One of London's oldest pubs is Old Dr. Butler's Head, a Dickensian spot named after a quack who claimed to cure epilepsy by firing pistols next to his patients' craniums. Located near the financial district, it's favored by brokers and barristers who pack in for pints of Shepherd Neame, said to be the first beer brewed in England.

A friendly new brewpub with old roots is The Porterhouse, owned by a family of Irishmen. Built on a World War II bomb site, it stocks 120 bottle beers and nine on draught. But don't ask for a Guinness; the owners brew their own Irish stouts.

By the way, tipping is discouraged in conventional pubs. Instead, buy the barman a drink when you order, as in, "I'd like a bitter, a lager, and one for yourself." And if you're with a pal or a group, don't just pony up for your own drink. Pub etiquette holds that you always buy a round.

"Barman, another round. And one for yourself."
LONDON BAR BEAT
American Bar,
Savoy Hotel, Strand; 011-44-207-836-4343

Anglesea Arms,
15 Selwood Terrace; 011-44-208-749-1291

Claridge's Bar,
Claridge's, 55 Brook St.; 011-44-207-629-8860

The Cow,
89 Westbourne Park Rd.; 011-44-207-221-5400

Detroit,
35 Earlham St.; 011-44-207-240-2662

Evangelist,
33 Black Friars Ln.; 011-44-207-213-0740

The Grenadier,
18 Wilton Row; 011-44-207-235-3074

Library Bar,
Lanesborough Hotel, 1 Hyde Park Corner;
011-44-207-259-5599

Matchbar,
37-38 Margaret St.; 011-44-207-499-3443

Old Dr. Butler's Head,
Masons Avenue off Coleman St.;
011-44-207-606-3504

Pharmacy,
150 Notting Hill Gate; 011-44-207-221-2442

The Porterhouse,