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When Guy Fawkes Night comes around, what better way to brace yourself against the whizzes and bangs of London’s fireworks or warm yourself up after a night of standing in the cold than to pop into a local bistro, gastropub or wine bar for a restorative tipple or some rib-sticking winter food? Read Square Meal’s suggestions for the best food-and-fireworks combo in your area.
This good-looking Victorian pub does a good range of real ales plus winter warmers such as bangers and mash and Lancashire hotpot, as well as seasonal specials such as venison pie with buttered kale and butternut-squash risotto.
High-ceilings, white walls, shiny spherical lampshades and striking contemporary artwork set the scene for some carefully wrought, casual Italian food at this tasteful bar and dining room near Battersea Park overground station.
For a longer-than-average pub wine list and dishes including steak, shepherd’s pie and evening specials such as roast cod with curried lentils, head to this characterful gastropub-by-numbers from the ever-reliable Geronimo Inns chain.
There’s plenty to tempt in Brixton Village, although its popularity means you need to book ahead or be prepared to queue. Thai restaurant Kaosarn will warm you up with a chilli hit, Honest Burgers' generous portions will stick to your ribs, while Okan offers sizzling, budget-friendly Japanese pancakes.
If you’re looking for some spicy comfort food to warm you up after the fireworks, head to Lombok in Herne Hill, purveyor of pan-Asian goodies, from Burmese yellow curries to satay chicken, and wok-fried Singaporean chilli crab.
Cosy rooms, a lived-in feel, and guest ales make this gastropub a second home for many Herne Hill locals in winter. Add to this its perfect location opposite Brockwell Park, and The Prince Regent is a no-brainer. It’s bound to be busy on Bonfire Night.
This rustic Italian makes for a cracking post-fireworks supper. Wash hearty pasta and classics such as calves’ liver or Sicilian caponata down with one of the big-hitting reds on the wine list.
Inject a touch of glamour to your Bonfire Night bash at Rowleigh Leigh’s marble-topped oyster bar. Pick-and-mix seafood options include anything from native oysters to dressed crab, while buttery omelettes or steak and chips will warm the cockles – as will a glass or two of Champagne.
Authentically flavoursome Malaysian food that has the stamp of approval from the area’s ex-pat community is the order of the day here. The bargain-priced menu includes dishes such as sea bass poached in tamarind soup with lemongrass, or squid sambal.
This Spanish-influenced gastropub mixes Brit favourites such as ham-hock-and-pistachio terrine and roast guinea fowl to Iberian delicacies including chickpea-and-tomato stew and pata negra ham. It’s a popular hang-out for Bloomsbury foodies, and there’s plenty here to like.
This picturesque inn with well-stocked cellars majors in traditional plates, from ploughman’s to sausage and mash and Spam fritters.
A wine bar of the old school located on one of London’s loveliest streets, Vats boasts a well-rounded 100-bin list plus wine-friendly snacks such as smoked-haddock mousse and confit duck.
Hidden away on a residential backstreet in Barnes, The Brown Dog is worth seeking out for hearty dishes that hit the spot, such as cottage pie and fruit crumble. Or pop in for a selection of cheeses from La Fromagerie accompanied by a nice glass of red.
On the Barnes side of Richmond’s vast parkland is The Idle Hour, an enjoyable little pub with a cosy bar and a kitchen that takes pride in sourcing its ingredients. Enjoy tub-thumping British fare such as the house organic burger with onion marmalade and goose-fat fries, followed by sticky-toffee pudding – perfect for Guy Fawkes Night.
Civilised and spacious, this top-notch gastropub at the Putney end of Richmond Park offers gut-busting snacks such as ‘pig sandwiches’ and Scotch eggs for a casual post-fireworks feast. The à la carte is excellent, too – don’t miss the much-lauded salt-caramel chocolate fondant.
This handsome pub mixes the traditional and the trendy to stylish effect. The tiny venue is good for a cosy pint and a game of backgammon after the fireworks, while food runs to stomach-warming pies.
A proper cosy pub for Bethnal Green locals, The Florist is a typical street-corner boozer frequented by all and sundry, who come here to lounge on battered leather sofas or prop up the bar with pints of draught ale. Limited food options include decent pizzas.
Warm your cockles at this scruffy, hybrid pub/club venue – a music lovers' retreat that serves burgers, basic pub grub and pizzas.
Claude Bosi’s swanky inn is perpetually packed with Wimbledon foodies. Drop in for a homemade Scotch egg and a pint of ale at the bar, or book a table in advance and feast on a reviving plate of pork belly with crisp crackling, or a slice of treacle-and-pecan tart.
Ex-Bord’eaux chef Ollie Couillaud has resurfaced in the neighbourly environs of Wimbledon Village with the launch of this friendly ‘local hub’. Tuck into gutsy French dishes with a seasonal bent such as herb-crusted lamb’s tongues with sauce ravigote.
Take in a panoramic view of London and its fireworks from Altitude 360, the tallest riverside building on the Thames.
With floor-to-ceiling windows and views spanning the capital from north to south, this sky-high gem is one of the best places to see London’s fireworks displays.
Visitors can enjoy an easterly view from the comfort of this rooftop restaurant’s dining room.
Views of the Thames and St Paul's give the Oxo Tower’s terrace an exceptional perspective, all the way across central London to Primrose Hill.
The highest restaurant in London, Vertigo sits 42 floors up in Tower 42; from this vantage point, diners can see almost five miles in all directions. Bag a south-facing table for views of the Thames, Tower Bridge and St Paul’s.