Live bands, gorgeous gardens, roaring fires, cosy corners, oak tables and odd furniture; the independent pubs and bars of Greenwich are like little treasure troves waiting to be discovered. Here’s our pick of the best places for a drink in Greenwich!
The Coach and Horses
Once you’ve built up a thirst mooching around Greenwich Market, The Coach and Horses is a welcome sight and is suitably equipped to help you escape the cold, quench your thirst and grab some scrumptious pub grub. The classic selection of beers, wines and real ales (not to mention the impressively extensive and tantalising menu) make this little gem a truly special space to relax and soak up the buzzing atmosphere of Greenwich Market.
Davy’s Wine Vaults
Founded by Francis Edwin Davy in 1870, Davy’s is an example of the sort of variety Greenwich has to offer in the world of wine and tasteful dining. If you’re looking for a tip-top selection of fine vino and some delicious homely British food, then Davy’s Wine Vaults is a great place to start. Also home to wine-tasting events and al fresco dining, this modern British treat with a 19th-century feel offers the perfect social space for an array of celebratory events or gathering with friends.
A Greenwich jewel, the Cooperage is a cavernous underground cocktail bar that exudes the classic chic-booth and cocktail appeal that is ideal for parties and seasonal celebrations. If you’re looking for a low-key bar with a smashing happy hour, you won’t be disappointed. It is also handily situated right underneath Davy’s Wine Vaults and next to Greenwich rail station.
With a myriad of festive events and some more unusual weekly activities -like yoga on Saturday mornings- you will find The Vanbrugh to be an unexpected prize, hidden away in the heart of the cosy residential Maze Hill area. Conveniently situated just minutes from Maze Hill rail station, this local pub offers a truly hospitable hand to newcomers and regulars alike. Always full of locals participating in the famous pub quiz, fine-dining in the delightful and refurbished restaurant area, or chatting away during one of the arranged sporting or seasonal events that take place, this fine local pub contributes immensely to the heartbeat of the local community.
The Pelton Arms
The Pelton Arms oozes warmth, comfort and familiarity, like walking into a large living room speckled with sofas and comfy armchairs. It’s also one of the few pubs to maintain a lively list of weekly events -ranging from community knitting workshops to live music- and also offers an accessible variety of classic pub games.
Pub games such as darts, pool and billiards represent a crucial part of traditional British pub culture. For years the legacy of pub games and free ludic enjoyment have magnetised locals and visitors from afar to chatter away and play and engage with others way into the early hours. Sadly, many of these games have disappeared from our locals as the big chains and ‘pub-co’s (pub companies) that now own them would rather fill up each and every square inch of their interiors with dinner tables to increase profits. The Pelton Arms, however, is one of few pubs to survive the tragic decline of pub games throughout the years. The games are free to play and the pub quiz is also well and truly alive in this upbeat & secret charmer.
The Admiral Hardy
The Admiral Hardy is a fantastic example of the impressive repertoire of venues that Greenwich has to offer those looking for a cosy quiz night or some live music entertainment during the week. Expect local bands performing live on Friday evenings followed by a regular live DJ set on Saturday night. The toilets, strangely, are of particular interest and depict an astonishing array of images and artwork from various musical genres and icons that you can gaze at in drunken admiration whilst you tend to your business!
The Plume of Feathers
Awarded a ‘Certificate of Excellence’ by Trip Advisor in 2016 and making the list of Britain’s ‘Top 50 Cosiest Pubs’ by The Telegraph, The Plume of Feathers is a South London relic renowned for its longstanding heritage. It’s worth giving this one a shot if you’re interested in the quirks of this beautiful and verdant part of Greenwich. With it’s traditional interior, always some well-kept ales on the bar and brimming with history, the Plume of Feathers provides an authentic pub ambiance.
The Prince of Greenwich
The Prince of Greenwich is located just at the bottom of Point Hill and is the epitome of a hidden treasure; discoverable only if hunted out. This beautifully preserved historical building is like a time capsule from Victorian times. The decadent interior is adorned with brightly coloured armchairs, velvet sofas and an abundance of quirky stools and dense wooden seats, none of which seem to match any other in the building. The array of delicious Italian specialities makes for the perfect catch up or cosy romantic get together. The pizzas are particularly great value for money and extremely tasty, especially when sampled alongside the Italian ‘Birra Moretti’ - a beer famous for its flavoursome compatibility with pizza.
On entering The Prince for the first time on a crisp & quiet Sunday afternoon, I was immediately incensed by the friendly buzz of people chatting away, eating pizza and enjoying some delightful acoustic live music. Bizarre objects including a life-size rhinoceros head; gigantic whale bones; portraits of famous instrumentalists; African sculptures and random Victorian figures cover the walls and surfaces in what is described by the owner as “eight shipping containers worth of antiques and objects”.
Indeed, the exhibition of objects that make their way into the upstairs area are an actual collection of relics gathered together by Piero and his wife, Paola, in their years of travel together. Now, the pub has been transformed into a splendid display of the most obscure and interesting ornaments from Ecuador, Japan, Sri Lanka and many other countries. Hence The Prince of Greenwich is locally known as the “Museum Pub”.
“This not a public house, it is a public home” Piero cited while grinning from ear to ear.
“My favourite thing about running a pub is the act of bringing people together like one big family.”
The Cutty Sark
Situated on a beautiful cobbled path and directly overlooking The River Thames, The Cutty Sark is like a pretty fairy’s grotto tucked inside a majestic 18th Century Georgian House. Given its popularity with the locals from all corners of Greenwich, it’s a shame that this beautiful pub has been taken under the wing of the Youngs pub group, who own some 220 pubs across London & the South East. Despite this, it is one of the few remaining pubs that has managed to keep a grasp on its individuality and British pub charm. How long this will last, however, is uncertain.
Like their names, every pub in Greenwich is as unique as they are varied. Each promises a different experience, whether it be for a special occasion or a well-deserved trip to the local after a day of hard work (and that dastardly London commute). However, it’s Greenwich’s independent pubs that offer the; widest variety; most interesting & intriguing decors; warmest, most genuine hospitality and above all; communal spaces for us to meet, interact and socialise with members of our communities.
WHAT IS THE SOUTH LONDON CLUB CARD?
The South London Club is a local discount card to help support small independent businesses across South London whilst saving all who live, work & play in South London money! With over 500+ local discounts to choose from, you will discover & explore all the best hidden gems in South London. Join over 4,000 of us & celebrate all that's independent & South London!