Sweaty arms, clammy knees. Bag heavy with laptop and a change of clothes. And four hardback books bought from a dodgy looking bookshop opposite Kings Cross Station.

I couldn’t have done that on the way home?!

Four hours of software training weighs heavy, countless lost minutes suffering from syntax and segmentation, not to mention the unfulfilled honeymoon dreams of the course leader.

Lord save me.

Instead The Lamb does, just off Grays Inn Road.

It’s on a quiet street, with a reassuringly traditional green-tiled exterior. The mosaic entrance hall beckons from across the street.

Inside mahogany dominates and the woes of the world are left outside in the sun, too scared the cross the threshold and face the shadows of the snob screens.

Early afternoon respite is a pint of guest ale and a good book, perched on a window stool occasionally eavesdropping the banal conversations of regular patrons, who are few and far between.

An hour and two and a half pints later trade picks up. Tourists poke their heads in, some take a punt on this poky oasis in the heart of London, others can’t quite get their heads around what the pub is for and retreat to the sun and the search for a ubiquitous coffee shop.

You could call the Lamb ubiquitous or common, or traditional, or aged or out of date. But where else can one read in peace without being bothered for another latte, or interject on a conversation about Bobby Fischer and end up talking about the wonder of eighteenth century engineering whilst the staff play chess?

If the coffee houses of Vienna were the melting pot for political strategy and evolution of football tactics then pubs like the Lamb are surely Britain’s philosophical front room. And pubs like the Lamb don’t have the same financial clout as those omnipresent frappucino chains.

If the Lamb did for Charles Dickens and Ted Hughes, then The Lamb’ll do for me.

<blockquote>The Lamb, along with Lamb’s Conduit Street, was named for William Lamb who helped renovate Holborn Conduit back in the 16th century, thus improving access to fresh water in the area. A stroll along the street reveals a clutch of independent shops and the People’s Supermarket who have Bethnal Pale Ale (mmmm!) in their local beer fridge.