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King’s Cross has a new addition, fresh from the same Shoreditch stable as lively bars Cargo, Market Place and Cantaloupe. As with its siblings, Camino is an upbeat eating and drinking experience, but this time with a decidedly Spanish flavour. Classic tapas dishes such as stuffed peppers can be washed down with Spanish wines and sherries or Latin-inspired cocktails. Meanwhile, furnishings are rustic, with reclaimed timber tables, leather furniture and a wall that punters are encouraged to adorn with memorabilia from Spain. 3 Varnishers Yard, Regent Quarter, N1. Tel: 020 7841 7330.
Looking for a fine cuppa in Spitalfields? Tea Smith is probably your best bet. The new shop and tea room with a distinctly Eastern feel offers a vast array of choice, including scented and flower varieties, Japanese and Chinese green teas and white, red and black teas. A tea expert will brew it for you at optimum temperature and there’s a range of fine pastries if you’re feeling peckish. 6 Lamb Street, E1. Tel: 020 7247 1333.
Formerly a grotty pub, The Queens Arms in Baron’s Court has undergone extensive refurbishment, emerging in true noughties’ style as a neighbourhood gastropub. The ground-floor houses a large walnut bar, while the upstairs is a smart-casual dining space, complete with retractable roof for sunny days. Dishes such as sticky pork belly or crab cakes can be teamed with one of 70-odd wines, draught or bottled beers, while two big plasma screens in the ground-floor bar will no doubt draw sports fans. 171 Greyhound Road, W6. Tel: 020 7386 5078.
The Cinnamon Club has long been renowned for its high-ceilinged dining room serving superior modern Indian food, but these days its bar is a destination in its own right, too. The bar menu has raised its game with delicious platters, specifically matched to cocktails from the menu: why not try a seafood platter laden with king prawn skewers and stir-fried swordfish with mint and tamarind, washed down with a Cinnamon Bellini? Look out for great beers, too. The Old Westminster Library, 30 Great Smith Street, SW1. Tel: 020 7222 2555.
The Gorgeous Group, the brains behind The Met Bar, Ling Ling at Hakkasan and more recently glam rum bar Artesian at the Langham Hotel, are consulting on a new bar at the Royal Festival Hall, Central Bar. ‘The menus will be a tribute to fantastic drinks from the 1950s,’ explains Gorgeous Group founder Robbie Bargh. The likes of a Pink Lemonade – Bombay Sapphire gin with cassis, lemon and elderflower served long with soda – sounds better than your usual pre-performance tipple. Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, SE1.