10 nice pubs, chosen by Santa and different Christmas staff | Travel

The Mall Tavern, Notting Hill, London

Sarah Mitchell, assistant supervisor on the Churchill Arms, Britain’s ‘most festive pub’
Every Christmas the Churchill is adorned with a great deal of Christmas bushes and lights. In 2016 we bought plenty of media protection within the UK and overseas, so instantly everybody was speaking about us as essentially the most festive pub within the nation. This 12 months we have 95 bushes; contained in the partitions are draped with lights and we play Christmas songs on a loop. I adore it, however I feel some employees get sick of listening to Mariah Carey 20 instances a day. The pub all of us head to after work is the Mall Tavern, two minutes away. It’s fully totally different to the Churchill – we’re a comfortable, conventional pub with a hearth, whereas the Mall is a craft-beer gastropub with 20 beers and ales to select from. At the second they have a beer and burger pop-up with a selection of about 5 burgers.
• 71 Palace Gardens Terrace, London W8,, open 24 Dec midday-10.30pm, closed 25th and 26th. The Churchill (119 Kensington Church Street) is open 24 Dec from 11am-midnight, 25th noon-2pm (drinks solely), 26th 11am-11pm

The Cairn Hotel, Carrbridge, the Highlands

Chosen by David McKinney, reindeer herder, Cairngorms Reindeer Centre

A herd on the Cairngorms Reindeer Centre

I take care of our 150 free-ranging reindeer year-round, however Christmas is our busiest time – we lay on actions for youths and typically I have to decorate up as an elf. I dwell in close by Carrbridge, and my native is the Cairn, within the centre of the village. I’m a Guinness man, however there are some good beers on faucet – together with from the native Cairngorm brewery – and so they have 70 Scottish whiskies, plus 40 Scottish gins. Carrbridge’s location within the Highlands implies that plenty of locals work within the outside sector, and there are all the time match, bearded, wholesome sorts within the pub. It’s a extremely pleasant environment. There’s an open hearth, so the scent of wooden smoke hits you as you stroll in. The meals is traditional pub grub however good high quality – the haggis and fish and chips are nice, and the onion rings are the dimensions of my hand. • Main Road, Carrbridge, on Facebook, open 24 Dec midday-1am, 25th closed, 26th midday-midnight. Cairngorm Reindeer Centre’s Christmas enjoyable weekends run all through December from 12pm-3pm,

The Crown Inn, Morland, Cumbria

Chosen by Father Christmas, Lowther Castle

Lowther Castle

Lowther Castle. Photograph: Don McPhee for the Guardian

I will probably be giving out presents to kids from a carriage on the entrance of Lowther Castle each weekend in December. Father Christmas is meant to love a drink however I most likely gained’t go to the Crown till after Christmas. It’s a conventional, family-run pub, simply by the beck. In summer time we get folks on strolling holidays staying within the village, however in winter it’s principally locals. The fish and chips on Tuesdays are sensible.
• Church Lane, on Facebook, open 24 and 26 Dec 5pm-midnight, 25th 12-3pm. Father Christmas is at Lowther Castle on Sat and Sun in Dec from 10am-4pm (£eight.50 per little one together with a present,

The Cricketers Arms, Danbury, nr Chelmsford, Essex

Paul Kelly, turkey farmer, Kelly Turkeys

The Cricketers Arms, Danbury, Essex

The Cricketers Arms

December on the farm is like an organised pantomime. We have 64 folks hand-plucking 2,500 turkeys a day. It’s so busy that I attempt to not drink in December – after which I have a extremely moist January! We get about 2,000 folks coming to select up pre-ordered turkeys on the 23rd and 24th … it’s flat out until 4pm. It’s fairly unusual waking up on Christmas Day and realising there’s nothing to be executed. I’ve been going to the Cricketers since I used to be 14 (18 formally!). It’s an ideal little village pub subsequent to Danbury widespread. It was very conventional, with a saloon bar and a lounge; now the bars have merged and it’s extra of a vacation spot pub. It’s a dream of mine to personal it in the future and switch it right into a turkey restaurant.
• Danbury Common,, open 24 Dec 12pm-late, 25th and 26th 12-2pm. Kelly Turkeys sells free-range birds; final date for orders for supply is 14 Dec,

The Pivní, York

Chosen by Niall Costigan, shoemaker in The Elves and the Shoemakers at York Theatre Royal

York Theatre Royal auditorium

York Theatre Royal auditorium

My favorite pub is the Pivní on Patrick Pool, subsequent to the Shambles market. It’s housed in a three-storey, 16th-century townhouse, however the perfect factor about it’s its eclectic beer choice – about 50 bottled and draught beers, that are all the time altering. I usually go after rehearsals or a present and have half pints or schooners – they do plenty of robust beers that you just actually don’t desire a pint of. It’s a stunning spot to deliver mates who don’t know town, because it’s the form of place you may stroll straight previous if you happen to didn’t comprehend it. It’s the sister pub to the Tap in York station, one other nice pub.
• 6 Patrick Pool,, open 24 Dec midday-8pm, closed 25th and 26th. The Elves and the Shoemakers runs from 11 Dec-5 Jan,

The Maypole Bar (Ned’s), Holywood, Belfast

Chosen by Alicia Peyrano, proprietor, Little Citizens Boutique toy store

Ned’s Bar, Northern Ireland

I’m from the States and the primary time I visited Northern Ireland my (now) husband took me straight to Ned’s, formally referred to as the Maypole (Ireland’s solely surviving maypole is on the identical avenue). Everyone went silent after we walked in. When I moved to Holywood I ended up working in the identical constructing because the pub and we used to roll down after work. Now I run the toy store a few streets away, and it’s nonetheless my native. It’s not glamorous or fashionable, there’s no meals, the partitions are nonetheless yellowunless you rely crisps, however I like the camaraderie. It’s the type of place the place you find yourself speaking to somebody on the following desk. They do the perfect Guinness, and nonetheless do desk service. I additionally love the truth that they have strict guidelines about drunkenness, so that you see these massive males being chucked out for being the more serious for put on and coming again with their tails between their legs.
• 55 High St,, open 24 Dec 11.30am-10.45pm, 25th closed, 26th 11.30am- 12.45am.

The Swan, Porthcawl, Bridgend

Chosen by Lucy Jones, secretary, Porthcawl Christmas Swim committee

Christmas Swim Coney Beach Porthcawl South Wales

Photograph: The Photolibrary Wales/Alamy

The swim has all the time been a part of my Christmas morning. My dad used to do it, so we’d go right down to the seashore to observe, and grumble about desirous to go home and open our presents. He’s 78 now and nonetheless swims some years. He remembers being excited the 12 months they nearly had 100 folks registered to swim. This 12 months is the 54th annual event and there will probably be 1,200 swimmers. Porthcawl is a vacationer city – Coney seashore, the place the swim takes place, is broad and sandy – so there are pubs the place guests are likely to go, however my favorite is the Swan in Nottage, a correct native. It’s actually pleasant, they usually have dwell music, and if Wales are enjoying rugby the environment is nice and so they come spherical with free chilli and rice – I assume it means you possibly can drink extra!
• West Road, Nottage, on Facebook, Christmas opening instances unavailable. The Porthcawl Christmas Day swim is at 11.45am, registration at 10.30am (

The Peach Tree, Shrewsbury

Chosen by Caroline Jones, postmistress, Foregate put up workplace

The Peach Tree restaurant in Shrewsbury.

Photograph: Andrew Fox for the Observer

My native is the Peachtree, 5 minutes’ stroll from my put up workplace, simply exterior the city centre. It’s not strictly a pub – it’s a noodle restaurant, bar, cafe and nightclub – however I adore it; a lot in order that I’m having my wedding ceremony occasion there subsequent 12 months. You can pop in there for breakfast, early dinner with the children (£10 for 2 programs earlier than 6pm) or an after-work drink. I most likely go there thrice per week. It’s owned by an area household and I feel the rationale it’s so widespread is that it has moved with the instances… a bit like I’ve needed to. My father was a postmaster so it’s all I’ve ever identified, however I by no means thought I might have to be on Twitter and Facebook to remind folks I exist! Having a sausage canine pet helps although – he’s already dressed up as my little Christmas helper!
• 18-21 Abbey Foregate,, open 24 Dec 8am-9pm, 25th midday-3pm, 26th midday-Three.30pm

The Prince Albert, Ely, Cambridgeshire

Chosen by Paul Trepte, director of music, Ely Cathedral

The carol service at Ely Cathedral.

The carol service at Ely Cathedral. Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian

For me, the Christmas season begins on creation Sunday (2 December) after which rapidly progresses with our carol concert events. The one on the Saturday earlier than Christmas is the preferred. The pub the (grownup) choir and I descend on is the Albert, a very good old school pub with no blaring music. It’s all the time bought some attention-grabbing native beers, like my favorite, Ghost Ship, from Adnams in Southwold. I’m in my 29th 12 months as music director and at Easter I’ll be stepping down, so this will probably be my final Christmas – however the Albert will nonetheless be my native.
• 62 Silver Street, on Facebook, open 24 Dec 11am-11.30pm, 25th and 26th 11am-5pm. Ely Cathedral’s creation procession with carols is on Three Dec; Hark! the Herald carol concert is on 22 Dec (

Mary & Archie, Chorlton, south Manchester

Chosen by Lucy Dusgate, digital programmer at The Lowry and inventive producer at Quays Culture

Roast chicken meal at Mary & Archie, Chorlton, Manchester

As a part of my job I organise Lightwaves, an interactive mild pageant at Salford Quays. I consider it as a recent artwork model of the Christmas fairy lights. Mary & Archie, in Chorlton, has fairy lights exterior 12 months spherical, so that they’ve bought me with that, plus it’s open for breakfast and the eggs benedict is great! It’s bought a stylish vibe with out being in any respect pretentious.
• 111 Manchester Rd,, open 24th, 10am–11pm, closed 25th and 26th. Lightwaves is on from 7-16 Dec, 4pm-10.30pm, free (

Travel News


Show More

Related Articles