90 St Martin’s Lane Covent Garden London WC2N 4AP

For Victorian high-camp splendour, all gilt and mirrors, this huge old pub, around the corner from Leicester Square tube station, can’t be beat. Given its central location, it’s always catered to a wildly varying clientele – a rendezvous for London’s gay community ever since the heyday of Oscar Wilde, it was also big in the 80s with braying Sloane Rangers. Nowadays it’s a stalwart for all kinds of people, rubbing along happily while enjoying a decent range of beers, plus a very extensive, and very un-fancy, food menu, on which fish’n’chips is generally the best bet. Ultimately, though, it’s the decor that’s the big draw – and, in this era of blandifying and gentrifying, it’s difficult to resist.

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