Croydon’s cosiest pubs for Christmas: our insider’s guide/2

Most local pubs do make some concessions to Christmas time

In his selfless quest to find Croydon’s cosiest pubs for Christmas, KEN TOWL is heading into the town centre

From South Norwood and Selhurst, arriving in the town centre, so far the Christmas quotient has not risen above 6/10 in the pubs visited.

The Royal Standard has set the standard so far

But further along Wandle Road, and around the corner from well-lit Bull’s Head, is a Fuller’s pub, The Royal Standard (1 Sheldon Street, CR0 1SS). The small pub at the end of a residential street, but literally under the shadow of the Croydon Flyover, defies all that by having all the trappings of cosiness. Inside, it is the very epitome of “snug”. It is divided into small self-contained areas and usually has a buzz of conversation, a friendly atmosphere and a diverse range of clients. Decorations were in evidence but not as much as you might expect from a traditional Fullers pub. The spicy pumpkin soup at £6 raised the bar.

Christmas cosiness rating: 7/10

A sense of humour is essential when running a pub, as they have at the Royal Standard

From the Royal Standard to Fullers’ Croydon flagship pub, The Spreadeagle (39-41 Katharine Street, CR0 1NX) for the full Edwardian splendour of the pie house sub-brand.

Decorations were tasteful and plentiful.

The high ceilings allow for what has to be the biggest tree in any pub in Croydon, 12 feet tall at least.

The cosiness quotient was increased yet further by seasonal food offerings such as spiced parsnip soup (a bargain at £5) and turkey, bacon and chestnut pie for £12.45.

Christmas cosiness rating: 8/10

The Spread Eagle’s decorations are extensive

Next stop, a pub owned by Young’s, the formerly Wandsworth-based brewers, once at the other end of the River Wandle from Croydon, but now operating out of Bedford.

The Dog and Bull on Surrey Street (CR0 1RG), scored highly on the cosiness factor all-year-round, with its leaded windows, comfortable nooks and crannies, tasteful decor, and now with added Christmas trees and illuminated polar bears and deer both inside the pub and in the beer garden. They might have scored more highly if they had had Young’s Winter Warmer on tap.

Christmas cosiness rating: 8/10

Ken’s unquenchable thirst for Christmas, and beer, continues. Follow the footsteps in the snow here…

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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