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Clapham’s party people have been making a beeline for newcomer Bison & Bird. The bar has been particularly popular during happy hour from 5 to 8pm, but keeps the party vibe going with DJs playing late in to the night. All-day brunches and a mean Sunday roast are the perfect hangover pick-me-ups. 182 Clapham High Street, SW4. Tel: 020 7622 4436.
Just opened on a site that’s claimed a number of scalps (including the critically acclaimed Osia), Electric Birdcage needs something special to keep the punters returning. The new owners are hoping to pull them in with flamboyant decor that runs to fluorescent pink ceilings, huge birdcages hanging from the ceilings, and a carousel-style bar. 11 Haymarket, SW1. Tel: 020 7839 2424.
From the same stable as The Winchester in Islington, The Lodge Tavern is a stylish Ealing newcomer serving up modern pub food among chandeliers and Chesterfields. On Friday and Saturday nights, DJs spin the decks until late, while live jazz sessions provide the backdrop to Sunday roasts. 53 The Mall, W5. Tel: 020 8567 0173.
Night owls will rejoice at the arrival of The Valmont Club in Chelsea, which aims to recreate some of the bohemian spirit of the popular 70s music venue Cafe des Artistes, that once occupied the same site. Expect live performers and DJs playing into the small hours, with the 300-capacity space decked out in an eclectic mix of antique furnishings and neon signage – we’re particularly fond of the velvet-curtained booths complete with individual volume control. 266 Fulham Road, SW10. Tel: 020 7352 6200.
The chaps who launched Barnes gastropub The Brown Dog earlier this year are already on to a new project. They’ve just tarted up an old boozer to create a cosy bar downstairs and a more cosmopolitan dining room above. As dishes such as Thai beef salad, roast squab pigeon with potato rösti or lobster penne prove, The Duke of Wellington’s menu is an eclectic affair. 94a Crawford Street, W1. Tel: 020 7224 9435.
With the football season back up and running and the Rugby World Cup in full swing, the place to settle in front of a big screen is the Fiamma Sports Bar at the London Hilton Metropole, which has just emerged from a £900,000 refurbishment. Several large screens show all manner of sports, and there’s a wide range of cocktails, beers and wines, plus snacks and platters to soak it all up. 225 Edgware Road, W2. Tel: 020 7402 2400.
Dulwich wine-lovers’ paradise Green and Blue has opened up a second branch in Clapham. It may not be quite as pretty as the original, but it does just as good a job of unravelling the mysteries of wine for its customers. Drop by for one of the regular wine-tasting evenings, or just for a glass or two alongside the all-day tapas. 20-26 Bedford Road, SW4. Tel: 020 7498 9648.