Tuesday, 31 January 2012

How To Bond With Your Man In London

By Philippa Morton.

Relationships take work. Somehow couples have to figure out the bills, rent, savings, insurance and all that horrible crap. Then, there’s compromise. For me it’s with food. My day is spent in a frenzy of learning how to be healthy without eating just a bowl of grass; my nights taken over by my serial fussy foodie alter-ego. There’s a lot of compromise needed for cooking time, food choices, managing my, sorry, our kitchen, and budgets on eating out in restaurants! All this between extremely long, stressful hours of work, and we haven’t even got kids yet. How often do you think we, as a couple, enjoy going out in London, searching high and low for the bars, pubs or clubs that cater to our needs?

I don’t need to say it because we all know that most central to all this is the nucleus that bonds you together: love. That all-important bond is what you need to pamper, nurture and strengthen a relationship; so easy to overlook with all the other demands of life. Even writing for Fluid London can be demanding when you can’t seem to get a moment off. I’m sure you know the feeling. But, on the other hand, Fluid London gives us the chance to nurture that nucleus. I was reminded of this on our visit to Village Underground bar/club in Shoreditch, east London, on Saturday night.
We both love to dance, I’m the crazy-keen dancer and he’s the loveable groover. I love Rock n Roll guitar music, he loves electro dance music. So even with our common interest, there are differences and compromises to be made. Such is a relationship.

The Stumblin Slims Rock N Roll Club gig was presented by Camden's Blues Kitchen bar and diner-restaurant (above). So, this was the SECOND time in a row that it was my favourite choice of dancing. A few weeks before, we had celebrated my friend’s birthday at City FireFly Barwith Swing dancing (close enough to Rock n’ Roll). Of course, this means next time it’s definitely HIS choice, so I suggested that we go to Zigfrid Von Underbellyin Hoxton Square as we have both been there on separate nights with our friends, but not together. I know he’ll love the groovy electro beats and we will have fun dancing in their underground bar. If you’re someone with the same taste in music that he has, I know you will, too.

But for now, we were both most impressed with Village Underground. It was probably an old London factory of sorts, with arched ceilings and sky lights, and of course beautiful exposed brickwork. An East London gem. He also loves architecture, and that’s when the penny dropped: it’s important that you keep your bonding activities varied and interesting. But then you probably already know that, right girls? It wasn’t, however, something I’d consciously thought about. It was just what London happened to present to us onthat night in that part of east London.

Irritatingly, my invite indicated a 7pm start, which most of us learned, in the dark arts of bar and club etiquette, means 8pm, at least. So having grabbed dinner on the way at arestaurant in Liverpool Street (some awesome bonding time,discussing the menu, sharing the food and testing our mutual love for chocolate fondant), we arrived at 9pm only to be told that the doors weren’t open! Eventually they did open, but only after a drink at the Hoxton Pony. Say what you will about the nightlife scene in London, at least it keeps you on your toes.

London has a love for classic, vintage style and so all the foot-soldiers of the retro craze would have been there that night. There were ladies with poodles on their heads (not actual poodles, but you know what I mean) and they complimented these 50’s hairstyles with stunning flair dresses. The guys were leather-clad, as though they had stepped out of the cast of ‘Grease.’ After ‘Tutti Frutti’, ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ and ‘Shake, Rattle N Roll’ by the DJ the first band started to play. Die Hard Rock n Rollers jived up the front while happy listeners bopped at the back, there was a place for everyone.

I was stuck somewhere in between. I really wanted was to be a die hard, part of the crowd up front rushing the stage, BUT for the sake of not embarrassing my boyfriend I made that sacrifice. At least this time we weren’t bickering over who was doing the wrong move, like at City FireFly Bar. No, it was more like the time we went Salsa dancing at Camino bar (above) in King’s Cross. We danced to a live salsa band under the summer stars. Such a special night that became a special memory. We really need to do this sort of thing more often. Luckily, we live in London, the right city for it.

We have resolved to take more dance classes together “when we have the time”. For now, we will enjoy every dancing opportunity in London we can take. But if you’re not a big dancing couple or if it is your thing and not his, London has many wonderful bars, pubs and clubs for food/drinks and live bands. Endless opportunities to find the middle-ground that suit you and your relationship. And really, is there anyone who would moan about an evening of live music and cocktails? With your relationship, I think you’ll find that sometimes a cliché is good advice: MAKE THE TIME, lady! Never forget that your bond is more important than that pressing bill or project. For, without the nucleus, the entire cell has no structure, no direction.

I can’t wait for the next gig from Blues Kitchen. But really do I have to wait that long? Can anybody tell me PLEEEAASE when the next gig is on?? Anybody?

Monday, 30 January 2012

8 Cool Date Ideas In London

Fluid London has recently become good mates with the hip new London dating website, DoingSomething, which is based on one simple idea: dating is a whole load more fun when you’re actually DoingSomething. Doing an activity - any activity - immediately gives you something in common and takes away those awkward cringe worthy feelings. The worst-case scenario is that there is no worst-case scenario. Who cares if you don’t fall in love? At least you got to play ping-pong or go on a ghost walking tour together.

It’s FREE to create a profile on DoingSomething and if you subscribe through Fluid London you’ll end up saving £50 squids.

Click here to start DoingSomething with someone in London, and once you’re signed up, maybe you’d like to try one of these dating ideas in London, supplied by our buddies at DoingSomething

Cook, Eat & Run at L’atelier des Chefs
Every month heralds a new statistic about how little time we Brits take for lunch. DoingSomething are determined to buck pretty much any trend going, so why not meet someone new AND take part in a cooking course under the watchful eye of a Michelin-starred Chef? At Cook, Eat and Run you prepare a main course from scratch. Then eat it. Or take it back to the office to show it off. And if you join DoingSomething, you can save £20 and book it for £30.87 thank you very much. Bargainous!

Rockaoke
Singing is a great – admittedly, high risk - way to get to know someone new. Obviously there’s the Lucky Voices of this world, and the slightly less polished (and DoingSomething friend), Karaoke Box. But straightforward Karaoke is so 2011. Step forward Rockaoke. Essentially, it’s karaoke where the usual bontempi style backing track and extremely dubious video is replaced with A LIVE BAND. That’s right, we’ve employed block capitals to get this point across. You get to sing karaoke WITH A LIVE BAND. We’ve already seen Rockaoke crop up on a few DoingSomething profiles, so it must be hip! Pre-book songs on the site before you, ahem, rock up. Choose Dancing Queen. We dare you.

Skatefresh
Inline skating class in Hyde Park; a golden chance to impress with either your fine skating skill or good humour when you fall flat on your arse. You might not fall head over heels in love on a Skatefresh date (that pun is as bad as anything you ever heard on Blind Date) but at least you’ll learn how to skate.

Sounds Familiar
Disco in pub quiz format. After a summer at Glastonbury, Bestival, and the Big Chill, it’s now back in London. Rounds include ‘does liking this record make me uncool?’ ,‘feel the power ballad’ and ‘round of cheese’. Hosted by MC Quizzical, the whole shebang turning into a disco, time permitting. Sounds courtesy of Pump Up The Jam Disco 2000 Roadshow. It pops up from time to time so look out for the next one.

Ice Cream Camden Taste Test
One to look forward to at the first hint of Spring. Start your trip at the kitsch, aquatically themed, Marine Ices where the service can be on the surly side, which only adds to the experience. Jamaican Rum and Raisin with a Banana Split comes recommended. Their pistachio is well worth checking out. Then head to the fashionable, Heston-esque Chin Chin Laboratorists which bills itself as “Europe’s first Nitro Ice Cream parlour.” Once there, the ice cream 'laboratorists', husband-and-wife duo, Ahrash Akbari-Kalhur and Nyisha Weber, don cryo gloves and safety goggles to make your ice cream as you wait. It’s more basil and green tea than rum and raisin, so once you’ve done both you’ll have plenty to chat about. A good weekend date this one, as long as there is a bit of sunshine. Plus, Chin Chin is not open on Mondays and Camden’s quite lively come market day.

Active Drinking
There are plenty of interesting underground bars around Shoreditch - The Nightjar, Worship Street Whistling Shop or The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, for example – but a classic date should always involve some sort of activity, and The Book Club has a ping pong table. The way someone plays a game can be very telling: too competitive? Good loser? Gracious victor? Loser buys drinks?

School of Life Sunday Sermon
Secular sermons at Holborn’s Conway Hall are an inspiring start to anyone’s Sunday and start with a mass sing-along loosely themed around the event (we’ve sung Eye of The Tiger and Fairytale of New York on separate occasions). Then there’s the talk/sermon itself, ranging from topics such as The NeuroScience of Storytelling to the Art of Mindfulness. A Sunday Sermon gives you and your date plenty to chew over. Pop into The Bountiful Cow afterwards to contemplate your new, shared wisdom.

A Duck Tour
We’ve all seen them: bright yellow amphibious vehicles rolling around London, half full of Japanese tourists being pointed and laughed at by children (the buses, not the tourists, obviously). Onboard commentary imparts all manner of interesting London titbits. Then you edge down a causeway on the South Side of the Thames and spend the final half hour of the tour floating on the river. Quality! How could a date like this ever be boring?

Images courtesy of Flickr users Matt Hutchinson, Gill Wildman, pomphorhynchus, JD Hancock, Duncan Harris, bianchiandrea.com, Casey West, Niamheen, derekGavey, and dennoir.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Call To The Scaredy Cat Meateaters

By Nathalie Bonney.

Despite having the surname Bonney, I’m about as Scottish as sunshine north of the border, the desire to pay more than the required service charge and cut-glass vowels. There, now that I’ve offended Scotland with my neat observations on Scottish stereotypes, I can really piss them off by talking about Burns Night.

Seriously, I have no problem with the Scots. Last year, in fact, I had a fantastic Burns Night at Glenshees. After a day of skiing (on real snow), which included gingerly walking down a steep patch and dramatically wailing “I can’t do it!”, only to fall over, fail to reattach my ski in scaredy cat mode and prove my words correct, a traditional Burns dinner awaited me.

In all honesty, the idea of eating a sheep’s lungs, brain, heart and whatever else of the poor bleater had been minced up with oatmeal and seasoning, filled me with nearly as much dread as my earlier ski-fear-attack-episode. I am, alas, one of those meat eaters who will never go vegetarian but has the nerve to get upset thinking of fluffy lambs frolicking in fields with pretty-as-pink pigs while doe-eyed Bambis and powder puff chicks run about them.

Anyway, back to the haggis. Despite all my reservations, I was surprised to discover that not only was it bearable, it was extremely tasty. Ironically, haggis, which is essentially offal, reminds me of good quality sausages, which aren’t nearly as offally in content – but I think that’s because of the cereal flavor and the fact that haggis isn’t like a cheap processed sausage or burger pattie - and like Lush soap, it’s all natural.

A year later I’m at a pre-Burns night and again I get to feast on haggis, which ‘hurdles like a distant hill’ and through its ‘pores the dews distil/Like amber bead.’ (What? Rabbie Burns said it and he’s a man of literature so what he says goes. There’s nothing ridiculous about a haggis hurdling and having an acne problem.)

In spite of Rabbie’s words, the haggis at The Rib Room restaurant in Knightsbridge, looked utterly incapable of jumping over a high fence. Brought to the diners in our curtained-off, private room, and accompanied by a reading of Burns’ ‘Address to a Haggis’, the objects of delectation had a polished, pearly irridiscence to them. These edible paperweights were as beautiful to eat as admire (especially when served alongside the requisite neeps and tatties and gorgeously deep pink venison. Note how haggis has cured me of my cowardly carnivorism.)

Given that we’d already been treated to a tangy crowdie cheese salad and pan-fried scallops with croquetta of skink and cauliflour puree (my favourite), by the time I’d finished the main course, I was prepared for pudding to be a letdown. But The Rib Room restaurant came up trumps serving me my favourite dessert of all time (and I didn’t even know it was Scottish!): three puddings. The trick with this dish is to serve smaller portions of each pudding so that the diner can fool themselves into believing they are not eating so much. Dundee cake soufflé and cranachan (basically a Scot’s version of Eton mess with oatmeal, cream and fresh raspberries), battled it out to be the coveted top pud; the Drambuie choc mousse was a steady bronze.

For your own taste of Scottish fayre head to The Rib Room restaurant between today and 25 January. A 5-course dinner costs £50 a head, including a delicious slainte cocktail on arrival (gin martini with heather syrup) and uber-cute mini tunnocks served with coffee after.

Or for £100 per person, you can hire the Buccleuch private dining room (pictured below) and receive a bottle of Glenmorangie Astar single malt to share, plus MORE haggis and the essential bagpipes/Rabbie Burns poem ensemble.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Top 5 Cosy “By The River” Pubs In London

By Alessandra Frosoni.

Who said riverside pubs are good only in summertime? Going for a pint or for cosy, warming food after a long cold day, are my favourite ways to relax. Even better if the view reminds me of a Turner painting.

I love riverside pubs in winter time: looking out of the window at the river and the London skyline, whilst eating a traditional pie or bangers and mash, is the best way to spend a chilled Saturday evening or a grey Sunday. Here are my Top 5 Cosy “By The River” Pubs In London.
The Horniman, near London Bridge
The Horniman – at the Hays Galleria - is an excellent pub for events and the usual happy hours. I visited this pub during the festive season in 2011 when the pub was in full swing. I attended an event for the presentation of a new Christmas range of Nicholson’s Freehouse Ales. It was an interesting presentation. I also enjoyed being pampered by the excellent staff. The Cellar was great; very retro style. The upstairs area is traditional and has various big screen TVs to watch sport events. It’s great to grab a seat outside by the river - there are plenty of patio heaters - to check out Tower Bridge and the beauty of the London skyline. The pub serves a good range of ales and traditional British food. A nice place to park up if you want to be avoided on Friday nights, if you don’t like after work drinks congestion.
The Anchor pub, South Bank
This is by far my favourite riverside pub. Just down the road from Vinopolis and the riverside - off London Bridge - The Anchor pub is spacious and excellent for “hang around” type pub visits. Real antiques, characteristic low beams, and visible brickwork and fireplaces make it a must-visit in London. The stunning 18th century Shakespeare Room, is available if you have a birthday or – why not – you are getting married. The service and the ales are really great. Avoid food on busy evenings, though. Great terraced seating outside. To be dodged if you don’t like tourists.
Princess of Wales pub, Clapton
This pub in Clapton is very traditional but unique for its location, just by the river. Its name actually commemorates Princess Diana. My favourite from their menu are the homemade pies, which are usually listed as house specials. The chicken pie is top of my list. The pub’s strength is not the beer (although pleasant) but the very traditional food. People who go by boat mainly frequent it. A comfortable atmosphere, a guaranteed seat to eat traditionally and a peep at the river at the same time.
The White Cross pub, Richmond
Location, location, location! This is pub is spectacular. Just on the river, a few minutes from Richmond Bridge. Perfect post-cricket pub. In winter the pub is excellent since it offers a fantastic inside retreat with fireplaces, and real fire! Upstairs balconies give you the option of a great view. The ales are excellent too. I went there couple of times for Sunday roast. It is served till late at night and is delicious, abundant and inexpensive.
The Anglers pub, Teddington
Right on the river Thames, in Teddington, The Anglers is a rustic, truly British pub in a great setting. Creaking wooden floors, well-worn leather chairs and varnished wooden tables all work to give the pub that special rustic touch, while heavy velvet curtains and paintings on the wall keep things classy. A huge conservatory leads out to an equally huge garden. There’s plenty of seating inside and out. Family-friendly, The Anglers is filled with people of all ages, with Sunday lunches being particularly busy. The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable. The menu is predominantly British, with hearty home-cooked dishes: ham terrine, pork with apple sauce and on Sunday, succulent, juicy roasts and giant Yorkshire puddings, crunchy potatoes and fresh vegetables. There’s a great choice of beers and wines. If you want to get cosy by the fire in winter, spend a day with the family, be relaxed but in an elegant, warm atmosphere, this is your ideal pub.



Images courtesy of Flickr users Ewan-M and Jim Linwood.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

How To Win A Valentine’s Escape To The Heart of London

By Kenny Duggal

For some, Valentine's Day is that special day to celebrate with your other half, show them how much they mean to you, how you care, and make a big statement about your love for one another. For me, it's something to fear and it's only rivalled by my intense arachnophobia. At least spiders are small and easy to squash; Valentine's Day hangs around throughout the whole of January, pressuring to find the perfect gift, and create the most magical of moments for the other half.

As my friends whisk their partners off on lavish holidays or shower them with expensive jewellery, I’ve find myself sweating off several pounds a day trying to come up with some amazing and original idea that won't break the bank and impress her enough to keep my relationship status on Facebook intact.

But I'm not the most organised guy in the world, so I often end up with nothing at the last minute before I cut up empty Frosties boxes into hearts, colour them in with felt tip pens and put my own quick spin on the whole "Roses Are Red" rhyme written with Tip-Ex (I was a really big fan of Art Attack when I was younger).

Finding a Valentine's Day gift that impresses more than taking a quick shopping trip to Clinton Cards can be difficult, but Fluid London has gone to the trouble to make this Valentine's Day a big win for you, your loved one AND your wallet with possibly our most romantic competition prize to date.

We've teamed up with the fine folk over at Anytrip.com and one of the latest restaurant-bars to win our hearts, Powder Keg Diplomacy to create the best possible Valentine's Day experience for you and your loved one. And best of all, you can save all those cereal boxes for makeshift cards for your other half's birthday. We're really beating that recession now, people.




If Lady Luck is on your side, you'll win a two-night stay, complete with full English breakfasts, on a date of your choosing at the luxury B&B The Staunton Hotel in Bloomsbury, a beautiful Grade II Georgian Town House boasting seventeen marble finished en suite guest rooms. The best bit? The Staunton is right in the heart of London's West End, so you're only a few minutes from Oxford Street, Soho Square, Covent Garden and Theatreland, so there's plenty of exploration and getting intimate with some of the bars and restaurants you've been reading about on Fluid London.



And to make things extra special, we'll be sending you on your way to be pampered at Powder Keg Diplomacy, the new restaurant and bar from the same team who brought you The Blind Tiger, Lost Society, and Citizen Smith, which, needless to say, have impressed us a fair bit before!

Your first stop at Powder Keg Diplomacy, will be The Rifle Club Bar influenced by the Victorian imagination, innovation and era where you'll enjoy sipping on some tasty cocktails. Make sure to ask for the Baron whilst you're at the bar and he'll lead you through the Observatory Dining Room and pass you along to the Lady A. There, you'll be spoilt and get to wine and dine your special friend with a bottle from the Colonial Wine list and feast on three courses from menu inspired by centuries of great British recipes with seasonal ingredients sourced solely from the land and sea of the UK.

How To Enter This Valentine’s Competition All you need to do is visit our Facebook page and follow the simple instructions.

If you're holding back from entering because you're single and haven't found that special someone to take along on this great London getaway, don't let that hold you back; enter anyway and if you win I'm free whenever you need me; I enjoy long walks in the park, I’m extremely low maintenance, and my favourite colour is orange.

Friday, 13 January 2012

A Scot’s Backing Of Burns Night At Boisdale On Bishopsgate

By Sophie Marie Atkinson, the Scot.

There are two things that keep me going through these dour, post-Christmas winter weeks: knowing that the Six Nations is merely weeks away; and Burns Night.

Much to my thoroughly English parents’ displeasure (whose faces turn ashen when I don my navy-blue rugby shirt) I am thoroughly (fiercely) proud of the country that I was born and brought up in, and once a year, sometime in late January, I get to partake in two of my favourite past times (eating sheep’s stomach and drinking whiskey, naturally) as well as pretend that I understand incomprehensible poems, such as Burn’s unfathomable Address to a Haggis (‘Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
 Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!’ – seriously, I studied Scottish language at uni and I still don’t have the slightest clue what is going on here).
For the uninitiated, Burns Night is an evening of celebration of the life of Robert (or Rabbie) Burns, the 18th century Scottish poet, and takes place on or around our very own Bard’s birthday, January 25.

But since abandoning Scotland for smoggier climes, I have often felt perplexed by where to spend this wondrous evening because recreating the full Burns Night experience in your own home isn’t the easiest, especially if you don’t have a set of bagpipes to hand.
And then as if by magic, this year I stumbled upon (read: was invited to) the Holy Grail of Scottish food and drink-based experiences where all my haggis-based prayers were answered. And by sheer coincidence, the venue hosting the Burns Night preview evening is one of my favourite places to dine in London (as long as someone else is footing the bill): Boisdale of Bishopsgate.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Boisdale restaurants, there are three of them dotted about some of the city’s swankiest areas: Belgravia, Bishopsgate and Canary Wharf. As their locations might suggest, these bar/restaurants have a bit of a ‘boys’ club’ feel to them and even come complete with a caviar and oyster bar and cigar library. A carnivore’s dream, the menus are bursting with the highest quality meat and seafood, from divine rock oysters to scallops served with black pudding; wild Highland venison burgers to 28-day 12oz fillet (be sure to sample the Bloody Mary sauce which is served alongside the thick cut chips).

But I digress from the very tartan coloured matter at hand.

During the Boisdale’s Burns Night spectacular - which will take place at all three principalities between January 16-28 - patrons can choose from three-set menus to cater for all budgets. OK, not all budgets, this is the Boisdale after all. These will feature the finest Scottish ingredients including Hebridean handpicked crab cocktail and mini roast Macsween haggis served alongside a Talisker of 10 year-old, single malt Scottish whiskey; Aberdeenshire beef steaks and Loch Durat salmon. Puddings include traditional steamed ‘clootie’ dumplings (must tastier than they sound) and Raspberry Cranachan: honey, roasted oats, cream and raspberry. No expense is spared here, and there’s not a sniff of deep-fried Mars Bars or Irn Bru.

During the evening, a piper (in full Highland regalia, but of course) will pipe in the haggis to each participating table and perform the traditional ‘stabbing’ (like what happens in Glasgow most Friday nights, but different).

For home-sick Scots to simply curious Sassenachs, there’s only one place to be this January. Be sure to book soon, as tables will sell out quickly.

To discover more restaurants and bars in London that are celebrating Burns Night 2012, follow this link.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The Rise & Falls Of Basement Bars

By Nina Koo-Seen-Lin.

Curiosity fell down the rabbit hole: my own personal spin on the traditional proverb. It’s more about stumbling into a land of wonder (just like Alice) rather than stopping someone from being too inquisitive about some things. I am an inquisitive person (nosey); you have to be to be a writer, especially a Fluid London writer. So I often prep myself with this phrase to delve deeper when trying something new. It’s been a good saying, and one I’ve been happy with. However, I think I may have to adapt it slightly for this blog post to curiosity fell down the basement bar steps.

I have done this four times in four very different venues located in cellars. The first was at Ninetyeight bar in Shoreditch. Despite tumbling down a few steps of an iron-cast corkscrew staircase, I picked myself up laughing. I laugh out loud when I see someone fall over on the street or trip on or out of a tube (yes, I know that’s mean and I’m a horrible person) but I laugh ten times more when I’m the fallen.

The second was at Cherryjam for a previous blog feature. That was technically more of a tipsy trip after a visit upstairs to use the WC.

Then there was that time I went to Bourne and Hollingsworth. That was a bit upsetting as I was sporting a beehive so rock hard with hairspray I was told nothing could dent it. A blunder down the stairs did and I ended up spending the rest of the evening looking like a battered Adele and sipping a Dark & Stormy from a jam jar. Not a sight you see in Fitzrovia often I think.

Most recently I attended the launch of Flûte London, a Champagne bar & lounge located on Great Portland Street. Like all basement bars it’s a case of walk your way towards the place, blink and you’ll miss it. The only reason my +1 and I found the place was the sight of an ever-increasing queue lining the pavement. It was a bitterly cold evening so my haste to get in could be 65% responsible for my little falter in step. The remaining 35% I blame on the dark, which is pretty much standard though for a venue located in a cellar.

Once the coat has been shrugged off, a glass of bubbly placed in my hand and the neck cricked back in to place, I began to feel privileged for a) surviving, and b) being let in on this secret venue.

For that’s what basement bars are: hidden holes that offer good times, quirky settings and drinks that somehow taste better because you’re being served underground. There was definitely a certain sense of smug satisfaction that while we were sipping flutes of Champagne and nibbling on mini bruschetta bites topped with finely chopped mushrooms, above us hoards of commuters were jostling and elbowing their way through crowds of Miss Selfridge, Topshop and Urban Outfitter shoppers. They had no idea where I was – HA HA HA!

I feel this is something that is (probably already) short-lived. A lot of these dark underground settings are getting noticed and therefore generating more interest. The hype is well deserved. Basement bars have that private den-like appeal with a hint of the mystique. Once uncovered by a few, it’s revealed to everyone and becomes the latest place to be (un)seen. A late visit to Freud in Covent Garden could result in you having to perch on the staircase because all the tables are taken.

It won’t be too long before Flûte London becomes more a hangout haunt rather than a desolate dwelling. There’s already a schedule filled with live jazz nights, New York DJs and Champagne-tasting classes. And with around 100 sparkling wines and Champagnes to choose from, available by the glass (around £5) or bottle (around £50), the place offers a fizz fusion of choice at very affordable prices. Now that’s something to fall over for, surely!