Top 10 pubs

Our favourite pubs in October 2011
Duke of Hamilton, London
Having recently survived the ignominy of being converted into flats, the Duke of Hamilton has received a facelift under the management of the people who run the excellent Barnsbury in Islington. It had began to feel somewhat tired in it's last couple of years and the changes have put this pub...
Southampton Arms, London
Having been open in its new guise since late 2009 now, we can barely remember what the old Southampton Arms was like anymore. This pub has it all: friendly staff, a wide cross-section of locals and one of the best beer selections you'll find in London (and that's with strong competition). There...
The Royal Oak, London
A wonderful Victorian pub in the heart of Borough, the Royal Oak is a winner in every department - and a recent addition to the Fancyapint.com Hall of Fame! It serves a selection of excellent ales (including Mild, Pale, Best with Christmas Ale and Porter in winter) all by Harvey's of Lewes and...
Wenlock Arms, London
LAST CHANCE TO SEE: the Wenlock is under threat again - a new planning application has been submitted and we're waiting to hear the results of the consultation. If it goes through, the pub is likely to be sold by Christmas - GO NOW!

. On paper this pub could be awful: hidden...

The Gunmakers, London
Another pub in this area we've known for a few years now, the Gunmakers hasn't taken the nosedive a lot of pubs in its situation has - if anything, it's been consistently good since it opened. Hidden down a side road off the top of Leather Lane Market, this is a bit of a gem and, despite the...
Mason & Taylor, London
Located on the site of a former Mexican restaurant, we used to frequent, Mason & Taylor is a new pub from the team behind the award-winning Duke of Wellington in Dalston. It's one of the first of a new breed of "the beer is everything" pubs that we're seeing popping up around town. These pubs...
Cask Pub and Kitchen, London
This poor pub has had a chequered past with numerous changes of management and decoration in recent years. However, a friendly husband and wife team took over in the Autumn of 2009 and elevated this into a place worth seeking out. Their selling point - as testified by the name - is quality beer....
The Dovetail Bar, London
Like its sister pub, the Dove in Broadway Market, Hackney, the Dovetail Bar specialises in things Belgian - strong beer beer, moules frites etc, plus more esoteric Continental stuff such as Genevers and the like. While typical English pub fare (burgers and lagers) is available, the more curious...
Grenadier, London
The Grenadier is another one of those small Knightsbridge pubs you would expect to find in the middle of Suffolk, but maybe not the middle of London. As you'd surmise from the name, military memorabilia hangs from the walls of both the bar and the small dining area at the back, and there is an...
The Draft House, London
We don't know what exactly is going on in this area, but some kind of gentrification is obviously taking place as the Draft House is another cracking pub in the area (along with the Bridge House only a few doors down). Okay, it's a slightly different proposition - lots and lots of beers as...