'A place of legend': Irishman's pub is crowned best in London by Time Out

'A place of legend': Irishman's pub is crowned best in London by Time Out

A PUB owned by an Irishman has been crowned the best in London by prestigious hospitality guide Time Out.

Skehan's Free House in Nunhead, Southwark, topped Time Out's 2023 list of the English capital's best watering holes, with the reviewers hailing it as 'a place of legend'.

The venue, one of the few remaining independent, family-run pubs in South London, is owned by Bryan Fitzsimons from Foyne, Co. Limerick.

Speaking to The Irish Post following the release of the Time Out list, Mr Fitzsimons said: "It's amazing to be named number one pub in London."

'A proper Irish pub'

After an exhaustive search, Time Out managed to whittle the capital's 3,500 pubs down to their favourite 50.

South London dominated the list, with Skehan's coming in at no. 1.

Praising the diversity of its clientele and range of entertainment, judges hailed Skehan's as 'a proper Irish pub'.

"A place of legend in Nunhead, this towering corner pub is as fun as it is friendly," wrote Time Out.

Skehan's is one of the few remaining independent, family-run pubs in South London (Image: Google Street View)

"It's family-run and independent, a rare thing these days in London, and attracts everyone from OAPs to local bands, chic fashion students and troupes of cheerful lads.

"There's karaoke, folk-music nights and terrific Thai food too.

"What more could you want? Perfect Guinness? Well, this is a proper Irish pub, so you're in luck."

Mr Fitzsimons said there was no secret to his success, attributing the pub's popularity to a combination of authentic Irish hospitality and matching the high standards set by pubs in Ireland.

"We don't think we are doing anything different than any other pub back in Ireland, that's how high the standard is back home, especially Limerick," he said.

"Skehan's isn't just a business, it's our home — all we do is look after it like someone would look after their home."


As well as their lauded Thai restaurant, Skehan's also offers a generous Sunday roast and hosts a burger night on Tuesdays.

A Sunday folk session is one of four weekly live music events at the venue, while all major sports, including GAA, are televised.

The pub is located at 1 Kitto Road in Nunhead, five minutes' walk from Nunhead Station, which is just 20 minutes by train from London Victoria and London Bridge.

Mr Fitzsimons' family also own the Faltering Fullback pub in Finsbury Park, which ranked at no. 25 and was described by Time Out as 'one of the best self-professed Irish pubs in London'.

Other Irish boozers to make the list include the Blythe Hill Tavern in Forest Hill, which ranked at no. 7, Stoke Newington's The Auld Shillelagh at no. 16 and the Churchill Arms in Kensington at no. 18.

Irishman James Keogh took over the historic venue when compatriot Gerry O'Brien retired in 2017.

For more information on Skehan's, visit their website by clicking here, while you can check out the full Time Out list here.