The area around Green Park tube has always struck me as a bad one for pubs, and last night showed that little has changed in the years since I was a regular drinker there. When I worked in Belgravia, there were three distinct types of local boozers – locals (drunk in by, well, locals); workers’ pubs; and management pubs. The ‘workers’ in question were nearly all white-collar types like me, there being few horny-handed sons of toil in the vicinity of Knightsbridge. Moving up to Green Park, though, the locals and workers’ pubs fade from view and every single pub is packed with high-powered suits, all pitching their conversation in that apalling middle ground between Davids Mamet and Brent. There’s no fucking excuse for not delivering; no room for spare wheels on this car; he’s going to get such a fucking rocket; eye pop finger jab cheeks bulge fuck fuck fuck.

After listening to twenty minutes of this standing outside The Clarence on Dover Street (used to be a stripped-pine horror – still is actually, but they’ve nailed a pub front to the outside to fool the unwary), my friends arrived to rescue me and we set off in search of a better pub. We ended up at the Samuel Pepys on Clarges Street, a boozer remarkable only for its absolute averageness, though I was extremely grateful to it and enjoyed the rest of the evening thoroughly. If you had an anthropologist friend, though, or a Martian friend come to think of it, and you wanted to show them a ‘typical pub’, 90s/00s edition, the Pepys would do nicely – utterly standard drinks range, the barest hint of atmosphere, no juker but a lonely fruit machine, Southern Hemisphere bar staff, job-lot bought framed prints and ‘antique’ photos on walls, etc. Really it ought to be listed.