Dean Street Townhouse's ‘well-padded, ribald bonhomie' generates a dawn-to-dusk momentum that keeps it bang on the money in this upbeat neighbourhood. The dandyish decor mixes studied cool with joyful irreverence (witness the lightly pornographic floral wallpaper), while the ambience is one of frantic enjoyment – gesticulations and guffaws abound as crowds throng the ‘impossibly busy' long bar and squeeze around dimly lit tables. The determinedly old-school menu demands an appetite, with hearty British flavours across the board: buttery smoked-eel kedgeree makes a ‘surprising' starter, seasonal mains run from roast cod with clams and laver bread to lamb rump and tongue with peas and broad beans, while pimped-up, school-dinner throwbacks such as spotted dick dominate desserts. High tea, afternoon tea and Sunday lunch also please at this perennially popular hangout, which fans reckon is ‘one of the best rooms in London'.
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