The pub is at the heart of London’s existence and is one of the capital’s great social levellers. Pubs in central London are mostly drinking dens, busy from 5pm onwards with the postwork crowd during the week and revellers at weekends. But in more residential areas, pubs come into their own at weekends, when long lunches turn into afternoons and groups of friends settle in for the night. Some specialise in beer and real ales, offering drinks from local microbreweries, fruit beers, organic ciders and other rarer beverages; others (especially “gastropubs” serving decent food) have invested in a good wine list. Generally opening later than pubs (but closing earlier than clubs), bars often have DJs, may charge for entry after 11pm, tend to have more modern decor than pubs and serve fancier (and pricier) drinks, including cocktails. Specialist cocktail bars are in a league of their own in London, with fantastic drinks – often the barmen’s own creations. We’ve chosen ten of our favourites across the city.