A hidden gem just off Leicester Square. Yes, really. Such secrets don't come along often, and I'm only letting you in as I won't be in London for much longer to savour its delights myself.
Hidden under red awning between the endless kebab shops and ticket touts, the small door deposits you atop a spiral metal staircase. Below, there's a buzzy, cosy vibe of a not quite authentic French or Italian wine bar.
The wine list is amazing in scope, decent in value and wittily, informatively written. The food menu focuses on classic comfort food with a nod to the owner's Antipodean origins.
The husband's burger is large and decent-tasting, but I am smitten with the cheese and ham pie, the house speciality. Beneath a pastry lid is a savoury heaven, a layered tower of cheese and ham... Mmm, writing about it, I want one now.
We were far too stuffed for the cheese course, so finished off with a couple of glasses of a young Beaujolais Village.
This lovely precursor to the theatre set us back just over £50 for two huge mains, some olives, a bottle of a zesty Spanish white and the glasses of the Beaujolais. Like I said, a gem.
Cork and Bottle, 44-46 Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square, WC2H 7AN; Tel. 0207734 7807; Tube: Leicester Square