ʽʽHi, I’m Benjamin Nunn – critic, gourmand and author of Ben Viveur. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.

You might have read me in an in-flight magazine, or a beer publication, but here on my own blog I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others so anything goes.

I deal with real food and drink in the real world, aiming to create recipes that taste awesome, but which can be created by mere mortals without the need for tons of specialist equipment and a doctorate in food science. Likewise, I tend to review relaxed establishments that you might visit on a whim without having to sell your first-born, rather than hugely expensive restaurants and style bars in the middle of nowhere with a velvet rope barrier, a stringent dress code and a six-month waiting list!

There's plenty of robust opinion, commentary on the world of food and drink, and lots of swearing, so look away now if you're easily offended.

Otherwise, tuck your bib in, fill your glass and turbo-charge your tastebuds. We're going for a ride... Ben Appetit!

London Pub of the Year

So, which is the best damn pub in London? And how much drinking does it take to find out?

Every year, BV tirelessly, dutifully and dedicationtastically embarks on a quest to answer this question. And every Summer, I then give the winners a fantastic trophy to keep for next 12 months. One of the highlights of the year.

There are a couple of rules: each year I revisit the previous years top five, while the bottom five are ineligible for one year - that keeps things fresh. And the 'new' five have to be from five different chains/companies so we don't get too much dominance. 

Pubs are assessed on:
Range of Draught Beer (scored from 0 to 3)
Quality of Real Ale (scored from -2 to 2)
Food (scored from -1 to 1)
Bonus points (up to 3 awarded or deducted) 

(Some these rules have been tweaked over the years, and may have been applied differently in earlier contests.)


  • Due to Lockdown, a 'special award' was made to the Kentish Belle.


  • Part One - Antelope, Craft Covent Garden, Hope, Craft Clerkenwell, Euston Tap(s)
  • Part Two - Albion, Cask, Kentish Belle, Railway, One Inn The Wood
  • The Results


  • Part One - Hope, Craft Covent Garden, Craft Clerkenwell, Euston Tap(s), Pelt Trader
  • Part Two  - Cock Tavern, Antelope, Four Thieves, Green Dragon, Southwark Tavern
  • The Results 


  • Part One - Craft Clerkenwell, Craft Covent Garden, Craft Clapham, Pelt Trader, Tap East
  • Part Two - Euston Tap(s), Wenlock Arms, Hope, Rake, Cask
  • The Results


  • Part One - Craft Clerkenwell, Craft Covent Garden, Craft Clapham, Royal Albert, Pelt Trader
  • Part Two - Cock Tavern, Tap East, Draft House, White Hart, Three Johns
  • The Results


  • Part One - Craft Clerkenwell, Craft Clapham, Rake, Catford Constitutional, Craft Islington
  • Part Two - Crown & Anchor, Royal Albert, Craft Covent Garden, Pelt Trader, Bull
  • The Results



  • Part One - Craft Clerkenwell, Harp, Catford Bridge, Southampton Arms, Euston Tap
  • Part Two - Ravensbourne, Craft Islington, Sebright Arms, Falcon, Pembury Tavern
  • The Results



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