What’s worse than pushing your way through a knot of late-afternoon drunks spilling out of the pub and over the pavement? Being one of them.

Now I make no secret of my loathing for drinking out of doors. Sweating it out on stony pavements or uncomfortable and splinter-making picnic-style tables, breathing the fumes and the cig smoke which hang heavy in the heat (not to mention the contributions of some of last night’s less social pubgoers…) is not for me. But this time of year is my favourite for drinking in London.

While the City roasts, I’m enjoying the wide-open spaces left inside. Last night we were in The Champion: it’s a pub I like with the reservation that I’ve never found myself really comfortable there. I’ve long thought the stained glass in every window in the place to be a bit much. Last night though, the glass looked glorious but kept out unnecessary heat and light. It was cool and shady and my path to the bar was unobstructed. A modern idyll.

Readers of our new sister blog who are concerned that Tom has been neglecting his publy duties will be relieved to hear that he seemed to be enjoying himself too.