My wife and I discovered The Old School Yard in June 2008. From then until the day we left the UK, it was our favourite bar in London.The venue has an incongruous decor, with many of the original features of the pub it replaced still intact. This is mixed with some great paraphernalia and original artwork to set the mood for the 'playtime' in store for the customers. There is a large horseshoe-shaped wooden bar, a comfy lounge/games area, a private outdoor area with a couple of large picnic tables and new features being added all the time.The staff deserve a special mention because they really make the place great. It's rare to find such a warm welcome and once they know your name, they never forget it.When you place your order from the amazing menu (hand-drawn artwork with each section a different school lesson theme) you can watch in awe as your drink is prepared with flair bartending of the highest calibre. The drinks are among the best mixed, finest quality cocktails I've tasted, even compared with bars charging two or three times as much per drink. The ingredients are always fresh and some drinks even change a little depending on the market availability, but it all adds to the experience... especially if you become a regular, which is pretty likely. If you're lucky, you might get asked to sample the latest concoction as the bartenders experiment in front of you.I personally learned how to appreciate good liquor thanks to the expert knowledge of the guys who run the place. I also developed a healthy appreciation for Jagermeister, which punctuates the main drinks at regular intervals.We're now based in Tokyo, so we don't get to go as often as we'd like any more (!) but we have extremely fond memories of some unforgettable evenings with the friendliest bar in SE1, London and beyond.