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The Independent Culture
At street level it looks little more than a stylish bar dressed in myriad autumnal reds, lilacs and polished mirrors, but once you're past Cerberus on the door you're in for a relaxed affair in this smallish three-layered venue.

The bar offers plenty of social intercourse, while the upstairs restaurant boasts a highbrow menu.

The real action takes place in the basement, where the volume is cranked up and the dancefloor grooves to R'n'B, funk and soul. There is also seating available downstairs, but this is mainly used as a pit stop between dancefloor and bar.

The punters here vary, from stylish socialites to urban clubbers; it's a truly cosmopolitan ensemble that doesn't take itself too seriously but knows how to kick back and relax.

The dress code is as varied as the clientele, but if you're not willing to scrub up, get on first name terms with the promoters.

4a Upper St Martin's Lane, London WC2 (0171-497 0376) Fri and Sat, 9pm, free