Pete’s being overly harsh about the George (and the Market Porter for that matter). The George is a fabulous-looking pub and serves fine beer. I agree that the service leaves a good deal to be desired when the place is busy, and I’ve never eaten there. But the place is best thought of as a big, moderately touristy, City boozer, and the prices are in line with that, as is the mode of service: they just let you get on with it. That’s no excuse for a lack of attentiveness to customers’ lemon requirements, of course. Notwithstanding the ventilation in the little room we took over, I think it’s surprisingly comfortable: it needs to get very full before there’s nowhere to lounge.

The George is by no means my favourite London pub (in fact, there are several I prefer within quarter of a mile of its HM Prison Slade portals) but it’s a long, long way from a bad boozer. What’s more, it’s unique in being a surviving galleried coaching inn. More important, it’s unusual in that it can accommodate quite large groups of drinkers while remaining usable for others and retaining real character along the way.