When I’m out in the West End – shopping in Covent Garden or catching a show – I always love to either start or finish my evening at Freud. It’s industrial, unpretentious atmosphere and strong, well made cocktails (as well as a healthy beer and wine selection) makes it a winner every time with me. Oh, and they have kick-ass taste in music – electronic and perfectly balanced between ambient and up-beat.

This cellar bar, just off Shaftsbury Avenue, sits below the Freud shop which sells alternative home design pieces – tea and coffee sets, glassware etc – that are also used and showcased in the bar. The Cafe Bar Gallery (as it says in neon outside) started the year I was born (1986) and is still going strong. While I tend to spend evenings there, it’s also open during the day as a cafe serving soups, salads, sandwiches and great coffee.

The bare walls are adorned with rotating art exhibitions of painting and photography, hinting at founder David Freud’s ambition to bring a sense of the Viennese cafe culture that his father experienced during the early 20th Century to London.

The cocktail list here is very well curated. It’s got a strong list of classics (I have a weakness for Mojitos) but also a great selection of more creative recipes, and 15 types of beer. Cocktails are really reasonably priced, starting at £5.50, and house wine is available at £3.35 a glass – a bargain for central London.

This place is relaxed and attracts a diverse clientele. It’s stripped back and bare (concrete walls, minimalist furniture) but that’s half the charm, and it’s so popular people are usually sitting all the way up the stairs at the back which lead to the modest toilets. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area, and a great place to spend a Friday or Saturday night if you’re after something a little more chilled out and less expensive than a full-blow club fest.



Sholeh - I live in North London and love this city for the incredible range of things happening all at once, and the different cultures all mixed in together. I'm especially fond of going to the theatre, finding interesting cocktail bars (the lesser known the better) and eating LOTS of good food, preferably food I haven't tried before. I also have a fetish for independent book shops, turkish baths and writing.