One of London's most famous pubs, and you'll see why before you ever step in the door. This Nicholson's pub is an art nouveau architectural curiosity — wedge-shaped and adorned with mosaics, ornamental balconies and a guardian black friar. Inside, you'll find further decoration, with copper reliefs showing monks getting up to monkish things. (If you hadn't guessed by now, the pub sits on the site of the old Blackfriars monastery.) The ornate dining room/alcove has to be seen to be believed. There's also a spacious outside area — a rarity in the City. And to think the place almost got knocked down in the 1960s.
A splendid selection of ales makes this place doubly special. We like to think of the Blackfriar as the unofficial waiting room for Blackfriars Station across the road. Which is handy, because the Thameslink service that runs on a viaduct above the pub is exceptionally prone to delays.