If you like to drink in places where the history’s as important as the booze on offer, the Grade II-listed French House should be on your list. Charles de Gaulle used the pub as a workplace during World War II; Dylan Thomas and Francis Bacon both drank here; Fergus Henderson ran the upstairs dining room right before heading off to start St John...the list goes on.
The interior reflects both the Gallic connection and its long standing in this most exciting of London neighbourhoods. It’s small, memento-filled, and very crowded when the place is busy. You may end up joining the regulars on the pavement outside, but that’s just part of the French House experience. Food is served during the daytime only, and beer, famously, is served only in halves (a tradition that was mercifully resumed after a brief pandemic-related switch to full pints). This is Soho history. Come and drink it in.