In this rather bleak patch of Stockwell, on a cul-de-sac running from the Wandsworth Road to Larkhall Common near the South Bank University, is a pub that lives up to its name. The Surprise is, indoors, a proper pub of the old school: carpet like bus seats, not many places to sit, things like barley wine on the shelves - none of your sawdust on the floor here. The big surprise, though, is that this place has one of the loveliest pub gardens in London; tables beneath a vined pergola surrounded by the brightest beds and tubs. You used to be able to watch people walk their rottweillers on the Common from here, but now it's a bit like being underwater.

The Surprise, Southville, SW8 (071-828 5322)

Tomorrow: La Paquerelle, Finsbury Square EC1

(Photograph omitted)