Student Cans of energy drinks are displayed in a store in California. The kick from caffeine has a growing number of consumers jumping into energy drinks-soft drinks spiked with nutritional aids and stimulants despite warnings from health professionals.

They're gross, says Eleanor Doughty, and they make you feel bad

Metro Choice: The best bitter

How's this for a description of the perfect London pub? 'Walking into this friendly little gem is like being transported to an old-fashioned pub somewhere in a sleepy country village,' says The 1995 Good Pub Guide, published next week (Vermilion, pounds 12.99), of the Nags Head, Kinnerton Street, W1. The pub also gets its new Tankard Award 'where the quality of the beer is exceptional' or there is 'a particularly interesting range of beers in good condition'. The other tankard winners are the Black Friar (Queen Victoria St, EC4), Cittie of York (High Holborn, WC1), Lamb & Flag (Rose St, WC2), Museum Tavern (Museum St, WC1), Princess Louise (High Holborn, WC1), Red Lion (Waverton St, W1), Star (Belgrave Mews West, SW1), Westminster Arms (Storey's Gate, SW1) and White Horse (Parsons Green, SW6).

Site Unseen / Hit the road, Jack: A weekly look at London's hidden gems

The fact that Clerkenwell Road was once called Liquorpond Road, because of the number of breweries and distilleries which stood nearby, is perhaps the most interesting thing about one of London's least interesting thoroughfares. But at least a stroll along Clerkenwell Road does have the virtue of offering one or two glimpses of some adjoining delights. For example, the walker crosses over not only the first stretch of Underground railway, opened in 1863, but also the Fleet river which runs in pipes underneath Farringdon Road.

Question Time / Caryn Franklin, television presenter / style journalist

One of the original Eighties style journalists, Caryn Franklin graduated from St Martin's School of Art, and went on to become the first fashion editor of i-D. Part of the original team on the 'yoof' programme, Network 7, Franklin has worked extensively in television. She has been a presenter on BBC 1's The Clothes Show since 1987 and also teaches fashion communications part-time.

Where shall we meet?: The Bleeding Heart, EC1

This used to be a great Fleet Street drinker. It still is, actually, but the hacks arrive by cab these days. The place is is hard to find unless you know where you're going: Bleeding Heart Yard is not in the A-Z. Follow Greville St from Farringdon tube, go through some gates to the left and follow the signs in the cobbled yard. The bar is in a basement: dark, wooden and staffed by friendly French. In happy hour (5pm-7pm), a magnum of fizz costs pounds 29.50. Soak this, and the cynical atmosphere, up with fish cakes and excellent chips.

Where shall we meet?: The Eagle, Farringdon Road

The Eagle, a five-minute walk from Gray's Inn and an outpost of respectability in a world of warehouses, was one of the first bars to take pub food out of the realms of sausages and beans and into competition with restaurants. This place, huge though its rooms are, usually has people hanging from the rafters pretty much throughout the evening. Getting from a table to the loo is a bit like a journey in the rush hour, only faintly more leery. There is also a gallery upstairs, open Thursday to Sunday, 11am-6pm, so if your lunch date's late you can wander around there feeling faintly superior.

Where shall we meet?: The French House, Dean St

When you think of Soho, one of the first things to spring to mind, aside from tarts and tramps, is old drunk men of putative intellectual standing surrounded by young women who haven't yet discovered that buying the old gents drinks won't further their literary ambitions. The French House, a cramped pub with about 10 seats, is part of the epicentre of that cultural life. Even in winter, you can find people hunched on the pavement outside its tobacco-tinged efflorescence, watching the world go by and soaking up an atmosphere that hasn't changed much since Soho club hostess Ruth Ellis died. The restaurant upstairs is a bit gentler on the uninitiated.

Newsbrief: Murder hunt

Detectives launched a murder inquiry yesterday after a woman cleaner was found dead in an office block. The body was found by a member of staff arriving for work at the Farringdon Point offices in Farringdon Street, Holborn, about 7.55am. The middle-aged woman. known only as Margaret, is believed to have been in the third-floor offices of a travel company. Scotland Yard said her full identity was not yet known.

11 tube stations are listed

Eleven Tube stations were yesterday given Grade II listed status by Heritage Minister Ian Sproat because of their historical and architectural importance. This brings the total number of listed stations on the network to 46.

Science: Eclipse of a blazing nuclear inferno: When the Moon puts light from the Sun's giant hydrogen bomb in the shade, looking is still dangerous, say Heather Couper and Nigel Henbest

Early in the evening on 10 May, the Sun will be eclipsed by the Moon. Nowhere in the world will the eclipse be total: the Moon is at its farthest from the Earth, and so its disc will be too small to overlap that of the Sun completely.

PROPERTY / A great leap inwards: The trend is back to the centre and away from the suburbs, reports Patrick Matthews

ONE-WAY system . . . office block . . . windswept plaza . . . shopping precinct . . . In Britain, city centres are functional rather than cosy and are not the obvious places to set up home. But the 1991 census returns now being analysed by the Department of the Environment suggest that this is changing. For the first time in more than a century, people are going back to the centre to live.

Fears for 'Observer' magazine

SPECULATION was growing last night over the possible closure of the Observer magazine only five months after it was redesigned as part of its parent paper's relaunch.

Venues: Keeping their heads above water: At the Bridewell Theatre, you can really enjoy a night out on the tiles. Sarah Hemming plunges in at the deep end

Since Britain is an island full of plush theatres resplendent in velvet, it may seem perverse that theatre companies are constantly performing in outlandish places. Turning their backs on the splendour of gold leaf and the convenience of a lighting rig, many groups choose to do their shows in cramped, cold and even downright inclement conditions. Two years ago Mark Rylance risked pneumonia and braved the full flood of a British summer to stage his Tempest in open spaces where significant ley lines crossed; Marcel Steiner consistently cramps his style by staging his shows in a motorcycle sidecar; while Barrie Rutter habitually launches his Northern Broadsides productions in a disused mill.

EATING OUT / In a working class of its own: The Quality Chop House

94 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3EA. Tel: 071-837 5093.

TOURS / Getting lost in the post office: Dominic Cavendish finds sinister goings-on at the post office

The Japanese, the Germans, they all come here and look at it. . . but they can't have it. It's unique and they're all jealous.' Before the evening tour of London's Mount Pleasant sorting office is even underway, Pat Hickey-Hynes tries to impress upon visitors that they are about to survey one of the last vestiges of Britain's greatness.

Wolf-whistle builders answer their critics: Jojo Moyes meets working men silenced by a union because of their public attitude to women

TREVOR, 58, hoisted up his jeans, adjusted his hard hat, and grinned at his two co-workers. 'Yeah, I wolf-whistle . . . I always have. It makes a girl feel much better. Makes her walk better - sort of trot up a bit - doesn't it?'
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