Once there was just St John, then former St John chefs started to create their own restaurants using the same template – head-to-tail ingredients in simple but artful combinations, served up in a relaxed setting. The Anchor & Hope, which opened more than a decade ago, is still showing how it’s done. Handy for both the Young and Old Vics, it consists of a straightforward pub divided by a heavy central curtain from a dining room. Bookings aren’t taken, so most evenings you join the waiting list for a table (45 minutes midweek is typical) and hover at the crammed bar enjoying a glass of wine or a pint (a couple from Wells plus a guest on handpump). Unlike some gussied-up gastros, the dining area retains the atmosphere of a pub, in a low-lit, art-festooned room, and the food is terrific: beautifully textured venison kofte were served on perkily dressed little gem lettuce; cleaver-hacked rabbit came savagely red, with salty jus, fat chips and a big pot of béarnaise; and earthy beetroot and goat’s curd salad was lightened by a gentle touch of mint. Puddings tend towards the classic: bakewell tart with heavy-duty clotted cream, say.