The Excelsior, 281 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay Tel: 2837 6782 The vibe: this English-pub-style haunt, just off the lobby of the Excelsior, is named after the novelist Charles Dickens, even though it has a sports theme. Alongside sporting memorabilia, there are a number of television sets devoted to sport, but they blend into the decor. The real focal point is the company - though top-40 hits play, the music is drowned out by the sound of happy chatter. The acoustics make it possible to hear everyone at your table with ease over the din of voices. There's a full pub menu with mains such as fish and chips (HK$148, plus 10 per cent service charge on all items), grilled salmon (HK$148) and lamb rogan josh (HK$138), as well as snacks, such as the delightfully crispy garlic fries (HK$68). The drinks: Peachy Iced Tea (HK$82, happy hour HK$58), a take on Long Island Iced Tea, is a potent mixture of gin, rum, tequila, vodka, peach liqueur, lemon juice and cola. The Purple Pearl (HK$75, happy hour HK$53) may not look that appealing, but is refreshing, a slushy concoction of Absolut Citron, creme de cassis and lychee. Another signature drink, Butterscotch Colada (HK$75, happy hour HK$53), is a frothy mixture of butterscotch schnapps and a house colada mix that tastes like liquefied cake. The drinks menu has two pages devoted to wine (starts at HK$65 a glass), and a page devoted to canned and bottled lagers, stouts and ales from around the world (starting at HK$49). The verdict: this is an excellent bar for unpretentious drinks made with care, as well as for lively conversation in a cosy setting.