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London's best gastropubs 2021

The past year has been a tricky time for pubs, so the latest Estrella Damm's Top 50 Gastropubs list is a great opportunity to highlight some of London's best. The list covers England, Scotland and Wales for 2021 - and London secured eight spots on the list with The Harwood Arms in Fulham once again getting into the top 10. 

Here's the full list of London pubs that made the grade this year.

Harwood Arms 

3. The Harwood Arms 

Fulham - Walham Grove, London SW6 1QP

Owned by The Ledbury's Brett Graham and chef Mike Robinson (who also runs The Woodsman in Stratford-upon-Avon), this Fulham pub is still the only Michelin-starred pub in London. Their vision is "to go beyond the typical pub fare." At the helm is Sally Abe whose menu and cooking has been rightly heaped with praise. 

What to order? The Harwood Arms' venison scotch egg is still one of the best of its kind and their game comes from Mike Robinson's land, with the muntjac particularly worth a try. 

Reopening date: 19 May 2021

More about The Harwood Arms

Book The Harwood Arms

Photo by Stefan Johnson

 

Guinea Grill

15. The Guinea Grill

Mayfair - 30 Bruton Pl, London W1J 6NL

This ancient pub (there's been a pub on this spot since the 15th century) has always been a London classic, but the arrival of uber-landlord Oisin Rogers in 2016 raised it into a different level altogether. As the name suggests, there's a strong focus on their grills - with their steaks being some of the best in town. They do an absolutely knockout breakfast too

What to order? Jay Rayner described The Guinea's mixed grill as "the sort of thing open-top tourist buses should stop in front of." Meat is what you're after here, and that mixed grill has plenty of it in. If you're after something a teeny bit less hearty - how about one of their award-winning steak and kidney pies?

Reopening date: 19 May 2021

More about The Guinea Grill

Book The Guinea Grill

 

The Drapers Arms

19. The Drapers Arms

Islington - 44 Barnsbury St, London N1 1ER

Run by landlord Nick Gibson, The Drapers Arms has a reputation far wider than the usual neighbourhood pub. In the kitchen is Head Chef Luke Frankie who was previously Head Chef at Stevie Parle's Dock Kitchen. 

What to order? It changes regularly (check the website for the latest) but their pies are well worth a look, a recent delight being a suet crust steak & red wine pie. The wine is very good too.

Reopening date: 12 April 2021 (alfresco only until 19 May)

More about The Drapers Arms

Book The Drapers Arms

 

The Anchor & Hope

28. The Anchor & Hope

36 The Cut, Waterloo, London SE1 8LP

When this pub first opened it was A Big Deal, being one of the first modern gastropubs in London. Run by - as Matthew Fort described them "graduates of St John by way of the Eagle" - it was nigh on impossible to get a table here but now they take bookings (thank goodness). 

What to order? Another ever-changing menu, but keep an eye out for potted shrimp on toast and their vegetable fritto misto.

Reopening date: May 2021 (TBC)

More about the Anchor and Hope

 

The Marksman

29. The Marksman

Hackney - 254 Hackney Rd, London E2 7SJ

Chef owners Tom Harris and Jon Rotheram took over The Marksman in 2015, and key to their success was the opening of a wonderful, airy upstairs dining room. The pub has been a huge draw ever since, both for snacks downstairs and the main restaurant, serving an ever-changing seasonal menu upstairs. 

What to order? Menus change all the time, but you don't want to go home without having tried their savoury buns and the brown butter and honey tart which is deservedly famous. 

Reopening date: 12 April for their terrace and outside areas.

More about The Marksman

 

The French House

33. The French House

Soho - 49 Dean St, Soho, London W1D 5BG

This Soho pub has always been a classic and has hosted some great restaurants in the upstairs dining room. The current tenure of Neil Borthwick has now made it one of London's best restaurants, with an ever-changing seasonal menu of classic French dining. It's tiny, so well worth booking early. 

What to order? The menu changes daily (their website has the latest) but the confit garlic and goats curd on toast is a regular and a must-have, as is the Paris Brest. 

Reopening date: May 2021 (TBC)

More about The French House

 

The Red Lion & Sun

35. The Red Lion & Sun

Highgate - 25 North Rd, London N6 4BE

Tucked in a pretty side street just minutes off the roaring A1, this Highgate gastropub definitely comes into its own in the summer with its lovely gardens and we have certainly spent a lot of time here. It's a local story too with even their meat coming from the nearby Highgate Butchers which may be why their Sunday roasts look outstanding. 

What to order? Other than the Sunday roast, the fish and chips are great. Although we suggest you settle in here to work your way through one of the best wine lists in London.

Reopening date: 12 April 2021 (alfresco only until 19 May)

More about The Red Lion and Sun

 

The Bull & Last

47. The Bull & Last

168 Highgate Rd, Highgate, London NW5 1QS

Need to know: A reentry for this Highgate pub (just by Hampstead Heath) which has recently had a big refurbishment meaning they now have rooms to let upstairs.

What to order? There's a focus on British cooking here and The Killer Scotch Egg is, as you can imagine, one of the very best in London (and you can see the recipe here). They're also famed for their award-winning Sunday lunches. 

Reopening date: 12 April 2021 (alfresco only until 19 May)

More about The Bull & Last

 

And - here are the top 10 Gastropubs in the UK

  1. The Sportsman, Kent
  2. The Star at Harome, North Yorkshire
  3. Harwood Arms, London
  4. The Parkers Arms, Lancashire
  5. The Mariners, Cornwall
  6. The Freemasons, Lancashire
  7. Hand & Flowers, Marlow
  8. The Compasses Inn, Kent
  9. The Coach, Buckinghamshire
  10. The Unruly Pig, Woodbridge

View the full Top 50 Gastropubs list here

 

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