This pub was voted among the best in Soho by Londonist readers.
Had you popped in here during the 1980s, you may well have found Spectator columnist Jeffrey Barnard propping up the bar. In fact, it’s this very pub that Keith Waterhouse immortalised in his play Jeffrey Barnard is Unwell. The pub’s famously rude landlord, Norman Balon, is now retired so you’re free to sample its reasonable range of beers, or even a pickled egg, in peace. The place is still regularly referred to as Norman's, though, even on the pub sign.
In contrast to many Soho pubs it’s light and airy, and feels like it hasn’t changed much from the 1970s. Private Eye have their fortnightly lunches upstairs in what is widely advertised all around and outside the pub as 'secret tearooms' (unusually, you have to pass behind the bar to reach the stairs), and on an evening you might well catch a piano sing-a-long or local watercolour artist.