Boot and Flogger
Buried in the side streets of Bermondsey is this delightfully traditional pub, recently reopened after refurbishment. As you walk through the door, you’re greeted by a row of wing-back chesterfield armchairs and the authentic smell of a waxed wooden floor. The pub has a surprising amount of little rooms that all intertwine like a hectic rabbit hole, and if you burrow deep enough, you’ll reach the outside courtyard. This has to be the quietest outside space in the entire borough, and the new kitchen provides delicious options for any occasion, from fine dining to traditional pub food.
The Mug House
Beneath the popular tourist spot of London Bridge, near the entrance to London dungeons, is the secretive pub The Mug House. This small, dark pub is a uniquely traditional spot with an old stone floor, draft ale, and deep leather armchairs to sink into after a long day. Their house ale comes served in rustic tankards, and the background folk music echoing through the candlelit chambers with arched ceilings teleports you 100 years back in time. Plus, the secretive location means easy service even at peak times.
The Old Salt Quay
The views from the back of this wide open pub across the river are unparalleled anywhere in the area. The Old Salt Quay sits next to an old industrial bridge made from rustic studded steel, which compliments the stern styling of the pub. The huge outside space is ideal for a long summer’s afternoon with a few pints, but don’t shy away from the satisfying pub grub offered. The sheer capacity of the space both inside and out guarantees a lively atmosphere every time the smallest sliver of sunlight graces the city.
The Bermondsey Beer Mile
Calling all beer lovers: check out this mile and a half stretch of individual microbreweries hidden away under London Bridge station’s rail arches; they open their bars every weekend. To try them all is the perfect challenge or afternoon of fun with your mates. There’s such a wide range of breweries and types of beer in each archway, so make sure you don’t have more than one in each place, or you’ll barely make halfway. The bars only open on Fridays, which are usually fairly quiet, and Saturdays, which usually end with raucous laughter lining the long street.
As one of London’s oldest pubs, The Mayflower truly is the hidden goldmine of Rotherhithe. Secretly mixed amongst a jungle of housing estates is this traditional, wood-lined, riverside pub. The unique age of the inside bar and original fireplace is perfect for a cold winter’s night, but the outside decking makes The Mayflower a true all-seasons pub. The decking area hangs over the Thames and provides striking views of the industrial docklands area, but watch out for the splashes of waves that shoot upwards through the floor; they can ruin your day or improve your friends’.