1. Nightjar EC1
With superb cocktails and great attention to small detail, husband and wife-to-be team Roisin and Edmund's Old Street 1920s speakeasy dive/ music bar (pictured, above) got it right on every level
2. Experimental Cocktail Club W1
With 3 hip bars in Paris, this boho French invader in a Chinatownhouse late show might top my list - if only the cracking drinks were un peu moins cher, cheris.
3. Hawksmoor, Seven Dials WC2
Utterly compelling dark, clubby, butch zinc with big boy appeal and great 'tails spells Covent Garden 'classic'
4. Viajante E2
5. Beaufort Bar at the Savoy WC2
Somewhere between Dubai and Ralph Lauren, The new look Savoy comes on like a vulgar arriviste. The lighting in the American Bar turns cuties into corpses but Black Magic box, the Beaufort (pictured, right) rescues a bad design situation. Impeccable service alone justifies cripplingly high hotel prices.
6. Pepito N1
Jerez's finest; tasty tapas and an atmospheric approximation of a tiny back street Burgos bodega: y viva Espana!
Its reinvention as 1961 Tiger Bay lounge a la Shirley Bassey was a welcome discovery. So too, competent mixology. If only Notting Hill would lose the self-absorbed, cokey mavens in regulation raven.
9. The Euston Tap WC1
Reason for Birmingham-bound beer bellies to delay their departure. It's all about the ale at this microscopic curio.
10. Purl W1
Many booze-hounds' first choice, although not necessarily mine. Trying-too-hard? Still, it would be churlish not to have included this fine establishment in my top 10
1.Shaka Zulu NW1
I Shaka Khan't believe the khantin' hideousness. Justin and Collin's idea for Soweto week at Matalan? (pictured, right) The vuvuzela is not the worst thing to emerge from Africa this year, oh no!
2.Roots and Kultured W14
Kultured...as in a petri dish? Not that you'd ever hang out in West Kensington anyway, but............
3.Eastside Inn EC1
Did introducing a last gasp bar that appeared to have been bought at the Crossroads Motel closing down sale help hasten this Clerkenwell gaffe's (sic) demise?
1. Moose W1
Moose by name......................
2. Minako at The Met W2
Pan Asian sophistication as imagined by Aneka (Japanese Boy)? http://tinyurl.com/6sx6qb
3. (Name of the actual bar within escapes me and as I'll never return, that's not hugely important) at the Hotel Rafayel on the Left Bank SW11
A crash landing next to Battersea heliport. Left Bank rhymes with right ****
4. Longitude 0.8
The Meridien Piccadilly's stab at classy hotel bar boasts decor that might be a visual merchandiser, sacked by Ikea's, idea of cool.