18 Old Compton Street Soho London W1D 4TN
Any Londoner who has been young and/or broke has eaten at Stockpot, the no-nonsense, no-frills caff that’s been feeding hungry and impoverished Soho types since the late 1950s. The extensive menu is dominated by English food – rather more reminiscent of home cooking or school dinners than Fergus Henderson or Jamie Oliver – with lots of familiar Italian-style staples, and its time-warpish feel matches the decor, which features more honeyed pine than a 1970s Habitat catalogue. This is by no means gourmet food, and you may be unlucky and order a duff dish, but it would take a churlish soul, tucking into a plate of liver, onions and mash, spag bol or fish and chips, followed by rice pudding or apple crumble with hot custard, not to enjoy this relentlessly old-school experience. Oh, and bring the kids – they love Stockpot, not least for its friendly, relaxed atmosphere.