I discovered a pub in Hereford called the Lichfield Vaults. It would have been known by this name when I lived in the city. It was remodeled in 1914 so I would have been familiar with the older layout.
This site says of the pre-1914 layout:
“Before the alterations took place, the ground floor plan consisted of a large L-shaped smoke room towards the rear of the building, which was approached by a long side passage. It was very much a meeting room with wall seating and two fireplaces. At the front of the building was a minute public bar, about 8 feet long by 5 feet wide – smaller than a prison cell – and inevitably with standing room only.”
That is very much the same description as a pub where I and a group of friends in London went back in 2004. I can’t remember the name of the place now, seems it was off Tottenham Court Road. It had the small, intimate room in the back with a small, crowded bar up front (though not as small as the one at the Lichfield Vaults). I remember feeling strangely at home there, as though I remembered being in a similar space with gents in bowlers and the thick smoke from pipes and cigars clouding the air.
Now I know where that space might have been. There’s a good chance I frequented the Lichfield Vaults.