Aside from the obvious, the presence of Great British pub on every corner, when elsewhere in the country they seem to be floundering, is one of the best things about living in south-west London.
August is the month to slope off to a sunny pub garden on a Friday afternoon, and my favourite new discovery (other than The Fox and Pheasant, qv) is the secluded little Scarsdale Tarvern just near Abingdon Villas in Kensington. They have real ales, a lovely food menu, and a cosy little terrace with candle light and blankets for cooler evenings.
Scarsdale Tavern, 23a Edwardes Square, London, W8 6HE. Visit www.scarsdaletavern.co.uk
The Atlas in Fulham is a perennial favourite in our flat for a cheeky weekday drink, with a great leafy terrace area and a weekly changing G&T menu. www.theatlaspub.co.uk 16 Seagrave Rd, Fulham, SW6 1RX.
The Mitre is also a popular Fulham spot, but fiendishly expensive for a pub, with an Aperol Spritz costing in excess of £10. www.themitresw6.com 81 Dawes Rd, Fulham, SW6 7DU
The Duke’s Head in Putney also has loads going on, with comedy nights, quizzes and films keeping local residents endlessly entertained. The boathouse-style pub and restaurant is right on the river with plenty of outdoor seating. 8 Lower Richmond Rd, Putney, SW15 1JN; www.dukesheadputney.com
The Churchill Arms in Kensington Church Street is another iconic drinking spot, with every outside wall laden with a ridiculous amount of flowers, and every inside space crammed with Churchill memorabilia. Apparently, they spend £25,000 on the flowers which bedeck the pub. Built in 1750, the pub was apparently frequented by Churchill’s grandparents, hence the name. It’s a truly eccentric spot, made even more random by the fact this historic boozer serves authentic Thai cuisine. Look out for a hilariously fake blue plaque, which says “Churchill made his wartime broadcasts here, and laughed at Hitler’s watercolours while drinking banana daiquiris and farting.” 119 Kensington Church Street, Kensington, W8 7LN. (nearest station Notting Hill Gate); www.churchillarmskensington.co.uk
Another gem is the Anglesea Arms near Ravenscourt Park, always rammed on balmy August afternoons young professionals and old crooners alike. If you make it inside, look out for their Long Brick Wall, where they have regular exhibitions of work from local artists and photographers. The Anglesea Arms, 35 Wingate Road, Hammersmith, W6 0UR; www.angleseaarmspub.co.uk
My mum and dad met each other in the Admiral Codrington over 30 years ago, so I thought I should probably pay it a visit when doing some ‘research’ for this foodie special. It might not be as booming as it was in the 1980s, but nostalgia aside, it’s actually a pretty acceptable pub. They serve some pretty good food, a nice range of beer, and even cocktails, but make sure to come on a rainy day as there’s no outdoor terrace. This summer, kids get a free main and pudding from the children’s menu, making it a great stop-off if you’re taking the family to the nearby Natural History Museum or Science Museum. The Admiral Codrington, 17 Mossop Street, SW3 2LY; www.theadmiralcodrington.co.uk
The Little Blue Door in Fulham is one of our favourite party spots, with the unique concept of your coolest and most bohemian friends throwing an epic house party in their weird and wacky home, every night of the week. This summer, the late-night cocktail bar and restaurant have launched a gin terrace with William Grant & Sons, bringing a new cocktail menu and outdoor garden to party the night away. In the style of the eclectic flatshare, they’ve created a great little garden draped with lights, foliage and hanging plants; the perfect alfresco drinking spot. Sports will be played on the big screen, and for anyone who missed out on the ‘frosé’ (that’s frozen rosé) craze last summer, this place is still serving it in 2019. The Little Blue Door, 871-873, Fulham Rd, Fulham, SW6 5HP; www.thelittlebluedoor.co.uk