|10-12 Leadenhall Market, EC3V 1LR|
Leadenhall Market is a stunning covered market in the heart of the City of London which I'd somehow managed to ignore for five years until my recent first visit. There are a number of decent boozers in and around the market, not least the Lamb Tavern which claims to have origins dating back to 1780.
But underneath the Lamb lies a cosy little secret named Old Tom. Old Tom's Bar to be precise. This secret den is named after a legendary 19th century goose. This entrepreneurial gander managed to escape slaughter and survived until the grand old age of 38 thanks to the goodwill of the market's traders who fed him and let him roam around. That's my kind of goose, and, appropriately, this is very much my kind of establishment.
On our visit we'd only intended to swing by for a quick drink, but the sight of cheese and charcuterie being generously heaped on to platters behind the bar was too tempting to resist, so we settled in our armchairs for a delicious feast, washed down with some lovely wine.
I'm not in this area much, and when I have been I've always struggled to find somewhere up my street. Old Tom's Bar has most certainly filled that gap.
Cosy rating: 9/10 - gorgeous tiled walls reflect the twinkling candlelight and furniture is characterful and mis-matched.
Secret rating: 7/10 - two of us got a seat with no problem on a Thursday night when other nearby pubs were heaving.
Best bits: Fewer suits than many other local establishments, and very friendly service.
Worst bits: Drinks are a little on the pricey side, but you can't deny they have a classy and varied selection of craft beers and wine.