GREEN PARK PUBS
A HAVEN FOR SOME OF THE BEST PUBS IN THE CITY. SERIOUSLY.
When someone mentions Green Park, one of two things usually come to mind: the picturesque Royal Park or the tube station. In other words, not a collection of pubs.
But this is where Green Park can surprise you – it’s in such a great location that some of our favourite pubs, bars and restaurants are only a short walk away. Sure, there are some terrible watering holes in the area, but there are also some must-visits. Genuinely.
With this in mind, we’ve visited way too many of Green Park’s pubs (in the name of research) and whittled our favourites down to the below.
Let us know if you visit any.
We start our Green Park pubs journey at Kings Arms, a beauty of a drinking den just a few minutes’ walk from the park itself.
Whenever we have to describe the archetypal English pub (it comes up more than you might think), places like Kings Arms come to mind. This is an old-school boozer with charm running through its alcohol-filled veins.
We’re talking familiar red carpets, victorian-styled lighting and plenty of dark furniture. Chunky beams stretch across the ceiling, typifying the pub’s history. It was built in 1742 but remodelled in the 1960s, so the beams may not be original – but that’s for those interested in the origin of wood-based decor to worry about. For us, they are the cherry on a charming, characterful cake.
As for the food, well, it’s decent. It’s not top-tier but, then again, it’s not trying to be. It’s just typical pub grub that you can find throughout all of London.
To reiterate the point, this is a characterful pub that attracts a wide mix of people: families, locals, tourists and those in search of old-school boozers. It’s in Shepherd Market, just 3 minutes from Green Park, making for an easy stumble back to the station.
The London Butler tip: After somewhere to watch the sports? Kings Arms show Premier League games, rugby, F1 and more. Oh, and if you get Jakub serving you, enjoy. He’s a delight.
FIRST-RATE GUINNESS & AWARD-WINNING PIES
9-minute walk from Green Park
Where to start with The Guinea?… The word ‘institution’ is often overused – anything existing for more than a decade seems to be classed as one – but The Guinea is very much deserving of this description. Christ, it’s been around since 1423.
This is a place that knows itself. You see, it’s not trying to be historic; it is historic. It’s not trying to be a traditional joint; you get the point. Quite simply, The Guinea is a sophisticated pub that manages to transport you back in time whilst somehow remaining incredibly relevant.
It’s also the place to come to for a cracking Guinness. It’s not that they just serve a decent pint of the black stuff, The Guinea pride themselves on the quality of it. Each member of staff is trained in this mantra. We’re not sure what they do, but it’s the perfect temperature, extremely smooth, achieves the right amount of creaminess, and has no metallic taste. It might seem a tad extreme to dedicate an entire paragraph to the quality of their Guinness, but that’s how much we love it.
As for food, The Guinea has an accompanying restaurant, The Guinea Grill, located to the left of the bar and extending towards the back of the building. The Guinea has established itself as a meat connoisseur, and steak is very much its thing: it’s a founding member of the Prime Scotch Beef Club. Say no more.
It’s also a multi-award-winning pie establishment with three National Steak & Kidney Pie Championships to its name – and, boy, it’s proud of it: framed certificates adorn the walls and there’s a not-so-subtle mention on the pub’s beer mats.
To summarise, this is one of our favourite pubs near Green Park. The Guinness is one of the best in London and the pies are very good (albeit a tad salty). Please visit here. We adore it.
Horse & Groom
A RELAX ON THE MEWS
9-minute walk from Green Park
Sat in a picturesque cobbled mews, The Horse & Groom may be small, but it has well and truly stamped its mark on the area.
This is a place that all walks of life call home. In their own words, “from bankers to builders, PAs to plumbers” – everyone is welcome.
The best pubs in Green Park have a common theme: history. Rich ones. And the Horse & Groom is no exception. Notable visitors include The Beatles (yep, you read that right) and most recently, Rihanna. Framed pictures of these guests take stage on the interior walls, reminding you that you’re in a special place: a place where, no matter your story, you can feel at ease.
The cobbled mews epitomises London’s appeal: you might only be minutes away from Hyde Park, Victoria, and Green Park, but you wouldn’t know it – a blanket of calmness covers the cosy mews and surrounding buildings.
This setting makes for ideal outdoor drinking – they have plenty of outside seating, and it’s the perfect antidote to a day of working or exploring. Simply grab a seat, order a bev, sit back and relax – soak it all in.
Put simply, this is a pub steeped in history, a pub that’s traditional yet modern; set in a quaint mews that exemplifies the Capital’s charm; and whilst small, packs a punch and then some.
The Red Lion
OLD-SCHOOL THROUGH AND THROUGH
9-minute walk from Green Park
Continuing with the theme of historic haunts, The Red Lion has been serving Green Park and surrounding areas for well over 200 years. Red carpets? Check. Dark wood furnishings? Check. Old-world charm? Big check.
So what differentiates this from surrounding old-school pubs? First off, it’s hardly changed. Most others have been updated in some aspect to remain in keeping with their histories, not The Red Lion. It just hasn’t had to do that – it survived The Blitz – resulting in a masterclass of Victorian Public House decor.
The star of the show is its specially-commissioned glasswork that runs throughout the building. It really is mirror galore, transforming the small pub into a lively and grandiose hub. Interestingly, this is very much a politician’s haunt. You’ll hear ramblings of political gossip gently mixed with ‘lay people’ chatting about their coming-and-goings.
The pub is owned by Fullers, so you can expect go-to beers, ales, ciders, wines and more.
In short, this is a place that has stood the test of time. If a pub could tell a story, this one would have you gripped. It’s a proper London pub experience, and we’re big fans.
The London Butler tip: this place fills up quickly, so be prepared to stand or have a backup choice from this list.
A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE
12-minute walk from Green Park
6 floors. 4 unique bars. 1 tree. Welcome to Waxy O’Connors.
The easiest way to describe this place is: ‘quirky tardis’ – 6 floors are connected by a labyrinthine wooden staircase and a warren of cavernous walkways. Every turn brings about a surprise; another space; another bar. It’s a workout for the eyes, that’s for sure.
The self-proclaimed ‘London’s biggest and best Irish bar’ reminds you of its story everywhere you look: mosaic floor tiles depict the famous Guinness harp; Irish music fills the air; then there’s the Beech Tree which dominates one of the rooms – its branches twining across the ceiling. It really is a unique thing.
If you can’t tell, this place is hard to depict in a small number of words, hence the images, but one thing’s for certain: it’s a hell of an experience.
Is it a bit of a tourist attraction? Put it this way, It’s certainly atypical for an Irish pub. But if you look beyond that, it’s hard not to have a good time.
Other things to note:
- Live music 4 nights per week
- 8 big screens showing all kind of sports
- This place is ridiculously crazy come Saint Patrick’s Day
The London Butler tip: Waxy’s add an additional 5% onto bills as an optional service charge. This includes ordering drinks at the bar. Do let them know if you want the service charge removed, and don’t feel bad about it. It’s normal.
11-minute walk from Green Park
First things first, The Grenadier isn’t the easiest place to find: it’s tucked round a dogleg in another cobbled mews, helpfully labelled a ‘private road’ – ignore this, carry on, and you’ll be rewarded.
This charming little throwback offers storytelling, delectable eats and the satisfying feeling of having found the proverbial hidden gem.
Built in the 1700s, The Grenadier – as its name suggests – is steeped in military history: it’s built on the side of an old barracks and served as the guardsman’s public house. The most notable sight is the myriad notes appending the pub’s ceiling. Legend has it they are in the name of Cedric, a grenadier who cheated at cards and was beaten to death. Supposedly, his spirit haunts the pub and the money is a result of customers’ attempts to pay off his debt. A nice story, of course, but one that’s as trustworthy as that private road sign we mentioned earlier.
The Grenadier is known for its beef wellington – we had it in 2020 and it was oh-so-good. We went back in October 2022 – it was still oh-so-good. It isn’t the cheapest eat, but the quality of the dishes validates the cost. We’ve spoken to many people about The Grenadier, and each one has commented on how great the food is. So if you try it out, keep it to yourself – it’s a secret worth keeping.
The London Butler tip: if you can come midweek during traditional work hours, do so – it’s a tiny pub, so seating isn’t always guaranteed at busy times.
Let us know if you visit any of these Green Park pubs in the comments below.
And if you’re after more advice on the area, check out our guide to the best restaurants in Green Park, bars in Green Park, and for those that need somewhere to stay after a BNO, our curated list of Green Park hotels. Oh, and if you’re boozing, chances are brunch may be needed the following day – our list of Green Park cafés should come in use.