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Dans Le Noir: 77 - 75

designmynight.com's Nick Telson offers his expertise and insider tips on the best nightlife in London

Written by . Published on October 28th 2011.

Dans Le Noir: 77 - 75

The Plough
Situated in the not so glamorous Clapham Junction, The Plough is a new addition that adds something that has been desperately needed in the area. The décor is decidedly rustic, with exposed brick, worn wood accent pieces and Meyers Golden Syrup tins used as planters on every table. It split in two with a dining section on the left with an open kitchen and the bar is central as you walk in with a more informal lounge area on the right packed full of Clapham’s young drinkers. I was surprised by the eclectic menu – which serves up fusion American/English cuisine with some surprisingly creative dishes.  What The Plough has done has brought in a tapas style menu with a modern twist on some old favourites. There are a good mix of old and new world wines and as you would expect from a Young’s pub there is a good mix of beer and ale on tap but be prepared to splash the cash for a £5 pint of Sierra Nevada which is very surprising for a Young’s venture. This is very much a new-age pub and dining experience with a huge nod in the direction to the US. A genuinely unique Anglo-American tapas menu, exemplary customer service and a welcoming space for friends to mingle, drink and dine.


Sugar Cane
I’m staying in Clapham for this next choice. Sugar Cane is the South’s answer to Mahiki. This Tiki-themed bar, a mere five minute walk from Clapham Junction, was indeed designed by the same team as Mahiki: Think palm trees outside, and bamboo huts with nooks and crannies aka “The Pirate Caves” inside interspersed with plastic flowers and Hawaiian shirts. Expect lush cocktails in the bar upstairs and head down the low-lit stairs to discover the boutique club; where you can expect a mini dance floor, Hawaiian huts, girls in hula flower leis and sharing cocktails served in plastic boats! A real party atmosphere can be expected here on the weekends with commercial and party music. If you don’t want to spend a fortune in a Tiki bar in central London then Sugar Cane is most definitely the next best option. Perfect for birthdays, stags and hens and even mid-week I would say it’s good for a quirky date!

Flemings Flemings
Elegant yet edgy, and something of a subterranean hideaway; for those in the know, the bar at the Flemings Hotel Mayfair makes an ideal escape from the hustling, bustling chaos outside. Every inch the hidden gem, the Flemings Cocktail and Tea Rooms are a little like the inside of a diamond; shiny, opulent, with cosseted little corners, and pockets of vibrant colour amidst the glass and mirrors. If you are looking for a wild night out in London, or a place to become intimately acquainted with the personal aromas of several strangers, Flemings will not appeal. Although the space is not particularly big, the layout can give the impression of being in an isolated little nook. As such, time spent here feels intimate, peaceful and private, and so it is little surprise to see several couples here on dates. The majority are professionals in their thirties, kicking back with cocktails after work. Notably, the bar seems to appeal more to women, perhaps in part due to the décor. Flemings Cocktail & Tea Rooms are, more than anything though, a place for cocktails. The menu is just right, neither overwhelmingly long, nor limited. The choice is good, ranging from famous classics to Flemings’ own more experimental concoctions, and they pull off traditional and modern with equal skill. This is a bar  to while away hours in lazy luxury. Once I sank into that huge, soft armchair, there just wasn’t a reason to get up again. Whilst it isn’t much of a quick or cheap pit stop, if you like the sound of an expertly mixed martini in a soothing little cocoon, you are in luck.

www.designmynight.com : London’s nightlife price comparison site.

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