Style: Who do you think you are?

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Indy Lifestyle Online
It's all very well going to the local pub or restaurant where you can wear your jeans and trainers, and hang out in obscurity with your mates. But what about the big Christmas fashion splurge, a night out to the kind of place that stays open late (all that showing off time) and plays good music? There is a wealth of them in all corners of the city, each one attracting a very different crowd, so the real question is, where do you fit in? Are you a cool couple, a fashion chick, a party girl, a clubby dude or a hippy? Identify yourself.

Cool Couple

Dakota, 127 Ledbury Road, W1 (0171-792 9191); Mon-Sat 12-12, Sun 12-10.30pm. Kitchen closes one hour before

Kevin Finch and Drew Barwick, owners of Montana in Fulham, opened this Southern American, themed restaurant two weeks ago, and it was an instant celebrity success. Paul Smith, Madonna's boyfriend Andy, Ricki Lake, Boy George, Jeremy Healy, and the local fashion/music/media/film and arts crowd have moved in. It wants to be the 192 of W11 and has achieved that already. The new place to be seen. Also try Retrobar, 183 Portobello Rd, W11 (0171-792 3311)

Fashion Chick

Cicada, 132 St. John Street, EC1 (0171-608 1550); Mon-Fri 12-12 kitchen closes 11pm. Sat 7-12, closed Sunday

The Cicada crowd work in design, fashion and publishing, and use the place to meet for delicious Pan-Asian food, or an evening drink - precisely what owner Will Ricker had in mind when he opened it last April. Dress codes are heavily influenced by Helmut Lang, Bless, Hussein Chalayan, McQueen and sport/street labels like Duffer, YMC, and Maharishi. Must- have fashion and electrical accessories are the order of the day, so are DIY spiky haircuts.

Party Girl

Jerusalem, 33-34 Rathbone Place, W1 (0171-255 1120); Mon-Thur 12noon-2am; Fri 12noon-3am; Sat 6.30pm-3am. Kitchen closes 11pm

Jerusalem opened in August and is fronted by two of the loveliest blokes in bar-land, who attract a diverse crowd of drinkers, clubbers, music industry and media/ advertising types. Dress codes vary from Paul Smith to Versace suits, and party dresses. Modern European food is served all day. The basement venue comes to life at night: Wednesdays, artists from Creation Records DJ from 9pm, Thursdays it's jazzy, Fridays and Saturdays it's upbeat and clubby.

Clubby Dude

The Saint, 8 Great Newport Street, WC2 (0171-240 1551); Mon-Thur 5.30pm-1am; Fri 5.30-2pm; Sat 7.30pm-2pm. Kitchen closes 11pm. Bar snacks available until closing time

The Saint was set up by ex-clubbers who wanted a place to party, eat and relax. It attracts a mixed crowd, which verges on mixed-gay on Thursday and Fridays. The door policy can be strict at weekends, but doormen won't check your clothing labels - it's the attitude that counts. They favour an easy-going, non-posey and very sociable crowd, not serious about fashion, but who like to look good.

Hippy

Brixton Dude, Dog Star, 389 Coldharbour Lane, SW2 (0171-733 7515); Mon-Thur 12noon-1am, free entrance; Fri-Sat 12noon-3am with door charge; Sun open all day. Food served every day

The Dog Star is about music, with DJs on every night from 9pm. The clientele is chilled out, with a very Brixtonian vibe, and everyone (with staff verification) seems to have something pierced. Wearing Prada equals sore thumb, but wear down- to-earth, slightly eccentric, clubby labels and the Dog Star will feel like a second home.

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