Pub features

Most pubs offer a lot more than beer pumps and seats. From pay-per-view TV to waterside locations, from live music to bar billiards there are a host of facilities, features and activities available to the modern pub-goer.

Our pub reviews contain comprehensive listings of what’s available at every pub and, to save space on the page, these are represented by icons. Most are self-exlplanatory, but, just to avoid any confusion, we have a fuller explanation of what they all mean listed below.

If, at any time when you're reading a pub review and you wonder what one of our icons might mean, just hover over it with your mouse and a short explanation will magically appear. If you’re still unsure, clicking the icon will bring you to the appropriate point on this page.

Pub features

feature icon: real ale Good beer / real ale

This icon signifies the pub dispenses good real ales, unusual beers, regular guest ales, or a combination of some or all of them. As we're not a good beer guide (there are other sites for that), we don't go into a lot of detail in our reviews about the range and quality of ale on offer.

feature icon: TVTV

This means the pub has at least one TV showing Sky TV, ESPN, sport etc. The review will describe this in more detail if it's a major attraction for the pub (eg a large projector screen, showing major sporting events.

feature icon: function roomFunction room

This icon indicates the pub has a function room, part of the pub can be reserved for private parties or the whole pub can be hired (quite often at weekends) for private functions. For further details, you should get in touch with the pub.

feature icon: outside seatingOutside seating

The pub has space for outdoor drinking. This can be anything from an enclosed beer garden, to a couple of tables on the street. We try and distinguish between these pubs so if you're looking for somewhere to have a barbie, for instance, you should be able to find one. The review usually carries more details. Don't forget in the UK it's usually illegal to drink in the street and at the slightest hint of sun, any pubs with outdoor space will get mobbed - so get there early.

feature icon: pool tablePool table

The pub has at least one pool table (we usually say if there's more than one). We don't mention the cost as it's something that changes constantly. Waterside The pub is by water, or has waterside views. Usually, in London, it will be by the Thames, but there are also nice pubs by canals, lakes and ponds. Not all pubs with waterside views have outdoor seating (hence the distinction), check the review for more info.

feature icon: live musicLive music

The pub features music - often live music (and if it's a specific kind of music, then we'll say). We don't list events, you need to call the pub for that information, although the review usually gives more information if there's something of interest.

feature icon: children welcome / play area  feature icon: children welcome / play areaPlay area / children welcome

These pubs either have an area set aside for children (it's not something you get very often in central London, more often it's in the suburbs) or lets children in to specific areas of the pub at certain times of the day.

feature icon: quiz nightQuiz night

The pub hosts a quiz night(s) - if it's a regular weekly occurrence, we usually say - some pubs hold quizzes less frequently, sometimes monthly. Pubs can host quizzes for fun and some offer prizes such as drink or cash. You may have to pay to enter some quizzes - phone the pub to check.

feature icon: restaurantRestaurant

Most pubs do some kind of food, so we don't mean that here. This icon indicates pubs with separate restaurants or eating areas, distinct from the drinking space. We will indicate any speciality food the pub offers here and in pubs we've eaten in, we rate the food for quality and price.

feature icon: accomodationAccommodation

A few pubs in London have rooms, the ones we know we list, you should call the pub for more information and availability. Theatre / comedy A few pubs have theatres attached, others have comedy evenings and cabaret in function rooms. Quite often, these pubs are where some (now) very well known comedians honed their material over the years, so a visit to a comedy night now might well be an opportunity to see stars of the future. We don't list pubs near, or next door, to theatres - only pubs that actually have their own theatres.

feature icon: pub games, darts  feature icon: pub games, table football  feature icon: pub games, skittles  feature icon: pub games, pinballPub games

Some pubs still have traditional games available for you to play- eg darts, bar billiards, shove ha'penny, skittles. Fruit machines and video games (even classics such as Space Invaders, Asteroids and Defender) don't count.

feature icon: disabled accessDisabled facilities

Shows pubs with disabled facilities - where we have more detail - eg access ramps etc - we will say. However, it usually means there's a disabled toilet on the premises.

feature icon: country themed pub  feature icon: country themed pub  feature icon: country themed pubCountry theme

This indicates that a pub is themed on a country - eg Irish, Canadian, Scottish. You may find people from these countries congregating here, or it mean you can consume produce from the country in question here.

feature icon: gay friendlyGay / gay friendly

These pubs are either gay pubs or are welcome gays. We don't go into any kind of detail about what kind of gay pubs they might be or any special events, there are plenty of sites that offer that kind of information.

feature icon: microbreweryOwn brewery

A few pubs have microbreweries on the premises, others have a brewery nearby. We don't list pubs owned by breweries here.

feature icon: atmATM

Signifies pubs with an ATM on the premises. Be warned, there's usually a charge for using these machines - usually about £1.50. Many pubs will give you cash back with a debit card (if you buy more than a minimum amount of drink). We don't list pubs that happen to be near to ATMs.

feature icon: WiFiWiFi

Some of you can't bear to be away from the net for very long, so we've listed the pubs that offer WiFi access. Some charge for this, others don't - you'll need to check with the bar staff what you have to do to get logged on.

feature icon: dog friendlyDogs welcome

Many pubs don't let our canine friends accompany us for a pint, but there are a few that do. These you will find marked with a doggy icon.

feature icon: open lateOpen late

Now the licensing laws allow more flexible opening, we list, where we can, the pubs that are open after 11:00pm. This information can change very quickly, so if your night out depends on a pub being open (at any time), check first with the pub.

feature icon: real fireReal fire

There's nothing nicer on a cold winter's day than settling down by a roaring fire with a pint, or a wee dram. Where pubs have real fires (not gas logs or gas coals *) you'll see this icon, so you'll know exactly where to head, should the temperature fall. * occasionally we have been fooled by a synthetic one, let us know if it's happened again.