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Most locals will have spent plenty of time being turned away from this cult bar, but if you've not been before, don't let the queue or the surly doorman put you off. Drinkable treasures – and often live music – await those who are patient, although it's best to book a table. The Ti Punch (gin, chai, lime and rare Martinique rum) comes in a teapot that wouldn't look out of place in Barbara Cartland's kitchen, puffing smoke all around. Otherwise, there are no fewer than five lists, designated by time period (pre-prohibition, post-war, etc) – although we'd suggest homing in on 'Nightjar signatures'. After trying the Velveteen (a potent, mouth-coating mix of whisky, chicory coffee, chocolate stout, truffled potato purée and mint foam), you'll never be content with an Espresso Martini again.
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Nightjar is, with a doubt, one of my favourite cocktail bars in London. The bar is discretely located close to Old Street Tube with only a small plaque outside the door and a maitre’d with the all important guest list. Head down the staircase and you’re immediately transported to the 1920s in this basement speakeasy. The atmosphere in Nightjar is second to none with soft lighting, intimate seating and live jazz, swing and blues. It really feels quite special. And of course, a bar wouldn’t be a bar without cocktails and Nightjar’s are some of the best and most creative I’ve tried. Split into eras, you can choose from...
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