The shortlist; 10 BARS TO BE SEEN IN

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Oxo Tower Bar & Brasserie: Barge House St, South Bank, London SE1 (0171 803 3888). Spectacular views from the river terrace. Kenzo designed the uniforms - dress up if you don't want to be upstaged by the bar staff. Richard E Grant, Linda Evangelista and Andrew Neil have been spotted here.

Vinyl Cafe: Inverness St, London NW1 (0171 681 0801). A bar with a 1950s beatnik atmosphere. Dress down and look like you're thinking hard. Full of Camden luminaries.

Mud Dock Cafe: 40 The Grove, Bristol (0117 934 9734). Earthy and airy with big windows (to case passers-by). Still cred even though it's featured in the Cafe Creme adverts. Tricky, Massive Attack and Portishead hang out here.

Lizard Lounge: 41-43 St Mary's Gate, The Lace Market, Nottingham (0115 952 3264). The twentysomething professional crowd cram in. Celeb drinkers include Ben Elton and, er ... Jim Davidson.

Circo: 6-8 Holloway Circus, Birmingham (0121 643 1400). Frequented by the trendiest people in Birmingham ranging from business types during the day to street-cred students on the Drum `n' bass nights. Minimalist Mediterranean decor. Sasha and all of Ocean Colour Scene drink here.

The Canal: British Waterways Yard, Broad Street, Wolverhampton (01902 711 545). An old British Waterways building with the canal running through it. Entrance is via a drawbridge or you can catch the boat bar further up and drink your way there. Check out the "flirtation passages" in the upstairs bar and La'Valle, a drag queen who hosts parties in the ladies loos. The Fugees are having their after-stage party here.

Mash: Chorlton Street, Manchester. Oliver Payton's place up north opens in November in a 12,000 sq ft converted mill. Marc Newson designed it, so watch out for Bondi Beach motifs and surf white walls.

Barca: Duke Street, Catalan Square, Manchester (0161 839 7099). Co-owned by So What Arts? (Mick Hucknall's Management company) this is the Studio 54 of Manchester. Ryan Giggs and Eric Cantona rub shoulders with Heather Small of M People and Alma off Coronation Street. Unpretentious but cool. Tack meets Slack so everyone's allowed in.

The Appartment: 23 Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow (0141 221 6381). A bar for the discerning clubber. Classic meets fetish with oak panelling, velvet chaises longues, a chain-mail drawbridge and a black leather bar. Attracts the likes of Jamiroquai, Lisa B and Paul Smith.

Bar Khol: George IV Bridge, Edinburgh (0131 225 6936). Vodka bar with a strict music policy of serious US hip hop. A celeb-free scene - not for the professional poseur.

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