Sure, it’s a tourist trap, but one of the good, authentic ones that gives a real sense of its history and the obligatory head-smacking staircase. It’s a rarity where Ye Olde actually means bloody ancient and is must-visit when relatives or friends keen for a proper slice of London are in town.

The cosiest and quirkiest of the many rooms is immediately on your right as you enter, with a fireplace, bar and historical types on the walls. It used to be gentlemen only, but now it’s impossible not to strike up a chat with those of both sexes sharing nearby tables.  

The grub An average stab at homely pub grub, with a much more mash than seafood fish pie (£7.95), but the fish and chips (£9) gets the crispy batter/ flakey flesh balance on the money. Other pub staples are available too.    

Behind the bar Brews from Samuel Smith (Yorkshire’s oldest brewery) work a treat here, with a light-flavoured lager, a bitter and a cracking wheat beer. Prices could be much worse than they are in this part of town.   

Bill please Beers from £2.90 a pint. Wine from £3 for a small glass. 

Verdict A must-visit for Londoners and visitors

145 Fleet Street, EC4A 2BU  
(tel. 020 7353 6170)  
Tube | Blackfriars City, Thameslink