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The best indie pubs with fireplaces in London

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

Black dog lies on rug in front of rustic open fireplace next to tables and chairs in a pub.

Winter often gets a bad reputation, especially in the U.K. With the grey skies, fleeting hours of daylight, seemingly never ending drizzle, and wind gusts strong enough to blow over an elderly aunt, it’s easy to see why most Londoners pine after the spring and summer. But people often forget the best part of winter: the cosiness of a crackling fire. There’s nothing that warms your soul quite like sitting next to a roaring fire with a mulled wine in hand, surrounded by friends. This moment is even more rewarding if you’ve just come inside from the cold. Fingertips still slightly numb, hair a mess from the winds, only to be enveloped by the warmth and comfort of a welcoming fire.

While most of us unfortunately don’t have access to fireplaces, there are multiple independent pubs throughout London that provide this luxury. What better way to relax after a long day than sitting by the glowing fire with your friends, with a carefully prepared drink? Even though there are plenty of chain pubs that have open fires, it is the independent pubs that carry the spirit and the proverbial torch of British culture. If you’re looking for a fireplace in a pub, why not prioritise an independent one?

Here at CityStack, our goal is to support independent pubs during these difficult times of inflation, staff shortages, and decreased foot traffic, while also helping people socialise on a budget. This perfect gift for pub lovers offers £100 worth of discounts at independent pubs across London with a stack of beer mats. Today, we have carefully curated a list of the best independent pubs in London with working fireplaces, so that you can make the most of the winter ambience.

This family run pub is in the heart of South London, and is the perfect haven for anyone who appreciates a bit of dark academia decor. The fireplace is nestled in one of the corners, and is surrounded by plush seating, perfect for curling up in. Dark wooden panelling and engraving surround the fireplace, as well as carefully chosen trinkets and paintings.

Settle in next to the fire with a big pint of Guinness and enjoy the live music. Whether you prefer folk music, Irish trad, rock, or even just an open mic, Skehans provides options for all. If you’re looking for some food to fill your stomach while you enjoy the ambiance, enjoy the freshly made pub classics on offer.

Lamp next to fireplace with fire in it, next to wooden table and cushioned seats.

After you take a seat at one of the wooden tables next to the cosy open fireplace, you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a mountain chalet. With its carefully carved wooden frame surrounding the fire as well as the ever changing artwork lining the walls, you’ll be content to sit back and watch the hours drift by.

Whether you prefer to just stop by for a quiet pint after work or join in on one of the many events the Prince Arthur has to offer, a good drink and warm atmosphere is for certain. Located on a hidden back street, this intimate pub is perfect for catching up with mates after work, or chatting to someone new. This cosy gem is home to rotating art exhibits, live music, and a unique chalkboard dartboard alcove, full of messages and drawings from previous visitors.

White dog laying on wood floor in front of a burning fireplace, next to a green wooden chair.

Enjoy the slightly crooked brick fireplace. It seems entirely possible that the charming brickwork was done by a somewhat drunken gnome, and that you have wandered into a cosy pub from a story book. The worn bricks that surround the cheerful fire have seen over three hundred years of history, and are seemingly delighted with all of the stories and secrets they’ve overheard.

This warm and welcoming pub still has its original claygate fireplace from the 17th century. In fact, the Plume of Feathers is the oldest standing pub in Greenwich! Decorated with historical paintings, nautical artefacts, and a candlelit dining area, this cosy retreat transports you to simpler times. After a brisk walk in Greenwich park, stop by the Plume of Feathers to warm up by the fire, and indulge in gourmet dishes, as well as pub classics.

Wooden bar with bottles on the shelves, red booth in the back corner

Enjoy this old school pub with an eccentric twist. Upon first entry, you might think you’ve stepped into the living room of your quirky Scandi uncle (who has a great love of Thor and 70’s indie rock bands). Similar to a magpie’s nest, you’ll never cease to see new trinkets and memorabilia each time you come in. Here you can settle into one of the comfortable seats and warm your bones and soul by the fire.

This pub is the perfect place to embrace the Scandinavian concept of “Hygge”, a lifestyle based on cosiness, congeniality, comfort, and contentment. Walk into a room filled with tables and chairs, various nordic posters, and of course, a crackling fireplace. The landlord is from Norway, so he has firsthand, authentic experience with using Hygge to make a space more warm and welcoming for visitors. The Homerton gem also offers an extensive drinks menu which includes local craft beers, lagers, cocktails, wines, and even Norwegian schnapps!

Wooden table, green leather chair, with a taxidermied moose head o n the wall.

The Rose

This idyllic local seems like a country cottage pub has been transported directed into Fulham. Settle into a plush leather couch and warm up by the roaring fireplace. With the building’s artfully distressed walls, embellished mirror, and beautifully carved fireplace mantle, you won’t be in a hurry to leave this rustic retreat. Big windows allow you to watch the world go by from your cosy haven, and despite the greyness of winter, the light colour of the walls coupled with the windows makes it all seem a little brighter.

Celebrate the festive season by enjoying a collection of classic pub food, made up of carefully selected seasonal british food. The team at the Rose works carefully with their suppliers, ensuring that all food is fresh, free range, sustainable, farm assured, and MSC certified. They even grow their own herbs! To wash your meal down, choose from a variety of local draught ales, first rate spirits, and classic cocktails.

An open fireplace beneath a gold framed mirror, hanging on a purposefully distressed wall next to a large handwritten menu on a chalk board. There is a wooden table with chairs, as well as plush leather sofas.

This quaint fireplace and the relaxing modern interior transport you to a calm and restful state of mind . Despite the small stature of the fireplace, it can still put out a lot of heat! The beautifully painted side panels adorned with butterflies and various flora accompanied by the heat of the fire make you feel like it’s almost spring.

The dark interior of the Hawke only accentuates the cosiness of the pub, enhanced even further by the reflection of the fire in the carefully stencilled mirrors. Enjoy a seasonal menu, carefully created with local ingredients, and heartfelt cooking. Nestled on a lesser known street in the heart of Victoria Park Village, you’ll feel like one of the locals after discovering this hidden gem. There’s no better way to rest and warm up after a brisk walk in Victoria park than a glass of mulled wine and a delectable meal at the Hawke.

Wine glasses next to a bottle of wine in an ice bucket on a wooden table in front of a burning fireplace.

The Wrestlers

As soon as you step into the Wrestlers, you’ll have taken a step back in time. With its rustic wooden furniture, original 16th century fireplace, dark walls, and beautiful stained glass windows, you’ll have no problem imagining what it looked like when it stood centuries ago.

Settle in next to the original fireplace and enjoy a top of the line drink while you relish in the old world charm. Whether you prefer a cask ale, botanical spirit, craft beer, or fine bottle of wine, the Wrestlers has a drinks menu that would satisfy anyone. Looking for something to fill your stomach? You can choose from a variety of traditional home made pub food. The chefs use only the finest ingredients from suppliers who care just as much about the food as the pub does. If you’re willing to brave some cold toes, you can sit out back in the charming beer garden. Thanks to the portable heaters that are used during winter, you won’t freeze!

Burning fireplace that is surrounded by black wooden paneling,  a wooden table and chairs with two glasses of wine on the table are in front of the fire.

Step into this picture perfect pub, and envelop yourself in its warmth. With its wooden chairs and stools, merlot walls, and brick fireplace hearth, you’ll be able to relax in this postcard pub. Glowing lights, a warm fire, good local drinks, and cheerful company. What else could you need?

This historic Hackney pub was saved by its community, after it was sold to someone who wanted to turn the building into luxury flats. Following a two year legal battle led by the community, the Chesham Arms was reopened as a pub in 2015, and was soon after voted the best pub in East London by the Campaign for Real Ale.

Two male presenting people are sat on chairs around a round wooden table in front of a burning fireplace set into a brick wall.

Settle into this cosy pub and let your troubles drift away. Sit next to the large open fire, complete with seasonal decorations upon the mantle. The wood paneled walls, bookshelves filled to the brim, soft candles, and open fire all lend themselves to the cosy atmosphere that the Ivy House has to offer. Enjoy real hand pumped ales, and fresh pizzas.

Thanks to the in house stage, you can enjoy live performances while you warm up and have a drink (or two). The stage has hosted many famous musicians in its time, securing its reputation within the ‘pub rock’ circuit in the 70’s. The Ivy House was also the first cooperatively owned pub! It’s no wonder it was named the 11th coolest British pub by the Sunday Times, and one of the best pubs in London in 2021 by Time Out. You definitely don't want to pass by this gem.

Father and child sat at a wooden table in front of a burning fireplace

This old world pub envelops you in dark wooden walls, stout food, and crackling fire. The old timey bar has a white tile backdrop and minimal faff, making you feel as if you’ve jumped back in time by 70 years. Warm up next to the old fashioned fireplace with its ornamental hearth. The decoratively painted tiles lend an elegant air to the fireplace, making it seem like it belongs in an old manor.

Boasting a menu of “Ale, Cider, and Meat”, the Southampton Arms delivers on every promise. Their true triumph is the fact that they only sell beer and ciders from independent UK breweries, ensuring that even the pickiest beer and cider connoisseur will be content.

Two people sat on stools in front of a burning fireplace surrounded by decorative tiles

Stop by this endearing hidden gem to warm up and enjoy the charming atmosphere. This pub is a perfect mix of modernity, and old school charm. The vintage posters, classic bar, and elaborate wallpaper envelop you in the pub’s welcoming arms, bringing a cosy contentment to your busy life. The modern fireplace with delicately carved engravings on the hearth may be simple, but it provides no less comfort.

Enjoy an ever changing rotation of beers, alongside the rest of the delightful drinks menu. If you want to warm up even more, take a look at the menu, full of classic pub comfort dishes that will fill your stomach and warm your soul.

Large building with a sign on the front that says "The Pineapple"

For those who wander just ten minutes from Lancaster Gate station, they will be rewarded with the Cleveland Arms. An old world pub, full of fine food and drink to delight. Enjoy your drink surrounded in the dark academia interior of the pub. With its wood panels, beamed flooring, cosy chairs in brick nooks, and distressed stone fireplace, you won’t be in a hurry to leave.

Enjoy seasonal comfort food of the highest quality, perfectly paired with a complementing wine from the handpicked wine list which includes vineyards from all over the world.

Burning fireplace below wood paneled walls with a vase of flowers on the hearth. In front of the fire are four wooden tables with chairs.

Step into this charming Victorian building, with an unaltered art deco interior from the 1930’s. Make yourself at home next to the unique brick fireplace, and watch the world go by through the original decorative glass panelling in the windows. Dark wooden moulding paired with white walls and warm glowing lights will lull you into a serenity that you will never forget.

Settle down and enjoy your drink from the encompassing drinks menu that the Herne has to offer. Enjoy carefully crafted top of the line meals, complete with pub classics, as well as more modern gastro delicacies.

Burning fire within a brick fireplace in front of a blue paneled wall next to two tables with chairs.

If you need somewhere to stop by and get a drink before you see a show on the West End, why not stop by the Lyric? This Soho gem is only a three minute walk from Picadilly Circus, and has everything you need to fill your stomach and warm your bones before a night of theatre.

Here, you can enjoy upscale pub food, with delectable dishes such as mac and cheese croquettes, pie of the day, a selection of succulent burgers, or a variety of stonebaked pizzas. To prepare yourself against the cold of the outside world, take a seat next to the crackling fireplace, complete with painted panels on each side, and warm your hands and feet before you have to brave the outside.

Empty glasses sit on a red table covering next to cutlery and unopened Christmas crackers.

This classic in the heart of Clerkenwell is full of hearty food, delicious drinks, and good company. Stop by to warm up by the open fireplace, and enjoy live music, drag nights, talent shows, dog shows, or even just a friendly chat. The Old Ivy House feels like a local from a small village that happens to be in the centre of London.

After having been a community pub for over 200 years, it received a bit of a facelift when the current owner took possession in 2022. Make yourself comfortable amongst the brick walls, wood panelling, and warm up by the open fireplace with a stone hearth and wooden trim.

Person with pink hair in a hoodie flashes peace sign as they add wood to the burning fire, surrounded by a blue tiled hearth with melted candlesticks in bottles on top of the hearth.

This country pub in the heart of Marylebone offers a warm and rustic feel for its customers, perfect for embracing the cosy spirit of winter. If you need a warm respite to relax after a long day, go to the Grazing Goat and sit down next to the open brick fire, and admire how the lights are reflected in the large mirror above.

While you’re there, enjoy top of the line seasonal gastropub meals, as well as a wonderful beer, wine, and spirits menu.

Burning fireplace is below a large mirror behind wooden tables and plush chairs.

Fancy a discount?

CityStack pack to enjoy discounts at pubs with fireplaces

We launched a project to support independent pubs hit hard by the current economic crisis (staff shortages, energy costs crisis etc.) and help pub lovers to socialise within their budget: CityStack is a £25 stack of beer mats that lets you get £100 worth of food & drink at amazing independent pubs across London.

In each pack, you'll find a special beer mat that gives you £100 worth of food and drink. Show it at any ten of the 50+ pubs handpicked by the CityStack team, and have it stamped to get £10 off £20+ spend. Collect 10 stamps to save £100!

Each pack provides a fun experience too, including a map and a stack of collectible informative beer mats to learn more about a fantastic selection of London pubs.


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