Join us for a warming winter beverage
© Nicholson's Pubs
‘Tis the season to get warm and cosy, settle down beside a roaring fire and enjoy some hearty pub food, perhaps a pint of ale too. Relax in some of Britain’s cosiest pubs this winter…
The Eagle, Cambridge, England
Open fires, cask ales, home-cooked foods and a rich history make The Eagle — a 17th-century coaching inn — an extremely appealing pub to hole-up in on a wintry night. There’s a neat little courtyard in its centre from which you can look up at the lovely old buildings of central Cambridge, while in the back bar you’ll find a remarkable ceiling covered in historic messages. They were scorched into the paint by the many World War II pilots who once drank here, which adds an extra air of poignancy. Cosiness through and through.
The Turf Tavern, Oxford, England
With foundations dating back to the 13th century, the Turf Tavern has a long and venerable history as a place to settle down for a drink and a hearty meal. The low-beamed front bar is as it was in the 17th century, and this together with open fires in the winter give the pub a warm, rosy-cheeked ambience. Drop in for a home-cooked Sunday roast, or enjoy a pint in the bustling pub garden outside.
The Blackfriar, London
A Grade II listed building, The Blackfriar is a rare example of an entirely Art Nouveau pub. The result is a fin de siècle treasure-trove, full of mosaics, sculptures, reliefs and marbled columns that give the pub a truly unique atmosphere, while making you feel that you’ve stepped into the opening years of the 20th century. Built on an old Friary, you’ll find it in one of London’s most historic regions — just a short walk from Fleet Street.
Peter Kavanagh, Liverpool, England
Murals, mosaics, original paintings of Dickensian scenes and a wealth of peculiar bric-a-brac make this 150-year-old pub a firm favourite among Liverpool’s pub-goers. Rumour has it that the murals were painted by a customer who couldn’t pay his bill, and while the landlord expected an extra coat of paint on the walls, he ended up with two enormous murals. This is the place to come if you like pubs with real local character, plenty of atmosphere and unique décor.
Bell & Cross, Worcestershire, England
Cosy, neat and welcoming, the Bell & Cross is a delightful Worcestershire country pub with an elegant 19th-century charm. Divided up into five little rooms, you can choose your atmosphere based on their décor: bright and breezy with quarry-tiled floors, or warm and cosy with bare wooden boards or carpet, each decorated in its own way. Curl up here by one of the pub’s coal fires, or treat yourself to some fine homemade food, traditional ales and a great selection of wine.
The Clytha Arms, Monmouthshire, South Wales
Between Raglan’s medieval castle and the historic market town of Abergavenny, the Clytha Arms sits in its own grounds surrounded by the gorgeous Welsh countryside. In good weather, sit outside and enjoy the fresh air and fine views, or if you want to get cosy, make for the button-back sofas in either of the Clytha’s two bars. Don’t miss the local cockles and crab sandwiches.
The Clachaig Inn, Glencoe, Scotland
The Clachaig Inn has made being cosy its business for about 300 years, welcoming in Highlanders and travellers from Scotland’s great, if chilly, outdoors. Set right among the hills of Scotland’s Glencoe, its location could scarcely be more inspiring, and it’s a great spot if you need to refuel after a day’s walking. Wooden tables, stone floors, open fires and live music provide the atmosphere, along with tasty Scottish meals and plenty of great beers.
The Black Bull Inn, Frosterly, Durham, England
Step in from the wonderfully wintry-sounding village of Frosterly and settle down by the fire on one of the Black Bull Inn’s cushion-backed seats. Beers from nearby villages, cask-ciders and coffee and scones are among the hearty treats on offer here, along with a fine collection of ticking clocks, live folk or jazz, and some delicious, traditionally British suppers.
The Bridge Inn, Topsham, Exeter, Devon
One of Britain’s last traditional ale houses, the 16th-century Bridge Inn was the Queen’s choice for her first official pub visit. Sit beside the fire on a high-backed wooden chair and enjoy all kinds of ales, cider and gooseberry wine — be sure to try the locally baked bread, home cooked ham and homemade chutneys.