Top 10: December 2009

Our December 2009 selection
Howl at the Moon, London
It seems there are changes are afoot at Howl at the Moon. The smell of paint was an indication of a recent refurb, which has sadly taken away a significant amount of the homely feeling this great pub once had. Walls have gone from a warm red to a colder pastel, the gantried bar has gone and the...
Brawn (ex Flea Pit), London
We always really liked the Flea Pit and felt it never got the custom it deserved. Our last visit to Columbia Road saw it turned into a restaurant called Brawn.
North Nineteen, London
North Nineteen is a charming, refurbished pub on the back streets off the Holloway Road. The post-war building is attractive enough and the decor considerate to the building: the two separate bars remain, while a back area with heavy flock wallpaper adds character. Stripped floorboards - the...
Prague, London
Its not exactly hard to find somewhere to drink in the area where Old Street meets the Kingsland Road, but nonetheless you'll find Prague is one of the better places to spend your time. Unprepossessing from the outside, the interior is a nice, if standardised, interpretation of Hoxton bohemia -...
The Market Porter, London
This is a gem of a pub - it's got something for everyone no matter what time or day of the week you choose to visit. It's a lively place on a Friday and Saturday nights with a mixed crowd and a real pub atmosphere. The food is okay, there's a restaurant upstairs, and the drink is excellent....
The Camel, London
If you like the nearby Florist, but find it getting a little too crowded and noisy for you, then your best bet is to try this pub. Run by the same people, The Camel is a friendly, family affair. The great original external tiling is intact but its been smartened up inside - the framed photos of...
Project Orange, London
We thought Clapham Junction was a never-ending parade of chain bars and blokes' boozers. There's nothing wrong with a light sprinkling of them, but where are the alternatives? Well, this probably the best you're going to do. Despite close proximity to the train station, it's just far enough away...
The Seven Stars, London
The Seven Stars is an ancient, tiny pub that's a great place for a pint when it's not packed - to do this you need to avoid lunch times and early evenings - or during the summer recess. It's a charming and olde worlde pub and would be just the thing for the tourists if it wasn't already packed...
Cricketers, London
Finally, a refurbished McMullen's pub which doesn't look like they had two days and 5000 to spend at Argos. Previously bland but pleasant, it was designed to be anodyne enough to offend no-one. Now they've chanced their arm with a more idiosyncratic approach. It is clear immediately they have...
Carpenters Arms, London
When the Carpenters Arms closed a few years ago, we naturally expected conversion into flats awaited it. So you can imagine our excitement to discover back in the Autumn of 2007 that it had reopened. If nothing else, it's a little piece of East End pub history; many pubs in the area lay claim to...