Beer gardens are a rarity in Zone 1. But a beer garden with a genuine double-decker bus must be unique.
That's the little-known attraction at the Old Bank of England pub on Fleet Street. Head round the back of this sturdy McMullen pub and you'll be confronted with a genuine vintage Routemaster.
It's not just a conversation piece, either. Provided it's not closed for a private event (like when our mate Harry launched his Routemaster book here), you're welcome to climb onboard the bus and enjoy your drink at one of the tables — upstairs or downstairs. You can even order food to eat on the bus.
One question everybody has is "how did they back this thing into here?". The beer garden gates seem too narrow for the antique vehicle. The answer is that it had to be craned into the courtyard. Which also means it's probably sticking around for the foreseeable future.
If there's no room on the bus, the pub itself contains one of London's finest bars. Set inside an old banking hall, over two marble-clad levels, this has long been a cherished drinking spot (formerly as a Fullers pub, now under McMullen).
To 'ride' the bus, simply turn up, buy a drink or food, and take your seat. No booking or tickets necessary (or possible). To hire the bus for a private event, see the Old Bank of England's website.
All images by the author.