There are several things to recommend the Bar Escoba for a sticky date. Firstly, it sells beer and tapas and has the shabby, scuffed lino air of a real Spanish bar. Then there are the pinball machines, guaranteed to work posher types into a froth of irritation while saving you from having to talk to them. And if you still can't think of conversation you can always sit back and watch the calipygean Hispanic youths in leather jackets who throng the place so decoratively in the evenings. Good also at lunchtimes as a stark contrast to the V&A ten minutes away.

Escoba, Old Brompton Rd, SW7 (071-373 2403)

Tomorrow: the Swiss Centre, Leicester Square W1

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