This is one of the few pubs in London that hasn't been done out in wood at some point. Actually, its squashy benches and Belgravia drunks can seem a bit unnerving when you peer in through the windows. But persevere: the Lowndes Arms has nice staff and one of the most attractive pub gardens in London: a real city garden sunk deep in a well of high houses, with trellises and vines and tables that wobble on the paving. In the summer, the neighbours conduct their lives with the windows open in blissful disregard of the drinkers below, and you can eavesdrop on their rows. It's just like being in Italy.

The Lowndes Arms, Chesham St, SW1 (071-235 2595)

Tomorrow: The Dove, Hammersmith

(Photograph omitted)

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