow your socks off. The beer garden out back is large and will see a bar and BBQ installed in 2016, which should make for nice summer activity. Keep your eyes peeled inside for Howard - the mystical 94 year old drops in around 6pm every day and has been boozing at The Bridge for nigh on 60 years.
The Earl of Lonsdale
You might be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped into a Hobbit’s tavern here: the miniature doors and quirky booths in this local boozer make for a baffling entrance at first. This is all indicative of the pub’s character, where you’ll frequently find seasoned locals rubbing shoulders with West London’s young and beautiful. The beer garden out back is huge and well furnished, perfect for a spot of good conversation (with humans or dogs as it happens). The Earl of Lonsdale is a Samuel Smith pub, which is definite cause for celebration - it means pints in the £3-4 ballpark, a rare sight in LDN these days. Pub grub is available but nothing to write home about, though on Portobello a square meal is never difficult to come by.
St John's Tavern
Artist Nic Sharpe has owned this plot for some 18 years now, but a recent refurbishment turned St John’s Tavern into what it is today: a large, incredibly stylish, somewhat minimalist space, part-pub part-restaurant. If you’re here for the boozing then expect heaps of local craft, including Hammerton’s N7 Pale Ale (from down the road), along with a bit of great value nosh from the bar’s tapas kitchen. The restaurant dishes oour British classics (incl. a smashing Sunday roast), sourcing produce locally and changing the menu on a seasonal basis. We’re also big fans of the weekly collab with local wine merchants Theatre of Wine - it’s BYOB in the restaurant on Mondays, so cop a bottle and get on down.
The Windsor Castle
***Permanently Closed*** With all the fairy lights, candles and rustic tables, this cosy Victorian pub is giving us the romantic feels. Perfect for a date but equally an ideal place to take your mum. As for the food, we'd say it's somewhere between standard pub grub and fine restaurant dining, so everyone's satisfied. We went for the Bavette Steak and Stuffed Butternut Squash for our mains, but the menu changes seasonally so we can't really recommend something even if we wanted to. A spacious bar and sweet beer garden makes the Windsor Castle a perfect place for a pint, too.