Magic in every pint
When explaining why The Harp deserved the title of London’s best pub, the Evening Standard said:
“It’s not the people, the CAMRA awards, or the staff’s expertise that elevates this old boozer above everywhere else, though, but the ineffable wonder of the place — there’s a little magic to every slurp of ale, every snippet of joyful, inconsequential conversation and every small, but meaningful moment spent in this magnificent pub.
“Whether punters are looking out under the midday sun, sheltering from the cold or basking in the amber glow of the bar in the evening, The Harp is a drinker’s paradise, right in the heart of the capital. More than that though, it’s a chance to escape the realities of the city for a little while, be welcomed and warmed, and feel like a little part of something wonderful.”
A unique atmosphere
The Harp Manager Paul Sims said:
“We were quite surprised to be number one because everyone has different ideas of what makes a great pub. We’re good at what we do, and we strive to be the best, so it’s really great we have that confirmation from the Evening Standard.”
When asked what makes The Harp such a great pub, Paul said it comes down to the beer, the staff and the atmosphere.
“We specialise in cask beer, with nine available, and we’re very traditional. We don’t have a T.V or music – we’re all about great beer and conversations. It’s what makes our atmosphere so special. People are more inclined to spark-up a conversation with a stranger here. It’s a unique atmosphere, but it’s part of what makes The Harp great.”
London's home of cask ale
The Harp’s Deputy Manager Karl Seville, who has worked at the pub for nine years and has the tough task of choosing the pub’s famous beer selection, said The Harp has become the home of cask ale in London.
“How we condition our ale, our cellar and our pouring techniques have been handed down through the times from ale experts to ensure we pour the perfect pint every time. We only serve the best, and freshest beer and we have a good reputation for doing it right, which is why ale fans come here.”
Above the bar area is an impressive collage of pump clips from all the ales that have been enjoyed in the pub over the years. Karl said since there are so many ales to choose from, customers are offered a range of tastings to help them make the best choice.
“We’re very selective about what we offer. Our guest ales change daily, and we have five guest cask ales at a time as well as our permanent range, which means there’s always something new to try.”
Great beer and conversation
He said the beer draws in an unpretentious crowd who all share the same affection for enjoying a great pint and conversation.
“It’s a very special pub. You can sit in here and watch all walks of life pass through. A love of great beer is what they all have in common. The Harp is a destination for all beer lovers, and we’re very proud to be thought of as London’s best pub.”
To find out what makes The Harp London’s best pub, visit The Harp for yourself, located at 47 Chandos Place, Covent Garden, London.
“There’s a little magic to every slurp of ale, every snippet of joyful, inconsequential conversation and every small, but meaningful moment spent in this magnificent pub,” – The Evening Standard.
More Fuller’s pubs that made top 50
While The Harp claimed the grand title of London’s best pub, five other Fuller’s pubs also made the list and are well worth visiting.
The Churchill Arms, Kensington
Making the top 10, The Churchill Arms was listed in 7th place in London’s best pubs. World famous for its elaborate exterior flower displays, the Evening Standard said the pub’s bold décor, drinks line-up and ‘cracking Thai restaurant at the back’ has earned it its top 10 spot in the list of London’s 50 best pubs.
Find out more about The Churchill Arms, located at 119 Kensington Church Street, Kensington: The Churchill Arms.
The Dove, Hammersmith
The Dove in Hammersmith, a popular waterside pub with uninterrupted views of the Thames, was awarded 8th place in the best pub line-up.
The Evening Standard said: “The outdoor area is a beautiful space in the summer, but this loveable pub really comes into its own over the colder months — inside you’ll find a really cosy setting, with an open fire and snug split-level seating room.
“Beamed ceilings add to the charm, while the usual selection of Fuller’s beers can be found behind the teeny wood-panelled bar. If you can bag a seat here on a chilly winter’s evening, don't give it up in a hurry.”
Visit The Dove, located at 19 Upper Mall in Hammersmith: The Dove, Hammersmith.
The Holly Bush, Hampstead Heath
The Holly Bush is a classic 18th century pub located in Hampstead Heath, awarded 22nd place by the Evening Standard for its great line-up of cask ales and its outstanding food offering.
The Evening Standard said: “The pub serves a great roast dinner on Sundays in smart but comfortable surroundings in the dining rooms around the back and upstairs. The cosy interiors are synonymous with cosy winter evenings, but the tiny outside seating area out the front of the pub is a nice spot for summer drinks too.”
Find out more about The Holly Bush, located at 22 Holly Mount, NW3 6SG: The Holly Bush.
Ye Olde Mitre
Ye Olde Mitre is one of London’s oldest pubs, hidden down a hidden alley way off Hatton Garden in Ely Court.
The Evening Standard, which awarded Ye Olde Mitre 24th place, said: “Ye Olde Mitre is a magnificent, memorable place that has, over the years, earned itself something of a fabled reputation. To be fair, it’s had plenty of years to do so. Hidden away down Ely Court, a toothpick of an alley off Hatton Garden, the Grade II listed building was built in 1773, though a pub’s been there since the mid-1500s.”
The Fuller’s pub is homely, traditional and cosy, and has been featured in films such as Deep Blue Sea and Snatch.
Located down a secret alley way at 1 Ely Court in Ely Place, Holborn, set-off on an adventure to visit Ye Olde Mitre for yourself: Ye Olde Mitre.
The Old Bank of England
Fuller’s Ale and Pie pub, The Old Bank of England, was awarded 34th place in London’s 50 best pubs.
Described by the Evening Standard as having ‘one of the most incredible pub interiors in the whole city,’ the Old Bank used to be the location of the old Law Courts’ branch of the Bank of England, which operated between 1888 and 1975. Today it is one of our most beautiful pubs, due to its high, ornate ceilings and grand chandeliers.
Find out more about The Old Bank of England pub, located at 194 Fleet Street in London: The Old Bank of England.
Visit London’s best pubs
Is your favourite Fuller’s pub included in the list? Let us know if the comments below!
View the full Evening Standard article here: The 50 Best Pubs in London.