12/04/2012 12:21:00 PM

Cosy Pubs for Winter Nights

Say what you will about the British pub, there's nothing quite so satisfying as good food, good drinks and good cheer in that relaxed pub atmosphere alongside a roaring open fire. And we don't mean one of those set of plastic logs with a gas-powered flame flickering over them. So if you want your food cooked over an open fire, head to one of Dalston's many Turkish ocakbasi (barbecue) restaurants for fine chargrilled meats. For those of you who just want to curl up next to one with some good British food and beer, Hot Dinners has a handy list to guide you to your nearest local, and after the jump are some of our favorite options they missed out on.

The Clapton Hart
This massive pub, once a dodgy boozer renowned for violence, reopened after a 10-year absence this summer. And what a pub it is: tall ceilings, artfully distressed decor, comfortable nooks, candle-lit tables out back for dining and broad, wooden tables at the front under the daylight from giant windows. Tucked off to the side is a roaring open fire stuffed with logs. Lots of excellent ales, a decent wine list for a pub and hearty if slightly uninspired pub food staples (231 Lower Clapton Rd., E5 8EG).

The Southampton Arms
Just around the corner from Hampstead Heath, this cosy pub is big on their range of ales and ciders, and pretty small in most other respects, right down to the coal-burning fire around which you can perch on pews to sip your drinks and warm your hands (139 Highgate Rd., NW5 1LE).

The Dove
A dog-walkers favourite, this low-ceilinged Youngs pub on the river in Chiswick is just a few minutes walk from Hammersmith Bridge and is by far the best of the half-dozen pubs and bars that pop up on the waterside walkway. Ales and ciders, roaring fire, good lunches and dog-friendly staff all present and correct (19 Upper Mall, W6 9TA).

Three Kings of Clerkenwell 
Tucked away off Clerkenwell Green, this delightful locals pub is strewn with strange bric-a-brac and quirky decor like plasterwork Egyptian dogs and a fiberglass rhino. The fire burns most nights when it's cold, and regulars love the musical pub quiz and monthly folk nights that see the place jump with accordion, banjo and fiddle (7 Clerkenwell Close, EC1R 0DY).

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