A stone’s throw from Old Street station, this 18th-century boozer is a Mecca for hipsters and city slickers alike, who appreciate its no-nonsense pubby vibe, potable tipples and simple but effective food. Drinkers congregate at the ground-floor bar, where three regularly rotated real ales go down well with sophisticated snacks of celeriac soup with truffle oil or scallop ceviche with burnt sweetcorn salsa. However, it’s worth booking ahead for something more special in the subdued upstairs dining room, which puts seasonal produce centre stage – think burrata with pickled radishes, crispy quinoa and mint salad or Swaledale lamb chops with pumpkin pistou, sprouting broccoli and buttermilk dressing. To finish, desserts might feature sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of bourbon toffee sauce. Also, don’t miss the choice of Sunday roasts. No wonder this regal gem still has plenty of devoted followers.