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                    [title] => Comedor Grill & Bar
                    [teaser] => A little bit of South America in Islington
                    [description] => 
	Perfect for meat lovers and veggies. This little restaurant does a fantastic array of small and medium dishes, which you can have in a tapas sharing type style. All are very healthy (quinoa stuffed aubergine- yum!) and incredibly tasty. Alternatively you can pick from a array of steaks and general meat. This place really does have something for everyone and does it so well. It's barely known and people often overlook this little gem for the busy 'blue legume' next door.

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                    [postcode] => N1 1RG
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                    [programme_title] => Comedor Grill & Bar
                    [programme_teaser] => A little bit of South America in Islington
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                    [title] => Jerusalem Tavern
                    [teaser] => The finest pub in Farringdon. Hands down. Knees up…
                    [description] => 
	Wetherspoon’s this is not. Jerusalem Tavern was built on England’s green and pleasant land, ages ago. 1720 to be precise (although, for the history police, the present pub has only been open since 1996). It’s full of creaky crooks and crannies with an outstanding array of real ales on tap.
	
	Not really enough room to swing a cocker spaniel but that’s ok because the crowd spills out onto the street outside. The beer on offer is from St Peter's Brewery in Suffolk, served from several small wooden casks stationed behind the bar. From fruity ones to organic ones, though sadly they don’t count as your 5-a-day. On that subject, the food is very simple, hearty and gastro.
	
	From the firkins to the fireplace, this place is as a pub should be. Wooden tables. Wooden floors. Real ale. No music. And no TV. Ripe for real conversations and setting the world to right.
	
	Now, bring me my pint of burning gold.
	
	Thanks for the tip off: Andrew Gough and Jenny Rose.

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                    [latitude] => 51.5217
                    [longitude] => -0.103787
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                    [programme_title] => Jerusalem Tavern
                    [programme_teaser] => The finest pub in Farringdon. Hands down. Knees up…
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                    [title] => Battersea Barge
                    [teaser] => Barge plus booze plus burgers plus cabaret. A winning combo.
                    [description] => 
	Battersea Barge isn't classically conveniently located, but that's half the fun. Navigate your way through the riverside industrial roads of Nine Elms, past an array of boats that are essentially floating mansions – some including fully grown trees - and you'll come to the little white gangway that takes you onto the (static) barge. Think twice before donning the 6” stilettos for this little mission.
	
	Head inside and you'll find a bar that's just kitschy enough, dated enough, intimate but spacious enough to be a true quirky treasure. There are two levels, and an outside for the summer months. Upstairs is a seating area that’s a mightily effective crossbreed of a pub and a boat, with stunning views of the Thames and Battersea Power Station. Down the spiral stairs is where the magic happens. A well stocked bar area with a little stage at one end, draped by obligatory red velvet curtains, and a platform which has seen more than its fair share of platform shoes and feather boas over the years. Acts are pretty risqué, the Christmas pantomime a particular treat, and the standard is excellent. Add to that some of London's friendliest staff and you've got yourself a pretty memorable night. Food comes in the form of the hearty and first-rate finger variety, including the eponymous bargeburger.
	
	A visit to the facilities is also a particularly amusing treat for the gents... And make sure you order a taxi in advance to get you home.

	This was orginally published on the Telegraph.co.uk

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                    [postcode] => SW8 5BP
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                    [longitude] => -0.137992
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                    [programme_title] => Battersea Barge
                    [programme_teaser] => Barge plus booze plus burgers plus cabaret. A winning combo.
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                    [title] => The Foragers at the Skyroom
                    [description] => 
	When I first heard the phrase 'Foragers at Skyroom', a very confused mélange of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Daniel Craig and the London Eye entered my warped little mind. Still, I thought - give it a chance. And thank the holy trinity I did.

	This place is the very definition of a revelation. Based around the simple premise of cooking with what's available via foraging in the wild outdoors, this venture has taken root in a little box on a fifth floor in Tooley Street, SE1, and produced some of the best food and drink I've had in years. The vibe is so swish and relaxed it could be horizontal, but there's an unmistakable air of class in the rarified air of The Foragers.

	From gin cocktails produced by resident sister project 'The Gin Shed', involving such delights as rhubarb shrub and camomile tea, to a venison burger that actually needs to be savoured to be believed, Debbie and her crew have just got this absolutely nailed. The décor ranges from suggestive but understated graffiti in a dizzying array of languages to beautifully-placed and arranged foodie produce, patio heaters and wonderfully understated rustic seating.

	Bearded cool kids mingle easily with first-dating types and smiling groups of friends. In short - please get there while you can - this, my friends, is one of London's great secrets; oh, and I didn't mention that they're only around for another fortnight. Time is of the essence. After all, where else in London Bridge are you going to find pickled sea purslane?

	By Ben Duckworth

	Dinner is £30 for 3 courses.

	The Skyroom
	5th Floor Magdalen House
	136-148 Tooley St
	London SE1 2TU

	18th & 25th May
	Sittings at 6pm & 8pm

	The Foragers at the Skyroom

	The Foragers' main site

	The Foragers' Facebook

	 

	

	

	

	

	 

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                    [id] => 1422
                    [title] => Vault Festival
                    [description] => 
	Vault Festival is well under way, a pageant of the bizarre and brilliant in the ever enticing Old Vic Tunnels. Even getting in there in the first place is a something of a transformative experience; from the hectic York Road, to the freshly decorated graffiti mecca that is Leake Street, to the magic little door that marks the entry to the tunnels themselves, all in a few short skips.

	The festival is a 6 week extravaganza of artistic and cultural programming, in one of London's most remarkable spaces, right beneath Waterloo station. Tuesday to Saturday each week they cram in a baffling array of performances; it's genuinely difficult to describe what's on as there's such a variety, but broadly it's a bit of comedy here, music there and a whole lot of theatre, lush lighting and outrageous outfits.
	
	We hit up Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the headline show which runs throughout the festival. Housed in a small vault at the back with stadium-esque seating, the views are uninterrupted and the show unbridled; a kind of acid trip of a performance befitting of the Hunter S's no doubt blurry vision.
	
	After the show(s) everyone heads to the bar… the it's a well charged and friendly atmosphere. A glance around suggested that bourbon seemed to be the drink of choice with a small but delicious selection of cocktails so we started experimenting. Pro tip: avoid the one that goes by the name ‘strong one'... unless you're into petrol.
	
	Add in nibbles stalls, nooks and crannies to explore on a rolling agenda of top notch programming and you've got yourself a great little evening. Head down while you can. Check out the full listings here: https://www.thevaultfestival.com/shows/
	
	By Chris Jones

	Vault Festival, Old Vic Tunnels, Waterloo, until March 8th 2014

	

	Shot by Luke Doyle

	

	Shot by Jack Abraham

	

	Shot by Jack Abraham

	

	

	

	

	Shot by Nobby Clarke

	

	Shot by Nobby Clarke

	

	Shot by Nobby Clarke

	 

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                    [id] => 1505
                    [title] => Chop Shop
                    [teaser] => Chop Shop is a little oasis of tasty cool amongst the crowds of Piccadilly Circus 
                    [description] => 
	
		Piccadilly. The name alone is enough to strike fear in to the heart of all but the bravest of Londoners – the crowds, the cameras, the oversized Primark bags, the queues just to get down in to the tube… however, most of us will have found ourselves hungry and stranded in this ‘buzzy’ heartland around dinner / lunch o’clock (often with visitors from out of town that you really want to impress), gazing desperately up at the vast array of neon signs wondering “is the Aberdeen Steakhouse really that bad?” Well, the answer is still probably yes, but the good news is that this notorious tourist trap of an area is slowly coming back to the people, and if you know where to look, you can actually find one or two rather great little places to hang out. Chop Shop on Haymarket is just such a place.
	
		 
	
		From the minute you enter you know you’ve stepped off the busy streets and into a welcoming, ambient haven. The huge renovated ceramic tiles decorating the bar and walls offer a flavour of the Mediterranean and the long bar is the perfect place to sit for a beer or – heaven forbid – a glass of chilled Sherry (trust me, it’s delicious and goes very well with lots of their little bar snacks).  They also have a range of cocktails, but why stop there? It’s no surprise from the name that Chop Shop has a speciality, and that is meat. Sourcing USDA certified beef, they have created a mouth-watering, easy-to-share menu that’s predominantly meaty, but also caters for omnivores alike. From inventive takes on classic dishes (pulled pork sausage rolls anyone?) to lovely little creations like white onion mousse with chervil oil, and an insanely moreish take on ‘cottage pie’ with braised Ox tail and basil gnocchi, the food really is the star of the show here.  Coupled with friendly staff and the sort of vibe that wouldn’t be out of place in Faringdon or Clerkenwell, Chop Shop is a little oasis of tasty cool in amongst the Hard Rock cafés and endless Itsu outlets that otherwise line this part of town.


	 

	By Emily Monsell

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                    [id] => 897
                    [title] => Barts
                    [teaser] => The self described worst kept secret in London
                    [description] => 
	Barts is a well and truly hidden cocktail den, nestled within the portered Chelsea Cloisters apartments. It may be hidden, but it certainly isn't shy. Uncle Barts, as he likes to call himself, (your cool uncle, not the one who works for the council) is a late night West London speakeasy bar that injects a bit of joi de vivre into a part of town that has been known to take itself a little seriously.
	
	A short trot from Sloane Avenue, and in through the apartment block doors; entrance is made via ringing a door bell. You wait for the little hatch to open up and a pair of inviting eyes suddenly appear to see if there's space to accommodate. Regulars and members, however, are rewarded with their own keys so they can pretty much call Barts their second home if they wish.
	
	You walk in and can't help but notice (and steal a knowing smirk at) the quirky selections of antique ornaments.  On entering the bar, guests will find themselves cocooned in Uncle Barts’ elegant salon, complete with chintz wallpaper, antique mirrors, leather banquettes and eccentric teapot lights.  Old paintings, tin signs, stuffed animal heads and cuckoo clocks are also merrily cluttered all over the walls.

	
	The cocktail menu at Barts is as eccentric as the decor, without seeming to try too hard. Guests can opt to have their cocktails served in cigar boxes, vintage teapots and teacups. If you're a sharer then a must is to try their plethora of tipples for two or more, served in top hat vessels. The range is extensive, punctuated by the odd oddity like tobacco and herbs. In the food department, the Welsh rarebit and seasoned 'Jenga Jenga chips' are guaranteed to soak things up whilst you prepare for another round.
	
	They keep things fresh with music, performances every week, and - of course - an old fashioned trunk filled with an array of costumes, wigs and hats. On the whole Bart's is a wonderful concept and offers something a little weird and a little different to the sometimes serious SW3 postcode. It flies the flag for the prohibition era, was doing it before everyone else was, and it's pretty clear why it is indeed 'London's Worst Kept Secret'.

	By Elsa Messi

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                    [id] => 1033
                    [title] => Hot Tub Cinema
                    [description] => 
	Hot Tub Cinema. Now there are 3 words you wouldn't think to put in the same sentence. I suspect that, what with this being London an all, most of us feel slightly suspicious that a summer event which entails us being outside for any length of time would result in anything other than us ending up soaking wet. Thankfully the hot tubs make this not only intentional, but a pleasure.

	The location of the event was a roof terrace in east London (naturally) and fortunately the weather was on our side, as we were blessed with a warm sunny evening.

	The first thing that hits you as you enter Hot Tub Cinema is its general surrealness. As your eyes slowly start to pan round the view is dominated firstly by the two huge projectors, then by the array of colourful hot tubs, and lastly by the various office buildings dotted in close proximity around you (God only knows what the late night office workers are thinking.) A visual cacophony not like many others you're likely to have encountered.

	As the last of the stragglers entered into our bizarre dreamlike setting for the evening, no one had yet taken the plunge and entered their hot tub. But as the sun went down and the temperature dropped everyone realised it would be far more 'sensible' to get into the warm bubbling hot tub than stand around on a cold roof top.
	
	Even though advertised as a cinema experience, the mood is relaxed friendly and informal and a whole lot more chatty than your average Odeon. People are predominately eating, drinking and nattering. The movie, usually a cinema classic which I assume most have seen before due to the audience participation, is more of a focal point which works well to break the ice rather than being the main event. Which brings us to the main attraction: the hot tubs. Large bubbling hot pools of water which I am sure no one will want to leave in hurry. So its handy that throughout the movie the waiters are more than happy to bring any food or drinks (don't worry about your money getting wet as you buy tokens for drinks on entry) straight to your table, ahem tub.
	
	As it gets darker, and the air temperature drops further, the lights of the surrounding buildings become brighter and the steam starts to rises from the hot tubs while the BBQ slowly crackles nearby you can't help but laugh to yourself at the ludicrosity of the event but yet how strangely natural and relaxing it feels.
	
	So, a daring first date or an alternative to a night at the pub with friends, this is an eclectic experience which is further exacerbated by summer setting. We certainly had a bubble.

	By Philip Karahassan

	Single Ticket: £31.40
	Private Hot Tub (6 Person): £185.15
	Deluxe Private Hot Tub (8 Person): £246.50

	Coming up next:

	Superbad 17 July 2013
	Borat 18 July 2013
	Monty Python's The Meaning of Life 19 July 2013
	Human Traffic 20 July 2013
	Bridget Jones's Diary 21 July 2013
	Anchorman 24 July 2013
	Ghostbusters 25 July 2013
	Team America 26 July 2013
	Dumb & Dumber 27 July 2013
	The Big Lebowski 28 July 2013

	 

	

	

	

	

	

	

	

	

	

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                    [id] => 1053
                    [title] => Les Deux Salons
                    [teaser] => A French brasserie with a champagne taste and a lemonade pocket hit.
                    [description] => 
	Quick quiz question…What are the two best things about France?
	
	If you said (a) beating them at rugby, and (b) the food, then you my friend are absolutely, positively 100% correct. Très bien. (Although I also would have given you a point if you’d responded with Julie Delpy or the chap who talks funny in ‘Allo ‘Allo!)
	
	But while we can’t guarantee victory against Les Bleus at every 6 Nations, French cuisine is perpetual in its greatness. And there are few finer exponents of the art on this side of the Channel than Les Deux Salons in Covent Garden.
	
	Assuming you manage to dodge the litany of Garfunkels’ Angus Steakhouses and TGI Fridays that saturate the West End’s culinary market, you’ll enter the expansive Gallic dining room. It's typically brasserie-ey, art deco-esque wood, brass, tiled floors and sweeping leather banquette seating with lollipop lanterns for punctuation. Loud and bustling, it hosts an interesting array of clientele. Pre-theatre diners, tourists fresh from Trafalgar Square, be-suited City types. Somehow, the Parisian brasserie is smart enough to attract business types trying to impress new potential clients, yet sufficiently inexpensive (more on which shortly) and unintimidating to tempt in stragglers passing by.
	
	Owners Anthony Demetre and Will Smith have had some practice. With Arbutus in Soho and Wild Honey in Mayfair, they’ve had plenty of experience in perfecting this balance. More crucially however, they also come armed with a Michelin star in their back pockets, and of course it’s in the eating that Les Deux Salons proves its greatness.
	
	The menu is littered with everything you’d expect to see from a Menu Francais (<--------presumably French for “French Menu”). Steak Frites, Foie Gras, calf’s liver and Niçoise all make their uniform appearances and, from the ones we greedily stuffed our Anglo faces with, the standard was inevitably excellent. Ooh la, and indeed, la.
	
	But Great Little Place never was the type of crowd-sourced-forum-thingy that sticks with the easy choices. Non monsieur. Queue the formidable Snail & Bacon Pie. It’s snails. And bacon. In white sauce. With pastry on top. And it’s wicked.
	
	And do save some room for dessert (obviously). We got lucky with the Tart of the day; Peach Melba was exactly the fruity finish that was required after two courses of buttery, creamy goodness/naughtiness. Crème brûlée and a spankingly good rice pudding are also among the choices, but are difficult to recommend if you value the clear, uninterrupted passage of your arteries.
	
	While some poorly planned food combos may encourage premature coronary issues, the bill won’t. Particularly in view of the two set-menu options: you can tuck in to the soup du jour and a main for less than a tenner. Ten pounds more will get you a dessert and a glass of wine. It’s a splendid thing that places like this still exist in London if you look hard enough, where a truly excellent meal can be enjoyed without the need to remortgage the chateau.
	
	And Les Deux Salons rises way beyond merely comme ci, comme ça. It’s ruddy bloody bien.

	By Adam Marshall

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                    [title] => Blimey guv, it's London's great little vintage pubs...
                    [description] => 
	London has some of the finest and oldest watering holes in all of Albion. From crackling fires to crackling pork, here is our ode to London's great little taverns. If your favourite boozer isn’t here, we want your suggestions pouring in...

	Central

	Nell Gwynne Tavern, 2 Bull Inn Court, Strand, WC2R 0NP

	

	Stumble across this little charmer and more than likely you'll be stumbling back out with good times had. Nestled away down a side alleyway off The Strand, it’s easy enough to miss. It's also small - with just enough room to swing a yard of ale, but full of character. Beware of the stairs to the toilet, o yea.

	The Princess Louise, 208 High Holborn, Holborn, WC1V 7BW

	

	Restored to its original Victorian glory, she is a princess indeed. This is one of London's few remaining former gin palaces, with etched glass couchettes full of revelry. Get there early; but a great spot to know in this part of town.

	Thanks for the tip off: Zoe Giannoulis.

	Ye Olde Mitre, 1 Ely Court, Ely Place, Holborn, EC1N 6SJ

	

	Quintessentially English. Quintessentially Old. A medieval drinking den of the highest order. Ye Olde Piece of Gold. And bloody hard to find.

	West

	The Grenadier, 18 Wilton Row, Belgravia, London, SW1X 7NR

	

	The ivy-clad Grenadier is tucked away down a cobbled mews close to Hyde Park Corner. With its very own sentry box on the outside, inside it’s dark, tiny and charming. Filled with Wellington memorabilia, bayonets and military trinkets, this place is as patriotic as they come. And its Bloody Marys are rightly infamous.

	Thanks for the tip off: Vicente Velasco-Hertel and Chip Lamb.

	Windsor Castle, 114 Campden Hill Road, Notting Hill, W8 7AR

	

	This wood panelled wonder is also possessor of one of West London's finest beer gardens. The pub's split up into three sections, each with a wooden partition separating it, which you properly have to bend down to your knees to get through. It's like Pat Sharp's House of Fun with less twins, less mullets and more booze. It is believed that the panelling comes from an old wooden ship, though there's no real evidence for this. Food's fantastic too.

	Thanks for the tip off: Sam Collison.

	The Dove, 19 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, W6 9TA

	

	Believed to be the pub where 'Rule Britannia' was written. And you can see why. This gem, dating back to the 17th century, is a real winner for the summer with alfresco dining right on the Thames. Inside it's a quaint, wooden affair - very nautical in feel. The Dove's believed to be in possession of the smallest bar in England, though thankfully there's more than one.

	Thanks for the tip off: James Butterworth, Shane McNamara, Tina Scuse, Elena Munari, Ciorsdan Glass, Ashley Cartmel and Duarte Cavalinhos.

	East-ish

	The Black Friar, 174 Queen Victoria Street, Blackfriars, City of London, EC4V 4EG

	

	Built in 1875, they don’t come much more ornate than this exquisite affair. The walls, encased in marble, are adorned with illustrations of merry monks. That's exactly what you'll be if you ever happen to stop by this veritable temple of ale.

	Thanks for the tip off: Markus Coleman.

	Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, 145 Fleet Street, EC4A 2BU

	

	Rumour has it the likes of Charles Dickens (seemingly every pub claims this, but we believe these chaps) and Voltaire have raised a toast in this rare breed amongst pubs. So we had great expectations. And it didn’t disappoint. Its warren of slender corridors and stairwells lead you astray to countless bars and dining rooms. When we ventured there a medieval reenactment group were in full swing, boar legs thrown over the shoulder and everything - they looked entirely in place.

	Thanks for the tip off: Dave Poulton, Izzy Decauwert, Tom Hoghton and Barry Clarke.

	Jerusalem Tavern, 55 Britton Street, Clerkenwell, EC1M 5UQ

	

	Wetherspoon's this is not. Thank Jesus, Jerusalem was built on England's green and pleasant land. It's full of creaky crooks and crannies with an outstanding array of real ales on tap. Top staff too. Read more...

	Thanks for the tip off: Andrew Gough and Jenny Rose.

	North

	Holly Bush, 22 Hollymount, Hampstead, NW3 6SG

	

	This is the sort of pub you go to with a group of old friends after a walk round the Heath, and get stuck into Timothy Taylor and a game of Risk on a lazy Sunday (boardgames included). There's a fire to keep you cosy and dining rooms if you fancy something more formal.

	Thanks for the tip off: Jessica Greedus, Raheela Amirally, Jeni Matthewman, Owen Lloyd, Lucy O'Shea and Gareth Evans.

	Sir Richard Steele, 97 Haverstock Hill, Belsize Park, NW3 4RL

	

	This pub has more curiosities and oddities than Pollock's Toy Museum. It’s a bric-a-brac store with charisma galore, making it one of the more eccentric pubs on our list. Plus there’s a great beer garden for the summer.

	Thanks for the tip off: David Smith and Peter Plebias.

	South

	The George Inn, George Inn Yard, 77 Borough High Street, Southwark, SE1 1NH

	

	London's last remaining galleried coaching inn, dating from 1676, and now justifiably owned by the National Trust. Grade I listed, it features a restaurant in what were the old bedrooms and a range of right old real ales. True vintage.

	The Crown & Greyhound, 73 Dulwich Village, SE21 7BJ

	

	Known to its friends as 'The Dog', this old pub is massive. But unlike its kind, it's somehow not become a Harvester - and remains a great big little place. There is literally always something going on, from quizzes to perry evenings to life drawing; it's a charming local in a lovely bit of town that's kept its old school grandeur and soul. There were once two pubs here, The Crown for the labourers and The Greyhound for the gentry. Thankfully they are now united in this Grade II listed winner. Also in possession of a fine beer garden. More glorious great little venues next week.

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                    [programme_title] => Blimey guv, it's London's great little vintage pubs...
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                    [title] => Heard it on the grape vine - London’s finest wine bars...
                    [description] => 
	Wine bars live and die on ambience; like a good wine itself it takes the blend of the right ingredients and usually some time to get it right. From some outstanding suggestions from you fine GLPers, we've picked ten corkers. Cheers.

	Central

	Gordon's Wine Bar, 47 Villiers St, Charing Cross, WC2N 6NE

	

	This is probably the most nominated great little place of all time by you GLPers. In fact it definitely is, and you can see why. Gordon's epitomises everything it means to be a GLP. A family-run labour of love since 1890, sticking to what it does best: wine and cheese. Down a set of wooden steps you enter a subterranean den, warm, inviting and rustic. There's respite in a lovely, and recently enlarged, outside section which has a bbq every night in the summer. It's easy to get to - a cork pop from Embankment - which also means it's very popular. Get there early or on weekdays to get the best out of it, and try their very own Fat Bastard wine while you're there...

	Thanks for the tip off: Kitty Stryker, Anna Addison, Chris Rowan, Alex Novakovic, Angela Chatzidimitriou, Jo Ryan, Rukhsana Amin, Vanessa Bakewell, Owen Jones, Angie Greenwood, Sioban Morse, Amy Lawrence, Sara Flanagan, Alexandra Wood, Birgitte Maanson, Emma Bentley, Sophie Gordon, Nims Laban, Benjamin Bean, Taryn Murdey, Lisa Samuelsson, Charlotte Lane, Sarah Brooks, Elaine Lee, Amy Douglas, Virginia Barteluk, Xavier Adam and Michelle Coupe.

	Le Beaujolais, 25 Litchfield Street, Leicester Square, WC2H 9NJ

	

	Le Beaujolais also sticks to the time honoured formula of cheese + wine = win, but they also do some fabulous French food and the odd bit of jazz & blues. It's the oldest French wine bar in London, we think, and it's properly properly French. It's dark, cosy and intimate, with a truly special atmosphere. Not often you get that this close to Leicester Square...

	Thanks for the tip off: Amy Walton, Honey Salinger, Gail Jones and Agnès Bounolleau-Nel.

	Cork and Bottle, 44-46 Cranbourn St, Leicester Square, WC2H 7AN

	

	... apart from here, which is also nestled away in Leicester Square. For wine buffs and wine bluffers alike. The owner Don Hewitson has done a darn fine wine job on this place. It's a delightful gem of a London wine bar, vintage 1972. The wine will never run dry here either with over 40,000 bottles in its cellar reserves at any given moment. Quite the lock in that would be. Read more...

	Thanks for the tip off: Trish Dever, Emma Dunford and Cathy Stroud.

	Fernandez and Wells Food & Wine Bar, 43 Lexington St, Soho, W1F 9AL

	

	Full-bodied, refined and woody. With legs of ham in the window, bottles of wine on the counter and enough cheese to last until Christmas, you know you've arrived somewhere special when you walk through Fernandez and Wells' doors. Their coffee shop is equally superb.

	Thanks for the tip off: Jo Carter.

	West

	Kensington Wine Rooms, 127 Kensington Church St, Notting Hill, W8 7LP

	

	Comes equipped with self-service chilled wine cabinets. Like a soft-drinks machine. But with wine. Genius. And they do their own wine tasting classes. In other words, courses on getting merry and trying to sound clever. Genius idea X 2.

	Thanks for the tip off: Pooja Vir.

	East

	Planet of the Grapes, 9/10 Bulls Head Passage, Leadenhall Market, EC3V 1LU

	

	It's called Planet of the Grapes. That alone would be enough, but with over 450 wines, a tasting cellar and at your office tasting sessions - all from the passionate team of Marc, Matt and Sam, who have 38 years of wine experience between them - this place is mouth and trousers.

	Thanks for the tip off: Bob Knight.

	'28-50', 140 Fetter Lane, Chancery Lane, EC4A 1BT

	

	The name of this wine establishment is inspired by the latitudes within which most vineyards flourish. If you manage to find your way to this sophisticated, brick-lined den, you might leave having lost your bearings. Cheers to that, we say.

	Thanks for the tip off: Keith Burrowes.

	Vinoteca Bar & Wine Shop, 7 St John St, Farringdon, EC1M 4AA

	

	Wine bar, restaurant and shop. Wine, dine or take-away. And loads of blackboards. Ticks all our boxes.

	Thanks for the tip off: Elaine Bremner, Pearl Van Den Ende and Jules Watson.

	North

	The Sampler Islington, 266 Upper Street, Islington, N1 2UQ

	

	Does it exactly what it says on the tin. This is technically a wine shop but if you hang around a while it will feel like a bar. You can sample an astonishing array of wines, from the finest grapes to your more everyday plonk, from sampling machines lining the walls.

	Thanks for the tip off: Andrew Foster.

	South

	Oliver's Music Bar, 9 Nevada Street, Greenwich, SE10 9JL

	

	This just slipped off our list of the best jazz joints, but is a definite GLP. Jazz and delicious wine, a potent combo. It's easy to miss, dark and warrenlike - again massively atmospheric but far from pretentious. Highly recommended.

	Thanks for the tip off: Evi Garoufi.

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                    [title] => Up to scratch, 10 London independent music stores...
                    [description] => 
	Though record stores are, sadly, disappearing, there are good few gems that have managed to hold on. Asking a group of Londoners who have a passion for music to name their favourite independent music store is bound to elicit a wide range of responses - music aficionados, like foodies and filmies, have their very defined likes and dislikes. But below is a list of ten independent record shops in London that everyone agreed were worthy of a trip away from your computer and some time spent browsing their aisles.

	Central

	Sister Ray, 34-35 Berwick Street, Soho, W1F 8RP

	

	Sister Ray is the place to be for second hand music and has been around for almost 25 years. It grew out of a stall on Camden Street and moved to Berwick Street eight years later. Well-organized and pleasantly non-snooty, the shop carries a wide selection of music on vinyl and CD. They also have a great performance series and sell limited edition vinyl pressings online.

	Phonica Records, 51 Poland Street, Soho, W1F 7RJ

	

	These guys are the lord of the dance. Filled to the rafters with vinyl, yet still with a welcoming feeling of spaciousness, there are a load of listening posts around the place to plug you into some of the the very best dance and electronic beats, with even a few decks to try things out on and sofas to recover in after. The staff are friendly and knowledgable (depending on the night before) and Phonica can be credited with really keeping the vinyl love alive. Good eggs.

	BM Soho, 25 D'Arblay Street, Soho, W1F 8EJ

	

	The undisputed king of dance music, BM Soho has a vast library of dance music on two floors. Over twenty years old, the shop's reputation sits strongest for its variety of Drum and Bass, Dubstep, Soul, Funk, Minimal, Electro, and Funky offerings. They've probably got some progressive Glaswegian funk in there too. The staff is made up of working DJs and producers, and the shop also launched an online store in 2000.

	Revival Records, 30 Berwick Street, Soho, W1F 8RH

	

	Revival Records has a knack for sourcing rarities and a penchant for guitar-based rock. They also have a wide selection of soul and dance albums. If you want to sell off your CD or record collection, they buy pretty much everything, including DVDs, and will make house calls for large collections. No better to place to offload those 5ive boxsets - but we know you wouldn't dare.

	Harold Moores Records, 2 Great Marlborough Street, Soho, W1F 7HQ

	

	A fantastic spot for classical music fans, Harold Moores Records is full of excellent recordings of legendary performances, as well as more recent fare. The shop also has a wide range of contemporary avant-garde and experimental works, all overseen by knowledgeable, accessible, friendly staff.

	West

	Honest Jon’s, 278 Portobello Road, Ladbroke Grove, W10 5TE

	

	The premiere destination for jazz, soul, and 'world beat' since it opened in the mid-70s, Honest Jon’s also has its own record label, also called Honest Jon's (thanks FinnJ & Tom). The shop carries a wide array of funk and hip-hop recordings as well, and they are willing to ship worldwide from their massive online catalogue.

	Intoxica, 231 Portobello Road, Ladbroke Grove, W11 1LT

	

	All vinyl, all of the time, Intoxica has a little bit of everything on its two floors. The ground floor is devoted to reggae, funk, exotica, and everything in between. The basement goes the way of blues, jazz, and soul. The shop is decorated with a solid mix of tribal art and artifacts, and houses an art gallery as well, making the place brilliantly eclectic.

	East

	Rough Trade Rough Trade West, 130 Talbot Road, W11 1JA. Rough Trade East, Old Truman Brewery, Dray Walk, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL

	

	Say, “independent record store” to any Londoner who loves vinyl, and they'll hit you right back with “Rough Trade”. Thirty plus years old, Rough Trade is actually continuing to expand, rather than closing down like many of its counterparts. With thousands of records at two different locations, a café, performance space, bookstore, and an inviting real music-loving atmosphere, the shops that make up Rough Trade are more than just music stores.  They're hangouts for everyone from hippie poets to hardcore punk enthusiasts to the average Joe looking to take that step up from The Wanted. The original store was also a record label, which signed such acts as The Smiths, until it shuttered operations in the early 90s.

	North

	Out on the Floor, 10 Inverness Street, Camden Town, NW1 7HJ

	

	Out on the Floor is a haven for serious collectors. Made up of three floors, each with a distinct musical personality, Out on the Floor caters to music lovers who are in the know. The basement floor is dedicated to guitar music, the ground floor to reggae and soul, and their third space to high-end collectors, with an emphasis on rock related art. They carry music on vinyl and CD, both new and used.

	South

	Gramex, 25 Lower Marsh, Lambeth, SE1 7RJ

	

	Gramex is geared primarily to classical music and has the ambience of your living room on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Without the partially eaten kebab. Comfy couches, tea, and thousands of used CDs and LPs abound, like Sir Richard Branson's original Virgin stores. The shop is rather disorganised, but you need not worry as the owner, Roger Hewland, is known for his near photographic memory, and will be able to point you in the right direction.

	Soul Brother, 1 Keswick Road, East Putney, SW15 2HL

	

	Soul Brother is a mecca for the reggae and soul enthusiast, and also carries a wide selection of jazz and funk, both on vinyl and CD. They have a massive import and back catalogue collection, and a comprehensive online catalogue as well.

	Written by Susan Black. Susan is a freelance writer living in Highgate with her two daughters. She frequently writes fiction and non-fiction (with a particular interest in photography and the arts) and also juggles a bit of amateur interior design on the side.

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