27 Coldharbour, Docklands, London E14, 020 7515 5222, www.thegundocklands.com

In an area so packed with Slugs, Lettuces and All Bars Ones that the air around Canary Wharf is permanently scented with the aroma of Marlboro Lights and Red Bull, The Gun is like a little island of calm in a sea of Stella. A short walk from the heaving commercial centre of E14, it is a world away from the hordes of indistinguishable moneymen who make a Friday-night drink after work look like one of the inner circles of hell.

In its long history, The Gun has seen more and less salubrious times. In the late 18th-century, Lord Horatio Nelson used it for sly reconnoitres with Lady Emma Hamilton. (I'm sure Ms Hamilton would be thrilled to know that there is now a ladies' loo in a pub in east London named after her.) In more recent history, the 250-year-old Grade-II-listed building became a dodgy boozer, before it mercifully burnt down and was lovingly restored. Modern Horatio'*'Emmas now meet on the heated, decked terrace, with its romantic view over the Millennium Dome. The pub took its name from the gun that was fired to celebrate the opening of the West India Docks in 1802, but the most explosive thing here now is the Hoegaarden, which slips down frighteningly easily with a log fire and the world's chunkiest chips. It's a good job they didn't serve them in 1790, or the Napoleonic Wars might have turned out very differently.

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