Cafe Society: the good, the bad - and all points between

Paddington: Raffles Cafe-Diner corner of Spring St and Praed St, open 7am-11pm Does excellent espresso, decent sandwiches, cooked breakfasts, mezze, and has pavement tables.

Waterloo: Auberge 1 Sandell St, SE1 (0171-633 0610) Civilised yellow and blue brasserie with table service, a good choice of French snack foods and plats. Restaurant upstairs, nice staff.

Charing Cross: Gordon's Wine Bar 47 Villliers St, WC2 (0171-930 1408) Delightful hole in the ground that's been there forever. Wine, port, sherry and cold food, and endless things to look at on the walls.

Euston: Coopers Bar Eighties pseudo-pub with a horrible carpet but good standard of hygiene and shares stairs with the first- class lounge. Attractive for its wonderful balcony which overlooks the station concourse, where a two-hour delay can seem like minutes.

King's Cross: Impossible. The closest place where you're not going to get mugged or catch cholera is the Bass-owned O'Neill's Irish Bar, 73 Euston Rd, past St Pancras, which is too far for heavy luggage. Themed flagstones, plastic tablecloths and snack'n'share platters, but it's clean and you don't get bothered. Danger of World Cup hooleys on weekend nights.