After Hours

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The Independent Culture
My local pub from work is a great place, The Albion, 121 Hammersmith Rd, London W14 (071-603 2826). It's run by a splendid man, Eugene, who has recently spent loads of money changing it from a spit and sawdust place to an oasis, the sort of place where people in Armani suits feel at home. They also have what every good pub should have, and that's a good New Zealand barmaid.

My restaurant for high days and holidays is The Ivy, 1 West St, Covent Garden, WC2 (071- 836 4751). I always have the liver. Hey, I'm from Wolverhampton, I'm just delighted if the waiter talks to me. My other favourite London eaterie is the Monte Bello, 84 Great Titchfield St, W1 (071-636 3772). It's the best basic Italian, family-run place around. I went in for lunch one day and left at 1am] They're very amiable.

In LA you must go to Le Dome, on Sunset Boulevard. I think it's owned by Ringo Starr. Brilliant service, and the wine list is great. Saint Anni off Christopher St in the Village, New York, is the best reasonably priced restaurant in New York. You can always get a taxi, since the cabbies all learn the Village first.

In Sydney there's Doyles, an open-air fish restaurant by the harbour. It's run by a real ocker Aussie who makes fun of the miserable poms, but it's cheap and it really is the greatest fish restaurant in the world. The nearest thing in London to it is the Sea Shell, 49 Lisson Grove, NW1 (071-723 8703), an up-market fish and chip shop. They do salmon that would break your heart, and on a Friday night you get all the little Jewish ladies coming down in their Rolls Royces. It's wonderful.

Simon Bates' book 'My Tune' (Virgin Publishing, pounds 14.99) is out now

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