This stylish inn dates to 1759, but its moment of fame came in 1838, when Charles Dickens changed its name to the Three Cripples and made it Bill Sikes’ watering hole of choice in Oliver Twist. These days it’s a thriving local with a restaurant serving pan-Asian food and some beautiful bedrooms above the shop. It sits on peaceful Saffron Hill (home to Fagan at the Artful Dodger), with flower baskets and Victorian lanterns on the outside, then painted panelling and Chesterfield sofas within. You’ll find English ales, fancy cocktails, wines from around the world, then some very popular Asian cooking, perhaps chilli salt squid, Asian pork belly with choy sum, vanilla ice cream topped with tamarind caramel. Bedrooms upstairs are delightful – crisp linen, beautiful fabrics, stylish wallpapers, robes in excellent bathrooms. Most are big, none are small, one has a decked terrace, all have comfy beds, coffee machines, smart TVs and super-fast WiFi. Breakfast (7.30am-11am) is brought to your room with a complimentary newspaper. St Pauls, the Barbican and the Tate Modern all within easy reach.