The Best of Belgravia’s Pubs

London’s fashionable Belgravia district is home to a vibrant and diverse pub scene. Here’s a guide to some establishments worth seeking out the next time your travels take you to the historic SW1 post code in the country’s capital.

The institutions that define England—not just the governmental, but also the cultural—tend to be marked by their tendency to divide, to split opinion, to push apart. Pubs are different; pubs pull together. Our pubs are where high and low mix, where friendships likely and unlikely are forged, where love stories are both sparked and snuffed. They are there whatever the weather, or mood. In Belgravia, they hold particular value. Long one of London’s most fashionable districts, from time to time it is still taken as somewhere for little more than top-end shopping and cars that look like sharks and sound like bears. But, beneath this gilt veneer, there is still a community to be found. There are actors and politicians, those big in finance, those big in media. Rumors swirl of the last remaining old-world aristos. There are the art collectors, the antiques specialists. In truth, the area draws all sorts, from curious travelers and students to those who simply fancy wandering London’s prettiest streets. And all of these, at one time or another, end up in a pub. There is confluence. These are Belgravia’s best.  


The Wilton was never a bad pub per se, but, by the time it closed in time for Christmas 2019, some 193 years after its 1826 opening, the old girl needed a rest. Now that she is revived, refreshed, redone—she is a looker. Part wood paneling and an ornate carved bar, part a subtle shimmering gold wall and mid-century leather seats, the Wilton is both old and new. What you might call timeless chic. It draws a lazy Sunday crowd with their dogs, for the excellent roast beef, and a lively after-work Friday crowd who laugh a lot, drink a lot and flit between a straightforward but decent draught beer list (Meantime, Guinness, Grolsch, but try the Allsopp’s pale ale) and cocktails (the Negroni and Espresso Martini impress).

71 Kinnerton Street



Some pubs are superstars; some feel like secrets. And some, like The Grenadier, defy logic by being both. Perhaps SW1’s most celebrated pub, it sits tucked away down a winding alley, a prize for the curious. Over three centuries old, it is resplendent in white and navy, the red sentry box nodding to its early days as an officers’ mess for bear-skinned Grenadiers, the regiment who have served 15 monarchs, including our present. It serves a finely-turned-out menu of upscale pub food on its little terraces and in the compact bar. They’re proudest of the beef Wellington, probably because the duke the dish is named after used to eat here. But you’re more likely to find the well-heeled sharing bottles of rosé or drinking pints of the pub’s own bitter. These might include Brad Pitt or Lady Gaga, but, as with a recent trip, they could just be smiling visitors pinning cash to the ceiling—it’s a tradition to pay the debt of Cedric, the guard killed here for cheating at cards. “We get all sorts in here,” the girl behind the bar says, with one of those looks. Including, it turns out, a ghost.

18 Wilton Row



Sometimes pubs are not pubs at all, but landing decks, places to meet, second homes. The stylish Alfred Tennyson has some of this, sitting as it does on the cobbled corner of Kinnerton and Motcomb streets; it has, in recent times, become a landmark of sorts. One might meet at the Tennyson. But people linger too, drawn to its impeccable menu—try the monkfish, paddling in a pool of mussels, or the lamb rump, bundled up with fat and good things in a croquette. Linger is the right word. “I suppose we’d say the Tennyson is our grown-up pub,” says affable co-owner Sam Pearman, who also runs The Thomas Cubitt nearby and others further afield. “You might come for a long, boozy lunch and stay for brandies.” He laughs. You get the sense he may have done it a few times; you might, too.

10 Motcomb Street



This is not a boozer—boozers are not a Belgravian speciality—but it is, gloriously, a proper old-fashioned pub, the kind where afternoons are gently lost as pristine pints are passed over the wraparound bar to a bohemian local set sat on stools. It is, then, heaven. Its Victorian frontage is gloss black and brass and strewn with flowers, a dark blazer with a carnation through the pinhole. As per most Fuller’s pubs, the beer is kept very well—their London Pride is particularly fresh, and there is a “now pouring” board listing the specialties and curiosities filling the pumps—while their selection of ales has won them Camra awards. The Star is a beacon of sorts; The Star is aptly named.

6 Belgrave Mews West



Many of the pubs on these streets are tucked-away places that feel like cottages which strayed into town. Paxtons Head offers something substantially different and is particularly well suited to bigger groups and the breadth of age and interests that such groups customarily envelop. A hall of old oak and cut-glass, the enormous central bar serves an egalitarian range of drinks—easy-going lagers (Camden Hells, Estrella), pumped pints of bitter, both cheap and expensive wine, lots of spirits—while the menu is unfussy but unfussily priced, too (fish and chips are decent). Downstairs is a pool table and screens for sport; upstairs is a pretty dining room. There is, then, both room and a welcome for everyone. It is a commendable thing.

153 Knightsbridge



Though it’s named after an old brewery that sat on this site (itself named after a coffee house that came before it), The Orange seems a suitably playful moniker for this place, which is a little sister of sorts to The Alfred Tennyson. “We tend to think this is our more Mediterranean one,” says co-owner Sam Pearman. Like the Tennyson, it is beautifully turned out—it is rustic but not really, has painted posters of oranges and lemons, and a blackboard with the day’s specials—and offers an excellent pizza menu alongside the likes of grilled red prawns simmering in their shells, hake tart with preserved lemon and a wine list where it’s hard to go wrong. Little wonder the crowds here, often couples and young families, are all so cheery. 

37-39 Pimlico Road 

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