The scene Off-the-wall decor includes stone portraits, sculptures and mosaics of jolly friars singing carols, gardening and larking about in their robes.

In the smaller marble and alabaster chapel-style room, there’s an arched, tiled ceiling and profound etchings on the walls that read “haste is slow”, “silence is golden” and “wisdom is rare” – things to ponder about over a pint, perhaps?

Built in 1875, the place was redesigned in 1905 by its open-minded proprietor Alfred Pettitt, his architect H Fuller-Clark and artist Henry Poole.

Their cosy winter pub design is as unique a place to drink, just as it would have been more than 100 years ago.

The grub Expect typical London pub grub like fish and chips, as well as fancy dishes including venison sausage and mash, and wild boar burgers.

Behind the bar A decent selection of guest ales. When we went there was Orkney Brewery’s malty Dark Island, Itchen Valley Brewery’s citrusy Dana and Red Squirrel‘s creamy London Porter. There’s also a good range of European wine and spirits.

Bill please Cocktails from £4.50; small glasses of wine from £3.50; beers from £3.50 a pint; snacks from £2.50; main meals from £8.95.

Verdict Plain and simple: we love this pub. 

174 Queen Victoria St, EC4V 4EG  
Tube | Blackfriars