Pubs and Crawls There are plenty of pubs, both historic and contemporary, to enjoy in and around Victoria. Many have avoided the curse of chain branding and all of these have their own unique character. We include a few routes taking in some of the best venues. We have given each one an overall score based on Beer, Food, Atmosphere, Entertainment, Staff and Location...roughly in that order of priority...
The Grenadier - 18 Wilton Row A great pub on a cobbled street, with loads of military history and a resident ghost. Their excellent speciality drink is the Grenadier Bloody Mary – made with a secret ingredient. The ghost is of a man that was caught cheating at cards in the pub and beaten to death in the 17th century. Much has changed since then and the pub now tends to be filled with hedge fund managers. Still a very good pub with decent food and a lot of character. Overall score 8/10.
The Star Tavern - 6 Belgrave Mews This delightful watering hole is situated in the heart of Belgravia, just off Belgrave Square. It's rumoured to be where the Great Train Robbery was planned. The pub is accessed off a pleasant cobbled mews and has an inviting exterior including a star stained glass window. The pub has a gentleman's club-like feel and has been tastefully upgraded/converted and benefits from two large fireplaces. The staff are friendly and the food although not sampled, looked good, giving an excellent overall impression, making it one of our favourites and well worth a visit! Overall score 9/10.
The Morpeth Arms - 58 Millbank This pub is known for the famous ghost in the vaults and they have a live CCTV showing in the bar area, waiting to catch it in action. Nice location overlooking the River, with outside seating and heaters. A good variety of wines/beers and food all at a reasonable price. A casual laidback atmosphere playing up to date music. Overall score 8/10.
The Plumbers Arms - 14 Lower Belgrave Street The Plumbers Arms is nestled between the hustle and bustle of Victoria to the East and quiet Belgravia to the West. In recent times, the pub has become famous for its association with Lord Lucan and the events on that cold night in November 1974 where the Lucan nanny was murdered. During the week, The Plumbers Arms attracts a wide mix of clientele who enjoy the lively and cosy atmosphere, as well as the fine variety of beers and ales on tap. The Plumbers Arms is a pub in the most traditional of terms, good drink, lively atmosphere and a must for any tourist wanting to see the workings of a good olde English boozer. Overall score 8/10.
The Horse & Groom - 7 Groom Place The Horse & Groom is a very upmarket pub with a snazzy interior. It would be the perfect location for a summer drink with its outside seating area and picturesque location. With a chilled out atmosphere this pub also offers a good selection of beers and an extensive wine list. It may be slightly on the expensive side, however well worth a visit. Overall score 8/10.
The Thomas Cubitt - 44 Elizabeth Street A stylish gastro-pub, popular with the local elite as well as the aspirational office workers. It's perfect for a business lunch away from the crowd with good food and wine. The beer range is limited as you would expect but the outside seating, good service, great private room and food, more than makes up for it. The potential for people-watching on this great Belgravia street also makes the trip worthwhile. Overall Score 9/10
The Cask & Kitchen - 6 Charlwood Street The Cask is set in a housing development along Tachbrook Street meaning the exterior and interior are relatively bland. They do however sell a vast range of beer and ale. Inside, the pub has an airy feel with plenty of room to either stand or sit. The Cask is more known as a restaurant rather than your typical bar, and if you’re after some food and consider yourself a beer connoisseur then the Cask could be for you. Overall Score 6/10.
The Clarence - 53 Whitehall Politicians drink here if they want a change from the Parliament bars. It's got a division bell behind the bar that rings when they need to go back to vote. Equally popular with the tourists and commuters heading back to the station, so it can get busy. Overall Score 6/10
The Two Chairmen - 38 Dartmouth Street Originally the site of the sedan chair pick ups from the Royal Cockpit, it's a good traditional pub and has friendly bar staff and a good range of reliable food. Great on a summer evening as people stand outside on this quiet picturesque street. Overall Score 7/10
The Buckingham Arms - 62 Petty France A proper Victorian Young's pub with excellent real ale. It's been in the Good Beer Guide since day one (38 years). A little dingey, but with good food and great beer it's worth a visit. Overall Score 7/10
The Phoenix - 14 Palace Street A refurbished gastro-pub but great food and an outside seating area. Can get busy around rush hour. Several decent lagers but a limited range of bitters but certainly worth checking out their excellent burger. Expensive and the service can be a bit rushed but still a very good offering. Overall Score 8/10
The Windsor Castle - 23 Francis Street The pub has recently reverted to its original name and has undergone a refurbishment. It was previously known as The Cardinal for over 40 years and The Windsor some 150 years before that. A Sam Smith’s pub with attractive ornate frontage located in a mixed office and residential area attracting local clientele. The pub has a very pleasant attractive interior in traditional style with wooden and glass etched partitions with a large open light rear lounge giving it a delightful warm and relaxed atmosphere. The staff were very attentive . The beer and food was good however the wine selection was disappointing. Worth a stop off. Overall score 8/10.
STARTING IN VICTORIA AND ENDING IN THE HEART OF BELGRAVIA, THIS CRAWL TAKES IN A NUMBER OF THE BEST PUBS IN THE AREA, RANGING FROM THE LOW-KEY TO SOME OF THE POSH HAUNTS (LITERALLY) CLOSE TO KNIGHTSBRIDGE.
VICTORIA HAS A NUMBER OF HISTORIC AND INVITING PUBS SERVING GOOD BEER AND WITH A REGULAR CLIENTELE. SOME ARE LIKE STEPPING BACK IN TIME, BUT IN A GOOD WAY. OTHERS HAVE BEEN REFURBISHED BUT KEPT THEIR HISTORY. ALL OF THE ONES ON THIS CRAWL ARE CERTAINLY WORTH A VISIT.