When you think of Soho, one of the first things to spring to mind, aside from tarts and tramps, is old drunk men of putative intellectual standing surrounded by young women who haven't yet discovered that buying the old gents drinks won't further their literary ambitions. The French House, a cramped pub with about 10 seats, is part of the epicentre of that cultural life. Even in winter, you can find people hunched on the pavement outside its tobacco-tinged efflorescence, watching the world go by and soaking up an atmosphere that hasn't changed much since Soho club hostess Ruth Ellis died. The restaurant upstairs is a bit gentler on the uninitiated.
The French House, Dean St W1 (071-437 2799).
Tomorrow: The Eagle, Farringdon Rd EC1.