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The Louise is the archetypal Victorian pub. To walk into this Grade II-listed time capsule is effectively to step back into the 19th century. It lacks only the fug of Old Holborn tobacco and an argument about corn laws, but otherwise it's the real deal. Take your pick of the numerous segregated rooms, which fan out around the central bar.
The dividers are from a successful restoration a few years back (OK, so not entirely real deal), giving the pub an even more authentic feel than of old, if that were possible. It's beautiful, if a little awkward for spotting your mates.
Those in search of a quiet corner should try upstairs, where a relaxed and salutary drinking and eating space beckons (you’ll find a ‘secret’ stairway to the right of the entrance if you want to avoid squeezing through the main bar). Gentlemen and adventurous women should check out the urinals, which are also Grade II listed.
The drink selection is nothing to write home about — a typical Sam Smith’s choice — bottles might be your best bet. But we’re here for the decor rather than a special tipple.