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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
The enormous beer garden was the perfect place to keep the toddler busy, while we planned our day of visiting friends and sightseeing.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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:
Helen Earley is a Halifax-based travel writer. Her stay at the Forester was sponsored by booking.com