Last updated January 2018
An old favourite on the increasingly gentrified Cally Road, The Driver is presumably named after the cattle drovers who would have once spanked their bovine charges along this road to Smithfield Market. Matters beefy have not entirely deserted these parts — The Driver is the best gastropub you'll find in the area, with plenty of red meat on the menu.
Indeed, it seems to get ever-more gastro each time we visit, but those seeking naught but pint are still welcome. You've got five different floors to choose from — a deceptively large ground floor with the main bar, three floors of small function rooms and the tiny roof terrace all the way up top (all refurbished recently). The first and second floors are covered in a spectacular vertical garden, supposedly the first in the UK, although they're now becoming more common.
Come at lunchtime and the place is abuzz with business meetings and office chit-chat. Macmillan publishers are just around the corner, so you might also catch a celebrity or two negotiating that renewed book deal. In summary, if you're after a quiet pint of real ale in a traditional pub, head round the corner to the superb Charles I; if you're after some sophisticated dining in a pubby environment, The Driver is the nuts.
Images courtesy of The Driver.