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Cafe Society: South of the river

Tea Rooms des Artistes 697 Wandsworth Rd, SW4 (0171-652 6526) Former slaughterhouse converted over a decade ago into a bar and now a popular pre-club venue. Small but cosy garden, small but cosy menu, tight squeezes to get to the bar. Entrance charge after 9pm at weekends.

Putney Bridge Embankment (visible from Putney bridge), SW15 (0181-780 1811) Architecturally splendid wedge-shaped glass-and-chrome bar restaurant, winner of a Riba award in 1997. Modern European menu upstairs, interesting bar snacks downstairs, great river views in both.

The Drawing Room/The Sofa Bar 103 Lavender Hill, SW11 (0171-350 2564) Lovely, eccentric bar-restaurant filled with battered sofas, art deco mirrors and the most interesting ashtray collection in London. A place to eat lovely homemade bread and be generally cossetted.

The Fire Station 150 Waterloo Rd, SE1 (0171-620 2226) Frenetic, junky conversion (who puts out the fires of Waterloo now?) with pubby habits (pay at the bar) good mixture of post-work, pre-club and round-the-theatre clientele and hardly a spare seat in the house.