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Our Five Favourite ‘Proper Pubs’

gladstone pub exterior southwark London Tailored Tours

So, now the Totally Tailored team has shown you How to Spot a Proper Pub, it’s time for you to benefit from our days (and nights) spent getting to know London’s pubs.

Because every Londoner knows that the best recommendation is for your local ‘proper pub’. So, here we go:

The Totally Tailored Local: The Glad, Borough

The Gladstone
64 Lant Street, London SE1 1QN

Always known to the Totally Tailored team as ‘The Glad’, this is our local. It’s the kind of pub that’s a home away from home, where you can always get a real drink, eat fantastic food, and hear great live music. Abhi, Megha, and Gaurav are experts at everything publicans ought to be: they know everything from the tastiest new craft beers, to the best local events, and how to heal your broken heart.

five favourite London proper pubs London Tailored Tours

Tour Guide Tip: Pop in on a Sunday for an Anglo-Indian Roast.

The decor is industrial-meets-traditional, there’s a great terrace upstairs when the weather is nice enough, and the gin offering is superb. We know because we’ve sampled them all…

The Trader’s Pub: The Pride of Spitalfields, Brick Lane

Pride of Spitalfields proper pub London Tailored Tours

Pride of Spitalfields
3 Heneage St, London E1 5LJ

Think you won’t find a traditional British boozer anywhere near Shoreditch? Think again. The Pride of Spitalfields is still trading on being the proper British pub par excellence.

From traditional furnishings to warm British beer and the chilled-out pub cat called Larry, this is a one-in-a-million pub. Join us there one on of our East End Food Tours for a proper pint in authentically vintage surroundings.

The Pilgrim’s Pub: The Mayflower, Rotherhithe

The Mayflower
117 Rotherhithe Street, London SE16 4NF

This pub has great historic associations for our American guests: it’s where the Mayflower ship of pioneers to America first set sail, back in 1620.

Nowadays it’s a lovely local pub which still has an astonishing waterside location, and prides itself on its high-quality British pub food. You’ll have to be quick to get a riverside spot on the terrace, but it’s one of the best vistas in London.

Tour guide Tip: Sit in the riverside garden to watch the sun set over the River Thames with added stars and stripes.

The Actor’s Pub: The Grapes, Limehouse

The Grapes
76 Narrow Street, Limehouse, London E14 8BP

Just across the river from the Mayflower is another great historic pub. This one is owned by modern acting legend Ian McKellen, who also wrote a history of a pub that’s seen London change through 500 years of history. In fact, it’s such a London institution that Charles Dickens even used its appearance as a setting for his novel Our Mutual Friend.

But even if all you want is a taste of local ales on the riverside, this is a great spot.

The Gangster’s Pub: The Blind Beggar, Whitechapel

blind beggar pub proper pub London Tailored Tours

The Blind Beggar
337 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1BU

This is the kind of pub that has it all – an incredible history, including medieval riches-to-rags stories, and a murder by 1960s gangland celebrities the Krays. Come here for proper unpretentious East-ender vibe, great sausages, and a lovely pub garden at the back. Perfect for reading the papers, and taking life easy.

If you missed our post on How to Spot a Proper Pub, then head over there to learn all about the history of drinking (from ale to gin, and even ginger beer) in Britain. 

Do you fancy a private proper pub tour? Then I have good news: you can book your Proper Pub Experience with us now. 

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