>Babel, Northcote Road
This looked like the most lively bar on the street as we approached, with punters drinking on the street terrace and pretty much standing room only inside, but on closer inspection it was more like an All Bar One clone.
Modern fittings and décor and a reasonable soundtrack made our visit a fairly pleasant one (as did the Olympic men’s 200m sprint heats on the huge TV screens – for me and Sue anyway!) and the people at the next table even attempted a brief but friendly conversation with us! Weird, for London, we thought… Anyway, we reckoned not bad for a quick pre-dinner drink or meet-up point, but not enough style to make us come back.
Holy Drinker, Northcote Road
This little bar was a lot better. The owners describe the place as a grown-up bar for grown-up drinkers. It had a much better crowd, interesting furniture, a weird play list (Sue and I thought it was OK but Orlando was not impressed) and a great vibe.
Orlando even saw Sandy, the Scottish bloke from Big Brother 3, at the bar). We even got talking to the couple beside us (must have been the night for it!). Definitely worth a visit, we would all return. www.holydrinker.co.uk
Iniquity, Northcote Road
This was by far the coolest place we visited. They describe the place as “elegant and louche” and this was exactly what we found inside this black and red interior. My personal favourite was the huge vase of blood-red gladioli on the bar – dramatic and theatrical.
The barman was friendly and helpful, the cocktail list was excellent, the menu looked interesting (sort of tapas from around the world) and the crowd very fashionable. We liked. www.iniquitybar.com
B@1 Bar, Battersea Rise
This sister bar to the popular ones in Richmond and Covent Garden was heaving by the time we got there. We didn’t stay as by this time we were looking for coffees which they did not serve (none of us were drinking and there is only so much sparkling water one can drink!). In any event, the music was excellent, the crowd lively and young, and I reckon this would be a good place to start or end the evening. Definitely worth a second visit. www.beatone.co.uk