Veer to the left of the Hotel Otrar until you see the large, slightly bizarre poster featuring George Bush and Barack Obama that announces the entrance to Barrel Bar. There’s more distinctive artwork inside, including another huge poster depicting a cheerful Oriental gentleman alongside the words: ‘scotch and beer makes people happy’. An excellent philosophy for a bar and one it delivers on, as both are well-represented on the drinks menu (along with other spirits, cocktails and wines). Don’t be put off by the lavishly-photographed food menu, as there’s good eating to be had here, too – try the moreish assorted pasties or the retro chicken Kiev. There’s a bustling bar area and plenty of tables but it’s advisable to book ahead, especially on weekends when there’s music from the resident band plus special guests. A bar you simply must prop up.