Walking past Disney Place through twirling snowflakes that melt on your nose and eyelashes, there’s a childlike magic in the air – it’s the last day of school! Er, I mean, work.

The last Friday before Christmas is of course Demob Day. Even if you have to nominally work for a few days the following week, you know it’s going to be in a half-empty office, and your most pressing concern will be improving your Souvlaki Tetris high score. Demob Day means you can finally relax. It means all the usual suspects will be in the same pub for once. It means arriving already half-cut thanks to extended lunchtime drinks with your colleagues. It means leaving work early anyway despite said lengthy lunch and bagging a good table.

Step through the thick red curtains into the Lord Clyde and you’ll find a cosy, no-nonsense local’s pub – the kind you’d expect to be open for a few hours on Christmas Day itself – with a central bar crammed with familiar, reliable ales. There may well be a cauldron of mulled wine in the corner too. Everyone is nattering excitably about plans for pub crawls and New Year’s Eve parties and the best way to braise red cabbage. There’s a giant holiday special Dirty Crossword on top of the table and a bag of chocolate brownies from Borough Market underneath it. Three old giffers are tunelessly yodelling along to ‘New York New York’ round the other side of the bar – any other day of the year this would invoke the Gruff Londoner Tut and scowled muttering into one’s pint, but on Demob Day everyone joins in for the chorus.

I’ve been here on a stifling hot summer day and had a lovely (if somewhat cramped) time, but the Lord Clyde comes into its own as the pub equivalent of ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ – a warm retreat from the frosty weather, getting unashamedly sozzled with good friends, safe in the knowledge that school’s out for the year.

(The Lord Clyde Fancyapint page)