A charming old pub, though not a place you'd be likely to stumble across tucked away, as it is, on Bruton Place. There has been a pub on the site for over 500 years (longer than most of Mayfair) and its current landlords, Youngs, have been at the helm since 1888. The entire place just feels like a proper old bastion of booze, steeped in history.
There are separate entrances to the beefy restaurant (the Guinea Grill) and the bar area (The Guinea), with a wooden screen separating the customers of each. No gastropub this: ageing carpets and paneling give off a welcoming, vintage feel. Caricatures, cartoons and a photo of an uncomfortable Prince (now King) Charles pulling a pint make up the artwork, and upstairs you can find the 'First Floor Board Room' for 'Private meetings, functions, luncheons and dinners'.
Youngs beers are on tap with the odd guest ale, and wines come from Cockburn & Campbell. The lunch menu is functional but for dinner you can treat yourself to a 'Three Times National Champion' pie.
Rounding things off — oddly — is a selection of autographs of famous visitors to the pub, displayed in the gents, including those of Bob Hope, Bill Cosby, Mel Gibson, Michael Douglas and Graham Norton. This is also, quite possibly, the only pub in London to display a photo of a ruddy-cheeked Eddie Large wielding a knife (see gallery below).