To misquote the late Brian Moore, this is a pub of two halves. Upstairs is a cultured, calm and almost sedate dining room, within which nouveau Eastenders tuck into expensive but impressive Modern European cooking.
Downstairs in the good-looking pub, built around a handsome central bar, the scene is more boisterous, as easily distracted staff deliver pricey wines and ales to an assortment of vintage-clad creatives who keep the hum of conversation going throughout the night.
It’s at its best earlier in the week: Fridays and Saturdays can be uncomfortably frantic, and the flower market on the doorstep means Sundays can be a crush.
Keen-eyed sitcom enthusiasts may recognise the Royal Oak from its starring role in Goodnight Sweetheart, although the current owners seem strangely reluctant to advertise the source of the pub’s 15 minutes.