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Musicians jamming on a central raised stage are the focus at this handsomely converted Victorian printworks, now an exuberant 400-capacity live-music lounge. It’s a sassy basement spot, with the feel of a 1950s Greenwich Village jazz cellar produced by leather upholstery, intimate banquette-lined vaulted booths and on-point barmen shaking out mean Martinis. French 75s, Mai Tais, Singapore Slings and Old Fashioneds are among the retro rinses. Shanghai (peach and jasmine) Iced Tea may be pricey, but as there’s no cover charge and the house musicians are a uniformly high-calibre crew, its £12 price tag can be justified. Wines start at a reasonable £16. Snack on sliders, croquettes, veggie fritters, filled rolls, charcuterie boards or a gut-busting chilli dog slathered in savoury Mexican gubbins. Jot down your request on a paper napkin and the band will oblige. A separate hush bar is handy should you want to escape the hen parties.
After standing on my feet all day, I was really looking forward to a night of good music and cocktails to kick-start my weekend. Located in the basement of a Victorian listed warehouse in the heart of Farringdon, The Piano Works is a creative space of live music and entertainment which seeks to revive the tradition of Victorian music halls - the fascinating, long-forgotten days of smoking jazz lounges, swing balls and Charleston jives. With my wristband strapped on, I made my way down the stairs to the basement where I was further welcomed with a chilled glass of prosecco before I explored the vast space....
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