With half-a-dozen ornately carved, sumptuously tiled bar areas under one high, stucco ceiling, the Princess Louise is a classic example of the kind of Victorian public house in which drinking was segregated according to social status.
Today, it’s an across-the-board Sam Smith’s pub, with the mediocre beer priced to fly (a pint of Old Brewery bitter goes for a shade over two quid, almost comical by the standards of the area). The full Smith’s range is available by the bottle in the fridges behind the horseshoe island bar; Organic Lager is probably your best bet.
Sandwiches and pub grub satisfy hungrier diners, who are also accommodated in the upstairs bar (mealtimes only). London buses roll past the frosted glass windows as American tourists tentatively sample the strange dark ales at room temperature; across the bar, regulars pass carefully calculated coinage over the counter without looking up from the racing form.