The Faltering Fullback
The Faltering Fullback’s charm begins with its vine-clad exterior and ends with its gorgeous terraced beer garden. Seriously, it’s one of, if not the, best beer gardens in London. You know what? Scratch the beer, this is one of the best gardens, period. Ya hear dat, Kew? Ya hear dat, Kensington? Yeah, you heard. The inside is pretty OK as well: pool tables, big-screen sportz for big-sportz fans, banging Thai food, quirky decor and all the beers you could reasonably expect. Honestly though, get yourself in that garden, pal. Just be prepared to fight for your spot, especially if there’s been any hint of sun that day - you know how we get.
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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 Bull's Head
The Bull's Head was once a historic jazz pub. Then it became a Thai restaurant. Then it became a jazz pub again, and you can expect live music on the daily - gigs will typically set you back between £10 and £15, while the Saturday shows tend to be more rock-oriented and cost a fiver. The bar is well stocked with beers, wines and spirits to keep you swaying to the music. Sunday roast at The Bull’s Head gets booked up weeks in advance, so we guess it’s worth a dabble. The upstairs rooms feature lovely views of the Thames - the TV in the balloon room can be hooked up to Sky, ideal for watching ruggers with the lads.
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.