The rumblings began a few months earlier. All over the capital, trend-spotting entrepreneurs were scurrying off to council buildings to swot up on licensing laws. Within months a proliferation of late-night watering-holes have emerged and for the first time, London is beginning to wear a dis-tinctly European smile on its face.
Continental bars and restaurants have never had it so good. The average Spanish tapas bar, once a place for a cheeky San Miguel before bed, is now a haze of cocktails and salsa and flamenco music. The city is also developing its own cafe society, as tables slowly begin to creep onto pavements. London will never have a St-Germain-des-Pres, but if you can sit outside on your local high street you feel you are halfway there. Neither will our capital ever have the night-time buzz of Madrid or Barcelona. But we're moving in the right direction: things are happening earlier rather than later.
For the hard core, late is never too late. A typical night might start at one of the trendy members' bars in the Fulham Road such The Lost Weekend or Kartouche (downstairs) around midnight, followed by clubbing (Iceni or the Bank for the vain, Club UK for the raver) followed by breakfast at Bar Italia or Tea Rooms Des Artistes.
For Latin-Americans and Spanish, this nightlife revolution is a source of amusement. Ask Spaniards what they think about the sudden British urge to set up a late-night bar and they'll give you a wry smile and make a quip about the Channel Tunnel breathing Continental air into lifeless British lungs. Central
Bars and Restaurants
ATLANTIC BAR AND GRILL 20 Glasshouse St WI (071-734 4888). Mon-Sat noon-3am; last orders 11.45pm food; 2.30am alcohol.
Once the store-room of the Regent Palace Hotel now refurbished in art deco and art nouveau. Champagne and cocktails in Dick's Bar, British cuisine in the main dining area.
CHUEN CHENG KU 17 Wardour St W1 (071-437 3433). 11am-1am; last orders midnight.
Traditional Chinese restaurant which always seems to be thriving. High ceilings and chandeliers. Quality seafood.
JOE ALLEN RESTAURANT 13 Exeter Street WC2 (071-836 0651).
Noon-2am; last orders 1am.
Busy American restaurant specialising in chargrilled steaks and chicken dishes. Red and white check tablecloths, brick arches and original Broadway posters adorning the walls. Resident pianist Mon-Sat.
SEVILLA MIA 22 Hanway St WI
(071- 637 3756).
6pm-1am (Sun 12 am); last orders 12.30am (Sun 11.30pm).
Classic Spanish tapas bar just off the Tottenham Court Road. Intimate yet lively, Sevilla Mia has live flamingo dancing every night and the tapas are excellent value at pounds 2 a portion. Saturday nights can be crowded.
TRADER VIC'S Hilton Hotel, Park Lane W1 (071-493 8000).
Restaurant 6.30pm-11.45pm; Boathouse Bar 5.30pm-lam. New a la carte menu offering a more diverse selection of delicious Island Cuisine. If you can make it through the Maori war paddles and drums of rice wine to the Boathouse Bar, the cocktails are spectacular. Cosmopolitan clientele.
DOVER STREET WINE BAR AND
RESTAURANT 8-9 Dover St WI (071-629 9813). 5.30pm-3am; last orders 1.30am food; 3am alcohol.
Similar to the old Paris jazz cellars with live blues and jazz nightly. European cuisine. No jeans or trainers.
BAR ITALIA 22 Frith St WI (071-437 4520). 24 hours.
The throbbing heart of Soho - cakes and cappuccino for late-night clubbers, pasta for gesticulating Italians.
ELYSEE 13 Percy St WI (071-036 4804). Lunches & evening 7pm-3am; last orders 3am.
Full of rich Greeks and wide-eyed young maidens. Excellent international menu, resident five-piece band and belly dancing. The ouzo-sodden can smash plates - at pounds 7.50 a dozen.
HARRY'S 19 Kingly St W1 (071-434 0309). Mon-Sat 10-6am.
Popular with nightclub set for a full English breakfast. They also serve a fine scrambled egg and smoked salmon.
The 'O' BAR 83 Wardour St WI (071-437 3490). Mon-Wed lpm-1am; last orders 15 mins before closing. Thur 1pm-2am; Fri-Sat 1pm-3am; Sun 2pm-10.30pm.
Popular West End bar with complicated closing times.
Flamboyant, colourful atmosphere frequented by varying degrees of Eurotrash. American-style bar snacks and cocktails. Entrance fee pounds 3-5.
Europa Foods Trafalgar Sq WC2. 24hrs.
7-Eleven 384 Edgware Rd W2
(071-723 2123). 24hrs.
Bars and Restaurants
CUBA LIBRE 72 Upper St, N1 (071-354 9998). Noon-2am; last orders 2am. Cuban bar/restaurant decorated in the style of a decayed Spanish colonial building. Cuban food. Cocktails every evening and live salsa music Thur-Sat. Entrance pounds 9 after 9pm on Fri and Sat.
CALAMITIES 104 Heath St NW3 (O71-435 2396). 7pm-2am; 7pm-
3am Fri/Sat; last orders 2am.
American steakhouse with stone walls and tiled floor. Charcoal grill-based menu with burgers for pounds 4.95, Rack of ribs for pounds 7.50 and a 14oz T-bone steak for under a tenner. Strictly for the carnivore, new menu for vegetarians on the way.
LA FINCA TAPAS BAR 96 Pentonville Rd N1 (071-837 5387). Noon-2.30am Wed-Sat, last orders 2 am; Noon-12am Thur-Sat; last orders 11.30 pm.
Latin-American salsa club upstairs for the energetic. Rustic-style basement offering full tapas menu and seating for 100.
BAGEL STOP 57 High Rd, Wood Green N22 (081-859 0204). 5am-2am.
Filled bagels from smoked salmon and cream cheese to salt beef, no on-site bakery. Extra large donuts and cakes. Seats 25.
THE JAZZ CAFE 5 Parkway NW1 (071- 916 6000). Sun-Thur 7pm-12am, last orders 10pm; Fri-Sat 7pm-2am.
Renowned jazz bar. Restaurant upstairs overlooking the stage serving modern British cuisine (average pounds 5 for a starter, pounds 10 for a main course). Jazz played nightly 9pm-11.30pm. Entrance pounds 1-pounds 12 depending on performers, average pounds 8.
HQ PATIO BRASSERIE Camden Lock Place, Camden High St NWI (071-485 6044). 8pm-2am; last orders 11pm food, 2am alcohol.
Trendy brasserie in a listed building overlooking Camden Lock. Live music every night from salsa to hip-hop. Free to
diners, otherwise pounds 3-pounds 6 at the door.
CHICAGO 20's 266 Muswell Hill Broadway NI0 (081-444 0789). Sun-Wed 6pm-3am; last orders 3am food, 12am alcohol. Thurs-Sat 6pm-5am; last orders 5am food, 12am alcohol.
Restaurant serving American cuisine with a Twenties gangster feel about it. Burgers, chilli, spaghetti, lamb kebabs and steaks, all around pounds 6. Cocktails and bottled beer. Seats 90.
BAR ROYALE 111 Camden High St NW1 (071-911 0667). Mon-Thurs 5pm-1am, last orders 1am; Fri-Sat 5pm- 2am, last orders 2am.
Kicking bar with a young twenty-something clientele. Cheap Tex-Mex bar snacks and over 200 cocktails at pounds 12 for a two-pint pitcher. Selection of DJs spinning funk, soul and garage every night. Best night is Mon, when pitchers are half-price.
WKD Cafe & Gallery 16a Kentish Town Rad NW1 (071-267 1869). Noon-2am; last orders 1.50am.
Arty cafe for predominantly hippy crew. Essentially vegetarian but some white meat and fish dishes for around pounds 6 and excellent house wine at pounds 7.95 a bottle. Live music from young up-and-coming musicians and wall space for student artists. Theme nights include an ambience night on Thurs. Happy hour noon-8pm.
7-Eleven 211 Muswell Hill Broadway N10 (081-883 6981). 24hrs.
7-Eleven 1 The Broadway, Crouch End N8 (081-348 0900). 24hrs.
7-Eleven 35 Junction Rd N19 (071-272 1287). 24 hrs.
7-Eleven 62-64 High Rd, East Finchley N2 (081-444 0794). 24 hrs.
Bars and Restaurants
TEA ROOMS DES ARTISTES 697 Wandsworth Rd SW8 (071-652 6526). 6pm-1am, last orders 1am; 5am-noon Sat-Sun. Walk through an old shop front to stained glass and candles, mulled wine and Pimm's punches. Vegetarian menu and live music most nights. Magician Sunday nights. On Sat and Sun mornings at 5am, doors open for clubbers to enter The Twilight Zone for breakfasts.
IL CARRETTO RESTAURANT 70
Streatham High Rd SW16 (081-769 0628). Noon-2am; last orders 1.30am. Popular Italian and continental restaurant which claims to sell the best pollo
sorpresa (chicken surprise) in the capital. Seventies music four nights a week, Elvis impersonator Thurs-Sat.
CASTLE TANDOORI 200 Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre SE1 (071-703 9130). Mon-Thur 12pm-1am; Fri noon-3am; Sat 5pm-3am; Sun 5pm-1am; last orders 15min before closing.
Sip a Kingfisher lager and admire the hand-painted Karma Sutra paintings.
The Food Factory 13-15 Old Town, Clapham SW4 (071-652 5742). 2am.
7-Eleven 1437-1441 London Rd SW16 (081-679 7953). 24hrs.
7-Eleven 224 Walworth Rd SE17 (071-703 3352). 24hrs.
Bars and Restaurants
VENUS STEAK HOUSE 366-368
Bethnal Green Rd E2 (071-739 2650). 6pm-1am Mon-Thurs, last orders 1am; 6pm-2am Fri-Sat, last orders 2am.
Charcoal-grilled steaks and fish dishes.
CLIFTON TANDOORI 126 Brick Lane E1 (071-247 2364). 12pm-1am; last orders1am.
Much-lauded Pakistani restaurant, used in the shooting of the film The Crying Game. Lamb's brain masala and other appetising dishes. 3am licence soon.
RIDLEY BAGEL BAKERY 13-15 Ridley Rd E8 (071-923 0666). 24hrs. Filled bagels, cream cakes and biscuits.
THE COCK TAVERN Central Markets, EC1 (071-248 2918). 5.30am-10.30am; alcohol served 6.30-9.30.
Definitive East End pub for workers and traders of Smithfield Market. Extensive breakfast menu. A full Cock breakfast pounds 5.25, grilled kippers pounds 3.15, smoked haddock and poached egg pounds 3.50.
FOX & ANCHOR 115 Charterhouse St EC1 (071-253 4838). Mon-Thurs 9am-9pm; 7am-10pm; 8am-11pm.
Full English breakfast all week. Big Boys Breakfast Club on the first Tues of the month - full breakfast with extra sausage plus champagne or Guinness for pounds 8.
HOPE TAVERN 94 Cowcross St EC1 (071-250 1442). Tues-Fri 7am-9.45am.
Old Victorian pub specialising in champagne breakfasts. Booking advisable.
7-Eleven 93-95 Lordship Lane SE2 (081-299 1344). 24hrs.
7-Eleven 42 Sydenham Rd SE2 (081-659 6489). 24hrs.
Bars and Restaurants
CHAPPELLE LAFAYETTE 374 North End Rd SW6 (071-385 8745) Noon-1am. Last orders: 12.30am.
Converted parish hall, where a young Chelsea crowd sip cocktails by candlelight. Live music 4 nights a week. Not uncommon to see dancing on tables on a Friday.
EL BODEGON BASEMENT BAR 9 Park Walk SW10 (071-352 1330) till 1am Last orders: 1am.
Intimate, relaxed tapas bar off Fulham Road. Excellent Spanish omelettes, meatballs and sangria.
NAM LONG - LE SHAKER COCKTAIL BAR
159 Old Brompton Rd SW5 (071- 373 1926) 6.30-1am Last orders: 11:30. Vietnamese establishment for cocktail-supping Eurotrash. Expensive cocktail list, but lethally good and includes the notorious Flaming Ferrari.
BISTRO BISTROT Bailey's Hotel, 140 Gloucester Rd SW1 (071- 373 5044)
7am-1am Last orders: 11:30 food; 1 am alcohol. Excellent French cuisine bistro. At pounds 9.50, 3-course set menu is good value.
DAVINCI'S 153 Kings Rd SW10 (071-352 5453) 6pm-1am except Sun. Last orders: 1am. Neo-Gothic style bar with art exhibitions on walls, candlelight and loud music. Reasonable but limited bar menu and cheap cocktails.
STEVENS 232 Old Brompton Rd SW5 (071-370 2365) 6pm-1am Last orders: 1am. One of the best tapas bars, a welcome oasis in the grime of Earls Court. Cocktail maestro Esteban Queralto shakes up everything from Long Island Iced Tea to his own Rocket fuel. Live music nightly. Excellent paella.
UP ALL NIGHT 325 Fulham Rd SW10 (071 352 1998) 6pm-6am Last orders: 5.45am food; 12am alcohol. Cheap burger and pasta bar popular with King's Road clubbers.
ROCK SPIDERS OPERA 138 Fulham Rd SW10 (071-259 2667) 6pm-12am Last orders: 12am.
Modern and cramped pre-club venue full of designer beer-drinkers. Whitebait and plaice goujons for the hungry.
MAROUSH II 38 Beauchamp Place SW3 (071-581 5434) Midday-4am Last orders: 3.45am food; 1am alcohol. Popular and brightly lit bar/restaurant serving Lebanese cuisine on two levels. Frequented by the smart 25-40 crowd.
606 CLUB 90 Lots Rd SW10 (071- 352 5953) 8.30pm-2am (Midnight Sun) Last orders: 1.30am
Old recording studio, converted into jazz club hidden away by Chelsea Harbour. Decor of murals and a fish tank, stone floors and candles. European menu and jazz. Favourite with musicians.
ANGELO'S 78 Westbourne Grove W2 (071-229 0266) 6.30pm-3am Last orders: 3am
Live music and Greek food.
TIROLER HUT RESTAURANT 27 Westbourne Grove W2 (071-927 3981) 6.30pm-1.30am Last
orders: 12:30am. Alpine chalet-style Austrian restaurant serving substantial Austrian and Hungarian dishes.
Excellent cheese fondue and a wide range of schnapps. Apres-ski
atmosphere with yodelling and cowbells compered by a
THE BEACHCOMBER 86 Queensway W2 (071-221 2455) 8pm-1am Mon-Thurs Last orders: 1am; 8pm 2am Fri-Sat 2am.
Kicking Latin American bar
playing salsa or Brazilian music every night (soul on Thurs). Over 30 cocktails and the chance to
lambada till the early hours.
7-ELEVEN 119-121 Gloucester Rd SW7 (071-373 1440) 24 hrs
HARTS THE GROCER 248 Fulham Rd SW10 (071-351 9031) 24 hrs
HARTS THE GROCER 131 Queensway W2 (071-727 7837) until 1am
7-ELEVEN 450-482 Harrow Road W9 (081-960 3414) 24 hrs.
GROUCHO CLUB 45 Dean St, W1 (071-439 4685)
Mon-Fri 8am-1am; Sat 5.30-1am
pounds 275pa: pounds 175 for under 27s. Must be sponsored by two members. Three-course lunch and dinner at an average of pounds 25 a head. Waiting list at least a year. Favourite haunt for journalists, actors, musicians and advertising agents.
THE GREEN ROOM 9 Adam St WC2 6AA (071-836 7453) Open to full members 11.45am-2am; to evening members 10pm-2am. Full membership: pounds 50 for first year; pounds 70 for second; Evening: pounds 10 a year. Must be proposed and seconded by members. Exclusively for actors. Dining room (3-course meal, pounds 7.50), snooker room, card room and library.
GREEN STREET 3 Green St, W1 (071-409 0453) 12.30pm-1am. pounds 150 pa. Must be proposed by a member. Open fire and sofas
upstairs, shocking pink walls and a conservatory downstairs. 3-coure meal around pounds 15. Open to non-members during day to 6pm
FREDS 4 Carlisle St, W1 (071-439 4284) Mon-Thurs 12pm-1am; Fri 12pm-2am. Sat 7pm-2am
pounds 175 a year. Must be introduced by a member. Dancing, dining and drinking on three levels. A clientele of fashion and media types. Catering under renovation.
PO,NA,NA 316 Kings Rd SW3 (071-352 7127) 7pm-1am
pounds 75pa. Must be introduced by a member. Below The Argyll Restaurant on the King's Road. Draped out like an Egyptian tent with 3-D murals and coloured candles. DJ 4 nights a week. Exclusively for the Chelsea crowd
THE UNION CLUB 50 Greek Street, W1 (071-437 4002) 12pm-12am.
Small, exclusive membership list which is currently closed. Admission with a member only. Low-profile dining club with a 30+ clientele. 3-course meal around pounds 20 a head.
TROY CLUB 1st floor, 22 Hanway St W1 (071-630 9833) Mon-Sat 4pm onwards. pounds 30 a year. Must be introduced by a member. Described as 'walking into someone else's front room'. Intimate drinking club for writing fraternity, owned by Helen Law. Pub prices.
BLACKS 67 Dean St, W1 (071 287 3381) 8am-12am. pounds 200pa but members are 'chosen' by 100-woman committee. Converted Georgian town house pannelled throughout. Basement bar, 3 dining rooms, 3 sitting rooms, the only full set of first state Hogarth's , and 18th century Restoration furniture. Prides itself on cheap cuisine: 2-course lunch for pounds 5 and 3-course supper for pounds 10, House wines pounds 5.
THE LOST WEEKEND corner of Park Wk and Fulham Rd SW3: 9pm-1am. Last orders: 1am. So exclusive that membership was shut after a month of opening. Admission is with a member only. Opened a few months ago by Joel Cadbury catering for Chelsea set. Relaxed atmosphere with table football, pinball.
KARTOUCHE (Downstairs bar) 329 Fulham Road SW3 (071-823 3515) 7pm-1am. pounds 100pa for men; pounds 10pa, women. Must be sponsored by a member.
New and described as a 'local amenity for local people'. Restaurant for non-members upstairs.
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