There’s a seat in this bar that’s the perfect place to sit if you’ve ever dreamed of being a private investigator in a film noir classic. You can recline in your wicker-weaved chair, or rest your forearms on the cold marble table. Take a contemplative draught from the glass in front of you and sneer: “When a woman loves you like that, she can love you with every card in the deck and then pull a knife across your throat the next morning”. Or something similarly uplifting. We didn’t get that table at first. Not this time. The pub up the street had been evacuated for a fire alarm – something to investigate perhaps, leaving the small ground floor room fuller than strictly comfortable with a parade of military officers in full No. 1 dress – potential suspects? Fortunately there was still room to slouch; reclined like a young Bogart as a crisp pint of Japanese lager and a chaser took the rough edges off a long day. We hopped around from table to table as spaces emerged, finally bagging the golden spot after dark as the rest of our party arrived. The table replete with cask-aged house old fashioneds, Smokey Cokeys and Tavern Vespers as the shadows lengthened to subsume the mysterious passers-by on Christopher Street. “Sister, I’ve known some pretty hard cases in my time; you make ‘em all look like putty”. (9 Christopher St. 020 7247 4580).