Let’s face it, we’re not the best at holding our drink in this country. But civilised hostelries spotting the gap in the market have started offering rooms. Yes, it’s an idea as old as the tavern itself, but don’t imagine threadbare carpets and an agitated landlady in curlers and an apron. These places are punching with the big boys, offering hotel-levels of comfort, just on a smaller scale. Instead of navigating the journey home, roll your merry bones upstairs. Here’s the best pubs with rooms in London.
A night in a gin palace. ‘Where do we sign up?’ we hear you cry. The home of Portobello Road Gin is a four-floor mecca of gin-making and gin-drinking in a 100-year-old former pub, with a working distillery in the basement, two bars, a gin museum and, at the top of the building, three perfectly appointed guest rooms. Done out in a mix of mid-century and vintage styling, even if you’re ambivalent about mother’s ruin, they’re a delightful place to wake up; with the hustle of the market down below, you might imagine you’ve woken up in a Richard Curtis movie.
Bed and breakfast from £150 per night, 186 Portobello Rd, W11 1LA, the-distillery.london
Any south Londoner worth their salt will be familiar with The Bedford in Balham. The grade II-listed building is a huge old-school pub complete with a ballroom-cum-mini theatre that over the years has helped launch the careers of musicians including KT Tunstall and Ed Sheeran. It reopened at the start of this year box-fresh from a multi-million-pound makeover, restoring the pub to its former splendour, complete with 15 en-suite bedrooms. With blackout blinds, Hypnos beds and rolltop baths, a good night’s sleep is guaranteed, regardless of how wild the night downstairs was.
Rooms from £89 per night, Bedford Hill, SW12 9HD, thebedford.com
Taking its name from former Truman Brewery owner Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, who lived and worked on Brick Lane, The Buxton is a painstakingly restored Victorian hostelry in east London with 15 rooms. A five-storey staircase leads up from the bar to the bedrooms, with the rooftop filling the space with natural light. The rooms are all at a flat rate of £100 – exceptional value for such a central location, which includes a welcome drink and breakfast. Each room features bespoke multifunctional furniture to make the most of the space, as well as original artwork and handwoven rugs specially made by local weavers.
£100 per night, 42 Osborn St, E1 6TD, thebuxton.co.uk
Black Rock Lodgings
Whisky aficionados of London will already be familiar with Black Rock, the subterranean whisky bar with an 18ft oak tree table running through it and a library of more than 250 bottles. This summer, Tom Aske and Tristan Stephenson, the brains behind the bar, are extending upwards throughout the whole building to create a second bar, a blending room, and lodgings – two minimalist but luxurious compact rooms and a larger suite on the top floor. It’s the first whisky hotel in London, but instead of tartan and tam o’shanters, expect stripped-back oak decor and Japanese-inspired bamboo ceilings.
From £120 per night, 9 Christopher St, EC2A 2BS, blackrock.bar