The Warrington Hotel was the first pub I visited after moving to London in the summer of 1994. As such, it skewed my expectations of the city’s hostelries: not only was the bar itself a gloriously over-the-top shrine to art nouveau glass, carved mahagony and ornate ironwork (installed in a 1900 refurb to rebrand the establishment from its knocking shop reputation), but Martin Gore of Depeche Mode was holding court at the bar (the BBC’s nearby Maida Vale studios ensured a steady supply of once and future popstrels). Tragically few of the London boozers I have visited since have lived up to this initiation.

Considering its chi-chi environs, the Warrington was still a remarkably unaffected and welcoming pub – you get the impression that many of the local Wood and Vale residents weren’t keen to frequent a place that resisted makeover and gastrofication. But it was evidently only a matter of time. Paying a visit last week, we noticed a sign on the stairwell notifying us that the property had recently been purchased by Gordon Ramsay Holdings (supposedly for £5.2 million ) and was shortly to be closed for refurbishment.

The sign suggested that this would take place at the end of January, so if you’re inclined you still have a week or two to pay your first visit or your final respects to a beautiful pub before it’s gone, in spirit at least, forever.