49 Dean Street Soho London W1D 5BG
Soho’s finest bohemian traditions live on in this mainstay of Dean Street’s demi-monde. True, illustrious former patrons like Francis Bacon and Brendan Behan, not to mention the handlebar-moustached Gallic landlord who gave it its name (who was Belgian, if truth be told), have long since vanished from the scene. However, a set of no-nonsense rules, ensuring no mobile phones, no TV, and no music, means that the French House remains a rendezvous for all those who believe pubs are for conversation and conviviality. Very old-school. Don’t expect to buy a pint of beer, though; only half-pints are sold, along with a wide range of wines and champagnes by the glass.