Top five pubs near our Westcroft Square centre

A few weeks ago on the blog, our Courses Manager Ben recommended some of the best places to eat near our Westcroft Square centre. In this week’s blog post, he’s taking a look at the local pubs with his top tips for the best place to have a drink and socialise near our Westcroft Square centre. So, if you fancy a swift half or a little tipple, check out the boozers below!

The Raven 

Located just opposite Stamford Brook station, it’s built almost directly under the arch of Stamford Brook tube station the Raven is a warm, welcoming pub. The low ceilings and fireplace provide a cosy ambience and there is a good selection of beer and wine. In the daytime it’s not very busy it’s and a good place to spend a bit of quiet time while enjoying a beverage. It feels local, and it’s the sort of pub where people don’t travel long distances to get there. The food is reasonably priced and it can get quite lively on Friday and Saturday evenings.

The Cross keys

This pub is located off the main road, on the back streets of Stamford Brook. It is a traditional English pub that has maintained its character over the years. Fullers, the local brewery, is just up the road and the pub serves their delicious beers on draught throughout the day and night. In the day time, it’s a quiet place to escape the hustle and bustle of King Street. In the evening, it gets much more lively with big screen sport shown in the bar and lots of local residents dropping by for a quick pint. The bar area is quite small, but this gives the place a cosy, warm, friendly, atmosphere which keeps the locals coming back. There is a nice terraced garden at the back and the spectacular flower baskets at the front make it and attractive place for a drink. The pub is often a place to spot a celebrity and sightings over the years have included Lady Gaga, Timothy Dalton (an English actor who played James Bond) and one of the hosts of Top Gear, James May. There is a dart board and a selection of board games to help pass a rainy afternoon.

The Black Lion

The Black Lion is an iconic West London pub on the north bank of the River Thames between Hammersmith and Chiswick. It’s run by a Kiwi man who prides himself on serving fine quality food and wine, as well as a variety of draught beer. They host regular Kiwi-themed events in the large pub garden beside the river and it’s a great place to enjoy a drink on a sunny afternoon or to make a pit-stop for some refreshment during a riverside walk.  They have a traditional skittle alley at the back which is very popular among visitors and there are pictures of the old pub skittle team on the walls. The food is also very popular and there is a wide selection of delicious mains and side dishes. The name the Black Lion comes from a story of a ghost which was often spotted in the area.

The Old Ship 

Just along the river from the Black Lion, the Old Ship has been serving drinks and refreshments since 1722. The pub’s great location and riverside balcony make it a great pace to watch the comings and goings of the River Thames, which include, joggers, rowers and sailors, in addition to the wide selection of birdlife found on the river. The Old Ship serves breakfast and coffee in the morning as well as lunch and dinner later in the day. The Old Ship is a quiet place during the day but on sunny weekends it is often extremely busy as people like to enjoy a drink by the river while soaking up the sunshine.

The Duchess of Cambridge

Following the wedding of Kate Middleton and the future king of England, the owners decided to change the name of the pub on Goldhawk Road and renamed it after the nation’s favourite new royal. The pub is known as one of the best places in London to drink the sort of real ale beloved of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) members. The Duchess takes its beer seriously and has over 9 barrels of cask ale behind the bar which are served as intended, with less chilling and no pump. It’s this serving method that gained the English their reputation for favouring warm beer, and it’s not for everyone but this is a great place to try real English ale in the English way. There are also nine ciders served in a similar fashion, and a good assortment of whisky. They also offer traditional English food – Sunday roasts, homemade bar snacks, a large pie menu and another of pub standards – fish and chips, burgers, sausage and mash.


a swift half (n) –half and pint of beer drunk quickly informal
tipple (n) – an alcoholic drink informal
boozer (n) – pub informal
beverage (n) – a drink
draught (adj) - beer or cider served from a barrel or tank rather than from a bottle or can
ceilings (n) - the inner surface of the top part of a room 
a cosy ambience (adj+n) - a warm friendly intimate atmosphere
the hustle and bustle (fixed exp)a large amount of activity and work, usually in a noisy surrounding
terraced garden (adj+n) - a flat garden with is covered in paving
flower baskets (n) - flowers arranged in cases which are hung on the wall for decoration
board games (n) - a game that involves the movement of pieces or other objects round a board e.g. chess
iconic (adj) - describing a person or thing which is seen as a symbol of something else
Kiwi (adj) - from New Zealand informal
to make a pit-stop (idiom) – to stop for a short period during a journey for rest, food, or to use a bathroom
skittle alley (n) – a game played with wooden pins, set up at the end of a lane to be bowled down with a wooden ball
to be spotted (v) – to be noticed or seen
the comings and goings (fixed exp) – the busy, active movements of many people, especially in and out of a place
rowers (n) – people who make a boat move across water using oars
beloved (adj) – loved very much
cask ale (n) – unfiltered beer which is served form a barrel
cider (n) – an alcoholic drink similar to beer but made from apples
in a similar fashion (fixed exp) – in a similar way
a good assortment (adj+n) – a collection or selection of various kinds


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