Southampton Arms Is One of London’s Finest Traditional Pubs

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SOUTHAMPTON ARMS IS ONE OF LONDON’S FINEST TRADITIONAL PUBS

Southampton Arms is a traditional pub in London that serves ales and ciders from small, independent breweries in the UK. They don’t have a telephone, don’t take table reservations, and don’t accept credit or debit cards.

Southampton Arms, 139 Highgate Road, Highgate, London NW5 1LE

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The Southampton Arms is, in my opinion, London’s perfect pub. It’s historic, with a sturdy ’60s atmosphere and appearance, glazed brick walls, great ales on tap from traditional hand pumps, and delicious, hearty food. But it doesn’t veer off into that loafers-without-socks, everyone-on-their-laptop Twilight Zone that seems to have befallen many of London’s traditional or traditional seeming pubs. In the Southampton Arms, you will wander in and there will be an old man with a dog; there will be three musicians gathered around the piano, one with a clarinet, one singing or clapping along, all of them doing it for the fun of it, not for the Instagram of it. If you don’t find them on your first visit, you’ll just have to keep returning until you do.

There’s a great beer garden out the back, and the atmosphere is very lighthearted and welcoming: you will almost certainly end up in a conversation with people you’ve never met before, which can be a rare occurrence in many of London’s pubs. Whether it’s because of the friendly staff or the intimacy that comes with the pub’s compact dimensions, Southmpton Arms seems very natural. I highly recommend a trip to this pub on a Sunday afternoon after a walk on Hampstead Heath. Oh and it’s cash only, in keeping with the traditional theme, so pop to a cashpoint before you go!

 
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