Be good to the pub and the pub will be good to you: on Friday we were drinking in the Enterprise up by Chalk Farm tube, a boozer I did not immediately take to, in fact it’s fair to say one I took agin. It’s a cousin of the Endurance on Berwick Street, which in a former life was low-rent karaoke hang-out the King Of Corsica and a pub I was warily fond of. The Endurance refit leeched the KoC of its appropriately sleazy character and turned it into a place for loud Soho types who will in later life, perhaps even now, use the phrase ‘watering hole’. It has that nasty combination of spaciousness and crowdedness that blights so many West End pubs. Anyway the Enterprise is more of the same: too wide wooden tables, too few crannies, music that was too loud and too tasteful.

Nonetheless we stuck it out. And we reached that point where the weight of drink inside you generates some sort of gravity field which is only lifted at half eleven. And so things started to improve. The music got better (i.e. the DJ started playing tunes corny old soaks like us would recognise), we learned to match its volume, and the evening culminated in a marvellous piece of pub serendipity. Some drinkers at the bar had ordered a pizza and were scoffing it to our ravening envy. It was my round, as well as the usual late doors halves and rum and cokes Pete demanded some of the pizza, cue laughter, but when I went to the bar what should happen but the guy offered me half a (very nice) (seafood) pizza, which I took back to our table to gasps of awe and delight.

His girlfriend was berating him when I went back for the drinks, ‘You can’t just go giving our food to strangers!’. ‘What’s your name, mate?’, he said to me. ‘Tom’, I replied. ‘He’s not a stranger,’ he said to her, ‘He’s Tom.’ God bless the pub.