10 cosy pubs and bars to visit this winter

The weather outside has officially become frightful, but the fires (and tipples) inside some of the UK's best pubs and bars are oh-so-delightful.

Whether you're seeking a cosy spot for a Sunday lunch, a warm bar to cuddle up in on date night or a friendly vibe for an after-work winter pint, you're sure to find a new favourite in our roundup of some of the snuggest saloons and cushiest cocktail bars across the country...

1. 68 & Boston, London

68 Boston HEL0145

This newcomer to Soho is one of our favourites - which has absolutely nothing to do with the £20-a-bottle wine list, promise!

Choose between wine bar 68, located on the ground floor, or cocktail bar Boston, which offers late night classic and original mixes. Located only seconds from Soho Square and a short walk from the West End, the friendly staff, tasty tipples and delicious charcuterie and cheese sharing plates have sold us for the season. Be sure to book ahead so you're not disappointed!

68 and Boston, 5 Greek Street, Soho, London, W1D 4DD. Tel: 020 7287 3713

2. Nola, London

Opened in 2013 inside Rivington Street's Bedroom Bar building, this New Orleans-inspired cocktail bar has since gone on to win international awards thanks to a menu that packs a real punch. With interiors modelled after the architecture New Orleans is known for (think slow-moving ceiling fans, jazz, blues, a cigar terrace and oh-so-comfortable seating), you'll be sipping Sazeracs 'til your heart's content.

If you're really feeling daring, go for the Hurricane - Havana Club 3 year-old rum and Especial mixed with lime, passion fruit and Wray and Nephew overproof rum, served over ice.

1st Floor, 68 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3AY

3. The Alma, Windsor

the alma

Looking for something more traditional? Just a 10 minute walk from Windsor's town centre lies The Alma, tucked away on a Victorian red brick terraced street. Serving (large portions of) baked Camembert, haddock fish finger ciabattas or traditional Sunday roasts, this is the idyllic traditional British pub.

Fear not - you can still enjoy it once the sun (hopefully) comes out, as it boasts the largest beer garden in the city.

The Alma, 61 Springfield Road, SL4 3PP, Windsor, UK. Tel: 01753 840515

 

4. The Holly Bush, Hampstead

The Holly Bush is our absolute Sunday roast favourite, a true charming centuries-old pub in the heart of Hampstead.
Inside the grade II listed building is the perfect place to plop down beside a cosy fire with fantastic food, ale or wine - or grab a slightly ancient book from one of their many shelves if you're just looking for an escape from the cold.
The Holly Bush, 22 Hollymount, Hampstead, London, NW3 6SG. Tel: 020 7435 2892

 

5. Shakespeare's Wine Bar, Canterbury

shakespearswinebar

Sometimes you just need a bit of vino, and with over 45 wines at the wine bar, Shakespeare's can offer more than a bit.

Peckish? Get stuck into the main pub menu for nibbles such as Welsh rabbit on bloomer toast with leeks braised in Lea & Perrins and crispy bacon. Or there's the mouth-watering Butcher's Board, packed with Black pudding & smoked bacon croquettes, pulled pork filled crispy coated potato skins, chicken & ham cold cutting pie, chorizo sausage, salt & vinegar wings and a selection of dips and crusty breads,

5 Butchery Lane, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2JR. Tel: 01227 463 252

6. Bar Termini, London

From the same team who brought up the fabulous 69 Colebrooke Row comes the coffee and cocktail perfection that is Bar Termini. If you fancy tasting the most incredible Burrata you'll ever find, served up with tomato and Carta di Musica bread, this is the place - with a Negroni in hand, this small-but-perfect bar is an ideal date spot.

Just try to resist the impressive looking cakes they often have on display...

Bar Termini, 7 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 5JE. Tel: +44 (0) 7860 945018

7. Bar Américain at Brasserie Zedel, London

9035 bar americain1.jpg EDITED

Take a step back in time with the Art Deco interiors at this classic American bar, which serves up champagnes, wines and oh-so-tasty cocktails in the basement of French favourite Brasserie Zedel. Perfect for an end of the evening nightcap or a before dinner drink, the atmosphere is dimly lit and cosy, it's the perfect escape from the business of Picaddilly Circus.

Go for the Old Fashioned or one of our favourites, the Millionaire - dark rum, sloe gin, apricot and lime. Mmm, mmmm.

 Brasserie Zedel, 20 Sherwood Street, London, W1F 7ED

8. The Albany, Thames Ditton

Spending the day at Hampton Court Palace? Head to the nearby riverside pub, The Albany, for a spot of lunch or dinner beside an open log fire, seated in a comfy armchair.

We've already picked out our perfect foodie lineup: For lunch, the slow-cooked pork belly & seared scallops, served with sticky ginger beer glaze, crackling black pudding, mashed potato, green beans and apple ketchup; For dinner, the lobster brioche roll served with twice-cooked chunky chips and thermidor dip; and finally, if your sweet tooth is kicking in, you're in the right place - the rum & raisin crème brulee with coconut sugar or the strawberry Eton mess with blackcurrant meringue and lemon verbena syrup are sure to satisfy.

Queens Road, Thames Ditton, Surrey, KT7 0QY

9. The Cat Inn, West Sussex

the cat pub edited

Dogs are welcome at this 16th century free house, as good a sign as any that it boasts a cosy atmosphere. Set in the hilltop village of West Hoathly in the countryside of Sussex, the pub at The Cat Inn boasts oak beams and two fireplaces with a cooked-to-order menu using the freshest local ingredients.

Grab a pint of real ale, Hertfordshire cider or a glass of local sparkling wine and dig into the likes of pan fried breast of pigeon with beetroot, goats curd, blackberries and hazelnut dressing. Our mouths are watering...

Little London, Albury, Guildford, Surrey GU5 9DG

10. The Vault at Milroy's, London

If you can make it past the aged single malts in London's oldest whisky shop, Milroy's, you'll come to the bookcase-come-secret-door that leads to The Vault. A warm and welcoming speakeasy-style cellar bar, The Vault serves up cocktails mixed with house-infused spirits and syrups as well as craft beers and wines.

It's also home to one of the coolest (and most dangerous) cocktails we've ever encountered, the Hot and Cold - served in two fishbowl-style vessels, take a sip of the hot Michters Rye with Orange Zest and follow it up with a taste of Cold Bryhh, Dolin Dry, Maraschino, Angostura and Orange Bitters.

Milroy's of Soho, 3 Greek Street, London, W1D 4NX

By Alison Millington