The Churchill Arms pub has to be one of London’s most famous (and colourful!) pubs, mainly due to the exterior being festooned with flowers during the summer and a cacophony of Christmas trees in the winter months. If you follow any London based Instagram accounts (we’d recommend following CK Travels), you’ll likely have seen this pub before as it is likely the most Instagrammed pub in the whole of London.
The Churchill Arms is a historic Fuller’s pub, located on Kensington Church Street, half-way between High Street Kensington and Notting Hill Gate tube stations. The Fuller’s chain of pubs are always worth a visit as they have lots of old and characterful pubs, we’d also recommend The Dove in Hammersmith, that has an outdoor deck overlooking the Thames and reputably where ‘Rule Britannia was composed. It also used to claim to have the ‘world’s smallest bar’, as recognised by Guinness World Records! If you are visiting London for a few days, the Fullers brewery tour is worth checking out – see our Fullers Brewery Tour guide here >
The Churchill Arms pub dates back to 1750 and it’s name derives from the fact that in the 1800s, Sir Winston Churchill’s grandparents were regular drinkers here (the pub was renamed to its current title after WWII). History aside, what also attracts drinkers in droves here is the cosy cove-like interior with old trinkets (some quite random) and vintage signs adorning the walls (including Churchill and wartime memorabilia) – the windows are stained glass and the ceiling beams are all quite low (watch your head if you are tall!).
And did we mention the tasty Thai food inside? Although it may sound a little odd for a pub to be serving Thai food as opposed to the traditional classics like fish and chips, it is actually quite a common thing in West London. This was in fact the first London pub to serve Thai food and start this ‘Thai-riffic’ trend.
The dining room here (actually more of a grotto, but in a good way) is full of ferns and flowers and the food is divine – just make sure you book a table in advance. We think this is some of the best pub Thai food in London (although for our money, we think Latymers, another Fuller’s pub just down the road in Hammersmith is still the best Thai pub grub).
Now the Churchill Arms is one of the best pubs in Kensington and is frequented regularly by so many Londoners and tourists alike, the only downside to all this is that as the pub has become so busy, this boozer can get pretty rammed and chock full of people very quickly. We used to work on High Street Kensington for several years so the Churchill Arms was kind of a ‘local’ pub for us and it was often hard to get a table or not have your pint partially spilled by someone. If you are visiting from overseas, you might be best to visit during the daytime if you want to guarantee yourself a seat and not have to queue at the bar.
Overall, this flowery Fuller’s pub feels like stepping back into a time-tunnel when you first enter (literally, as it is so snug inside) and the eclectic mix of traditional lagers and ales (try a London Pride!) combined with a taste of sublime South East Asia delights make this a classic London pub visit.
Tip: if you are visiting for the first time, head to the Churchill Arms website a few hours before your visit to sign up to their newsletter and receive a voucher for a free pint – you’re most welcome and this one is on us! You can buy us the next round…
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- The ultimate guide to the Bermondsey Beer Mile
- Borough Market guide – London’s most famous food market
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- Columbia Road Flower Market, London – a complete guide
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