This Soho institution may have mellowed somewhat since self-proclaimed ‘London’s rudest landlord’ Norman Balon finally hung up his polishing cloth in 2006, but there’s still plenty to make it stand out from the crowd. There are ten flavours of pickled eggs, for starters, plus an all-vegetarian food menu and, upstairs, a small ‘secret’ tea room. Decor, meanwhile, is stuck firmly in the past, with carpets worn threadbare by decades of post-work sessions.
It all adds up to a curious mix of old-timey standards and progressive ideas which, crucially, work together like a charm. We seriously doubt there’s anywhere else in the city you’ll hear a rendition of ‘My Old Man’s A Dustman’ while chomping on a tofu burger.