The Gunmakers is on a side street next to a bomb-site-turned-car-park but don’t let that put you off. It has lots of natural light, an abundance of space and a bunch of regulars who won’t even make eye contact with you, let alone disturb your furious examination of the latest “absolutely preposterous” Owen Gibson column.
Possible hindrances: There’s a farmer’s market by Marylebone High Street (good bacon rolls, by the way) every Sunday. As a result the pub can, by afternoon, fill up with hyper affluent young couples, still buzzing off their £6 marrow purchase.
The Lord John Russell is a thoroughly nice, fairly dinky pub with a good outdoor seating area that never seems to be that busy. On the weekend this place is almost eerily tranquil.
Possible hindrances: Rugby’s quite popular here so give it a miss while the Six Nations is on. Unless you’re okay with husky, garrulous Irish fellows spilling Guinness on the Review section that you were saving until last because it has the crossword in it, it doesn’t matter now, it’s ruined, no it’s fine.
The Singer Tavern is aggravatingly busy midweek, crammed with the post-work crowd putting off their return to Thrumpton–Upon-Commuter, but the total opposite on a Saturday: there’s no one to cast a disgusted eye when you take up a six-seat table to yourself, and you can nod along to the excellent indie-rock soundtrack (we’ve heard Violent Femmes and The Breeders) without people thinking you’re a freak.
Possible hindrances: The extensive craft-beer selection can trigger over-loud discussions about the provenance of a particular pint, usually segueing into the details of someone’s garden-shed brewing empire.
The Angel was once a thoroughly rubbish pub, but trust us, it’s transformed following a makeover about a year ago – full of comfy leather now. Weekend misanthropists will appreciate the generous spacing of the ground-floor bar – there’s zero chance of a casual pow-wow developing between you and the adjacent table.
Possible hindrances: Wheezing men still wearing shin-pads often arrive en masse as there’s a 5-a-side pitch not far away. But don’t panic – they invariably settle into a passive-aggressive post-defeat silence. Unlucky, lads!
A Grade II listed building, The French House on Dean Street is a legendary spot made famous by writerly types like Dylan Thomas and John Mortimer. It’s also quite empty in the AM, has nice wood paneling (it contributes towards that Legendary Old Soho Ambience) and only serves half pints, meaning you wont end up steaming in a Greek Street gutter at three in the afternoon, shouting to no one in particular about the Telegraph’s “beyond absurd” stance on Brexit.
Possible hindrances: It’s in the middle of Soho so at any point the place could fill up with feckless, decrepit dossers, first-year art school students, and wide-eyed out-of-towners seeking out a nice pinot grigio before the Miss Saigon matinee.
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