Going Local in London, England: Our Family Booked a Room Above a Traditional English Pub

Many of us think of the traditional English pub as a place to enjoy a pint of beer or a “home-cooked” meal. But did you you know that some English pubs offer superb family accommodation at a fraction of the price of a hotel room? Read on to learn how our family booked a room above a traditional English pub!

Forester_Ealing_pub_garden

The Forester, Ealing had rave reviews on booking.com

On our family’s recent holiday to England, we used booking.com to reserve accommodation above a traditional English pub. True to the online reviews, The Forester Pub in the London Borough of Ealing was a great choice, and an experience we will definitely repeat.

Forester_Ealing_family_room

When we arrived, the was exactly as we had expected, thanks to booking.com’s verified reviews.

Booking.com has traveler verified reviews, meaning only guests that have stayed there may review an accommodation, unlike other sites where almost anyone can leave a review. So, having done our homework, we knew that the family room we’d be staying in would have two comfortable double beds, a small sitting area, coffee and tea facilities and a small but immaculately clean en-suite bathroom. When we arrived, it was exactly as we had expected!

Forester_Ealing_breakfast_pub

The empty pub in the morning was beautiful and calm, with sunlight streaming through the stained glass windows.

Although we had booked “room only”, we were met with a treat: The Forester offers a delicious continental and cooked breakfast to all its guests, served in the pub area.

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Just a little pre-breakfast gambling

As our breakfast was being cooked, the kids pretended to play the poker machines, while a friendly barman cleaned the beer lines behind them. And that’s OK, because this is London!

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The beer garden at The Forester, Ealing. Huge.

The enormous beer garden was the perfect place to keep the toddler busy, while we planned our day of visiting friends and sightseeing.

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A morning breakfast… and a superb evening Thai menu.

In the evening, as the beer garden filled up with local Ealing residents, we splurged on a few drinks and a delicious Thai meal. This is a London thing: there are hundreds of  pubs in London that hand over their kitchens to Thai chefs in the evenings. It seems that beer and fresh spicy food are a winning combination! You can read more about how this trend started in this article from the Financial Times.

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Hunger took priority over food photography here. Delicious.

My 7-year old daughter’s review of the Thai food at the Forester: “OH. MY. GOSH. Whoever invented Thai food deserves an applause!” Agreed. (Thank you, Thailand!)

London with Kids

The Northflieds area in Ealing is ideally located for both Central London and Heathrow

And the location?  The Forester Pub is just off Northfields Avenue in Ealing. We got there by taking a train from Paddington to Ealing Broadway, and then jumping in a London Taxi (black cab) just outside Ealing Broadway station

Northfields Avenue is truly a local place to visit. No tourist attractions, just a a really quirky combination of cafes, newsagents, independent boutiques and restaurants.  It’s also very convenient for Central London or Heathrow.

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Lammas Park, 2 minutes from Northfields station, is 25 acres of fun.

The real memories for our  kids were made at Lammas Park, a 25-acre nature space, about 5 minutes’ walk from The Forester Pub, and 2 minutes walk from Northfileds Underground Station (Picadilly Line).  We caught up with some friends there and the kids spent hours on the most amazing playground equipment.

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Pub accommodation is perfect for families

Any down sides?  The Manager, Dean, says he once received a complaint from a guest about pub noise. In our view, having a slight hum from downstairs was a blessing. My kids are noisier than any football game or pub brawl and in most hotels we have to tread on eggshells. Yes, pub accommodation was just perfect for us! Who would have guessed that a global hotel booking site like booking.com could find us a unique, local English pub?

The Forester, Ealing Details: 

Booking.com

Helen Earley is a Halifax-based travel writer. Her stay at the Forester was sponsored by booking.com

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