The Beehive, Tottenham
The indoor tables are so tightly packed here that you could throw a blanket over everyone in the pub. And you know what that means? No wide-open spaces for four-tiered prams or Lil’ Joshua’s invisible-laser fight! Also there’s always a decades-of-service regular ready with an unwelcoming glower when families dare to enter. Or a rowdy Spurs fan cursing Tony Pulis’ name.
The Pembury Tavern, Hackney
An old-school booze-cavern with pleasingly draconian rules about how kids can behave. One false move and it’s curtains, basically. It takes a reckless parent to throw their child into this cauldron; few will take the risk. There’s an imposing and grizzled billiards table in the corner too. Most kids can’t even see over it! Ha!
The Wenlock Arms, Islington
You know the most passive-aggressive way to keep families out of a pub? A minuscule food menu. You could print the Wenlock Arms’ on your fingernail: Scotch eggs, pickled eggs… and that’s about it. Oh, you want Haribo? Unlucky, young’un! It’s also a historic 19th century “ale house” with a defiantly standard-definition TV in the corner just desperate to screen snooker and Michael Buerk shows.
The Hat And Tun, Farringdon
One look at the skulls and taxidermy on the wall here guarantees any child a lifetime of gruesome night-terrors. Plus the enforced gambling at the bar – you roll a dice when ordering a drink with the aim of getting it free – really hammers home the “no kids” vibe. And the decorative, sweet-looking pies conceal a shocking truth: gravy.
The Crown & Anchor, Brixton
Nothing padded, no gaudy colours – this one’s all business: exposed brickwork and almost aggressively dull tables. Here’s where serious craft-beer drinkers clock in and get the job done. One of those where you have to wait a bit longer to get served, because some schmuck wants to sample everything on tap. But you don’t mind, because it’s A Good Pub. And ain’t no one got time for waiting with infants in tow.
The five stages of a drunken tube journey
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