Five great local pubs to visit (before or after) the Great British Beer Festival
The Great British Beer Festival is returning to Olympia London this year from 2-6 August! If you are planning your festival visit and looking to visit some fantastic pubs while you are in the area, then look no further. Below are five Good Beer Guide recommended pubs all within a mile of Olympia, making it easy to check out in between your festival visits!
Londoners are spoilt for choice when it comes to great pubs, so if you are planning to extend your visit to the area, or will be travelling further afield over the festival week, why not download the Good Beer Guide app or visit us online to find CAMRA-recommended pubs wherever you are based in the city?
1. Scarsdale Tavern
23a Edwardes Square, Kensington, W8 6HE
0.49 miles away
An upmarket 1867 pub tucked away on a leafy secluded square off busy Kensington High Street. At one time this was a haunt of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Four handpumps at the bar and a shelf full of empty champagne bottles lining the walls show that the pub caters for all tastes. Behind the half-frosted windows lies an L-shaped dark wood bar with an ornate etched mirrored back. Walls are decorated with elegantly framed paintings, the most striking of which is David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps. The patio out front has tables and heating. The pub is claimed to be the local used in the 1970s TV crime series The Professionals.
2. William Morris
Swan Island, 2-4 King Street, Hammersmith, W6 0QA
0.67 miles away
The pub is named after the arts and crafts designer and social reformer who lived by the river nearby in the late nineteenth century. It is a large pub built on a former shop premises and a wartime bomb site. When first opened in 1997, it was branded as a Lloyds No 1 Bar with its signature loud music and video screens. Subsequently, it was changed to become a standard Wetherspoon and just one screen remains, now devoted to news. Being close to both of Hammersmith’s underground stations, just across the square from its Lyric Theatre and not far from the Apollo music venue, the pub can be quite busy, but, being spacious, never seems too full. The interior is ‘L’-shaped, with entrances on King Street and on the pedestrianised Lyric Square, where there is a good-sized terrace (half of which is available for smokers) and features two raised seating areas with the bar in between. The walls are decorated, in typical Wetherspoon style, with illustrations of local history. Up to seven changing ales are chosen according to the demand of the pub’s many regulars and usually include at least one dark beer and often several from local breweries.
3. King’s Head
17 Hogarth Place, Earls Court, SW5 0QT
0.80 miles away
A friendly corner establishment off the busy Earls Court Road decorated in a modern style. Mainly floored in wood, with tiling around the bar area, the place is furnished with comfortable seating: high stools and tables, dining sets and some settees with low tables. Circa 17th century, this pub is the oldest surviving licensed premises in the area. Rebuilt in 1937, the building is stated by the local authority to contribute to the village atmosphere and to make a significant contribution to the character and appearance of the conservation area. It was bought by Fuller’s from Faucet Inns in late April 2015 Of note are the unusual “postage-stamp” pub swing-signs, based on coinage designs of George V by Bertram Mackennel. Unlike the coins and stamps, the signs show His Majesty facing in both directions! The 1972 film, “The Adventures of Barry McKenzie” used the pub and the neighbouring “Kangaroo Valley” as locations. The kitchen remains open for dinner until late evening and Wednesdays are “Craft Beer and Wings Nights”. Three Fuller’s cask ales are joined by a guest, often from another local brewery.
4. Defector’s Weld
170 Uxbridge Road, Shepherds Bush, W12 8AA
0.84 miles away
The unusual pub name is thought to be derived from the fact that one of the “Cambridge five” Cold War spies worked nearby at the BBC and ‘weld’ is a joint/joining i.e. a coming together. Bought by Young’s in 2014, the pub has been refurbished sympathetically and brightened up. On the ground floor is the large horseshoe-shaped main bar with five handpumps and a mix of banquettes, table and chairs. An upstairs room with a bar is available for hire. DJs play music on Friday & Saturday evenings.
5. Windsor Castle
114 Campden Hill Road, Kensington, W8 7AR
0.84 miles away
This corner pub, tucked away in the back streets of Kensington, contrasts an old world feel that you might expect to find in a more rural setting with a modern up-market service and menu style. The name of the pub is a reminder of when it was possible to have the excitement of seeing Windsor Castle from the top of Campden Hill, although the dray horses who had to pull the beer up there may not have shared the sentiment. The bar room is divided into four drinking areas but, surprisingly, the partitions and other wood-panelling are not part of the original 1830 build by Fuller’s but date from a 1933 refurbishment. Included in CAMRA’s National Inventory and Grade II listed. Up to six real ales may be on offer, four of them rotating through some interesting brews. The beer garden to the rear boasts its own bar.