The scene If you can find the place – there’s a (not really) secret back entrance, or the main doors which you’ll stumble to via a cobbled street – it’s like stepping back in time.

Standing proud as one of London’s oldest watering holes having opened its doors as a pub in 1772, the Lamb & Flag has boasted esteemed regulars including Charles Dickens.

The venue has admirably clung steadfast to its roots, although it has seen some of its traditions slip through the net, including, thankfully, its reputation for bare-knuckle fighting that once earned it the nickname ‘The Bucket Of Blood’.

Inside is small with dim lighting, a dark wooden bar and floor, leather chairs and creaky narrow stairs leading to another bar and dining area.

Although it’s always so busy, if you can get a seat, it’s a miracle.

I’m sure punters don’t leave at night just so they can hold on to a table.

The grub Proper pub grub: fish ‘n’ chips, sausage ‘n’ mash, Sunday roasts. 

Behind the bar As well as the usuals, you’ll find a superb selection of guest ales, including London Pride, ESB, Chiswick, Seafarers, and more than 40 whiskies.

Bill please Mains from £8.95; pints about £4.15; whiskies £2.80-£15. 

Verdict Order a tankard of beer with extra froth, clink glasses with the Cockney next to you and belt out Oom-Pah-Pah for a taste of historic London. 

%TNT Magazine% stars 4

33 Rose Street,
WC2E 9EB  
Tube | Covent Garden