After Hours

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The Independent Culture
I don't go out drinking that much, but a place where I like to meet my girlfriends for lunch is Rumours, 33 Wellington St, London WC2 (071- 836 0038). It's an old-fashioned cocktail bar, very mainstream Covent Garden, very big and friendly. It's also just around the corner from my house. The places my husband and I go to are mainly restaurants.

Orso, 27 Wellington St WC2 (071-240 5269) has a nice buzz, and I like the sound of people enjoying themselves. It's quite celebrity oriented, but that's not why we go. I'm a great meat eater, and they do roast meat dishes. I also love their salads, and the sort of garlic flat bread they do. It's not inexpensive - probably pounds 70 for two if you're careful. It's underground and windowless, and looks as though it might have once been showers or toilets, what with all the tiles. But it's very good.

On our anniversary, we go to The Ivy, 1 West St WC2 (071-836 4751). It's continental cuisine again, but very creative, and very intimate, too - tables tucked in corners, lots of wood and stained glass. There's a small but brilliant bar, wood-panelled, with a little couch, and they bring you olives and little nibbles. I think you can just go for a drink. Eating - well, I'd say pounds 100 for two. But it always makes me feel really special.

My clubbing days ended in LA. It's all theatre and opera now. But one bar I love is Harry's Bar (0101-310-277 2333). It's a big, traditional bar, and feels like a gentleman's club. It reminds me of where I was born, New York. It's in the dead centre of Los Angeles at Century City, underneath the office buildings, so you get people going there straight after work. Lots of lawyers.

Kim Franklin is the Managing Director of Natural Attraction video dating agency (071-379 6697). Membership pounds 290 a year, with a month's free trial.

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