Christmas Day pubs 2019: a great year for a relaxed amble to the alehouse

VirginQueen©DA19: Remarkable Pubs MD Elton Mouna and VQ manager Heloise in the Virgin Queen © 080319
Comfortable and comforting: the George, and, top, the Virgin Queen

A CHRISSIE PRESENT for Hackneyites who like a healthy walk before Christmas lunch: the Prince George is joining the barrel of pubs that open on the big day. And so is sister pub the Virgin Queen.

Every year Loving Dalston publishes a guide to Christmas Day pub openings in and around Hackney, a guide so far exclusive to this site.

A few pubs have dropped out over the years because custom has not justified the costs. Other boozers have taken their place as more pubs decide that food makes the figures add up. Do not, however, expect to turn up on the day and get a seat for a three-course meal. Dinner sessions sometimes book up weeks ahead. 

Some pubs are drinks-only so you may want so check ahead.

Whichever pub you choose for an excursion, a pub close to home might best please ageing parents/old friends. World City No 1  or not, London runs no public transport on the greatest single holiday of the English year. 

Cheers, Merry Christmas  and Happy Hannukah.

Wenlock©DA15: jack russell Harvey at Wenlock Arms 26 Wenlock (Sturt) Road, Hoxton N1 7TA 091215 © DavidAltheer[at]
Dogs are welcome at the Wenlock Arms, even the most bedraggled (bedoggled?)
* Alma

159 Newington Green Road N1 4QU (020 7226 3531), noon-8pm, dog-friendly. Today you’re expected to order a meal (£60, children £25).


315 Mare Street, Hackney E8 1EJ (20 8533 6369. Unpromising exterior belies the quality of this affluent-millennials’ favourite, noon-4pm, dog-friendly. Home to Maregade Brew.

Cock ©DA19:© PH 315 Mare Street, Hackney E8 1EJ 20 8533 6369
Mare Street wonder: quality range of local ales in this Hackney Central pub


24 Broadway Market E8 4Q (020 7275 7617), noon-3pm, dog-friendly. Some NE London ales but speciality is Belgian beers.

Old Ship

Enter this pub — on the day 251219 between noon and 5pm — by a narrow alley in Mare St E8Q 1EN (020 8986 2732), a few paces north of the Hackney Empire, or at rear, 2 Sylvester Path. Dog-friendly.

Shippub©DA13: Old Ship Inn 2 Sylvester Path, Mare St E8Q 1EN 251213 (manager Rayon Marshall 2nd from right) ©
At the end of an alley off Mare Street, the Old Ship Inn is an unusually sophisticated pub

* Old Street Brewery

Arch 11, Gales Gardens, Shoreditch E2 0EJ (020 3952 4926),  noon-8pm

Palm Tree

127 Grove Road E3 5BH (020 8980 2918), noon-3pm, discourages dogs. Ideally approached on foot via Regent’s Canal towpath (beware cyclists) or bicycle (consider walkers). An open fire will warm you.

The Persey: close to the Broadway Market heart of hipsterdom yet strong on tradition


112 Pritchards Road, Hackney E2 9AP, noon-3pm (020 76133498), discourages dogs. Though the Percy is only 100m S of Broadway Market, its sole concession to hipsterism is to stock local ales. Dog-unfriendly. Smokers will like the outdoors heated rear garden

* Prince George 

40 Parkholme Road, Dalston E8 3AG, noon-3pm (020 7254 6060), sometimes an open fire, dog-friendly. 

Royal Sovereign

64 Northwold Road, Clapton E5 8RL (020 8806 2449), noon-2pm, dog-friendly

Dovepub: The Dove 24 Broadway Market E8 4QJ (0207 275 7617) Broadway Market London E8 170114 ©
Belgian beers: the Dove, Broadway Market

Town of Ramsgate

62 Wapping High Street, E1W 2PN (020 7481 8000), noon-2pm, dog-friendly. Backing on to the Thames, this venerable, river-history-rich pub is ideal for customers wanting a longish walk before a pint. From raised tables at the waterside end of the garden, the hardy can savour super views up, down and across the London River, as mariners call Thames here. If you see any of the several A-listers who occasionally go there, do not request a selfie: even slebs deserve a day off  (Oh, what the heck? They want the fame).

JD Wetherspoon

282 Mare Street, Hackney E8 1HE (020 8525 9010), 11am-3pm. Craft beers in spacious interior, usually male-dominated. A local loves the chain’s carpets so much) he wrote a book about them (true). Foyer smoking area, heated roof terrace. Company policy bans dogs, even those without a drinking problem

* Virgin Queen

94 Goldsmiths’ Row E2 8QY (020 7739 0185), noon-3pm. Attracting a clientele looking for something a little individual. Dog-friendly.  

* Footnote: Molly Blooms, dog-unfriendly, 525 Kingsland Road, Dalston E8 4AR, often opens on the day to 3pm. Despite several enquiries, Loving Dalston has been unable to find out about this year. 

David Altheer 221219

* Publicans, the list has grown since it was first published so if you want your pub added to this list, at no charge, email Include the necessary details (see examples above) and no more, not even a photograph.

* Backstory:  How Hackney rates in 2014 Good Pub GuideChristmas Day pubs 2018Making an East End boozer work; More new pubs than anywhere else

Wenlock Arms 26 Wenlock Road, Hoxton N1 7TA 091215 © DavidAltheer[at]
Wenlock Arms
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