This can make finding somewhere to eat and/or drink difficult.
One half of a couple may be happy to go to somewhere festooned with holly and eat turkey as Frank Sinatra croons Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, while the other half craves the exact opposite: a refuge from forced jollity where they serve a decent pint and a good meal with no hint of cloves or cranberries.
Reconciling these requirements is a challenge, but there is one pub where a pair such as this may be satisfied.
Hidden down a residential street a few minutes walk from Waterloo is the Kings Arms.
Go at this time of the year and you will be greeted with a subtle smattering of Christmas lights and foliage, a solid selection of real ales on draft and two roaring open fires.
There are two rooms at the front of the pub, which share the bar. One has all the windows and is the choicest place to sit when the sun’s out, the other has a roomy booth next to the bar right opposite one of the previously mentioned fires – a perfect reward for thirsty people who’ve slid their way along Roupell Street’s icy pavement to get there.
At the back is a large conservatory with communal tables which, though more modern than the rest of the pub, complements, rather than detracts from the atmosphere. The second of the fires is here at the back.
This a cheery, cosy pub, full of people who live and work in the area and have been coming here for years.
It’s Christmassy but not gaudy and has a most welcoming feel.
I wouldn’t eat here – the Thai food/pub combination is a turn-off for me - but if you’re searching for a warm place to have a pint (Ringwood Brewery’s Forty Niner was drinking nicely last time we were there) or a glass of wine in comfortable surroundings, give the Kings Arms a whirl.
The Kings Arms, 25 Roupell Street, SE1 8TB, 020 7207 0784