Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS, 020 7382 6180
Tube: Barbican (barbican.org.uk)
The scene: Scandinavian styling and 60s decor give the lounge a retro vibe, but it’s understated and stylish rather than gaudy. If you feel like you’re in a film, it’ll be more James Bond than Austin Powers.
The grub: There are lots of surprising treats on the small-plate tapas menu, which takes its influences from across Europe. The tiger prawns with Pernod butter are heavenly, as is the goat’s cheese with beetroot jelly.
You can order small dishes to share or go for a large version as a main meal. Be warned, though, the tapas plates, although delicious, are tiny, so if you’re starving you may end up spending more than you bargained for as you keep ordering more.
Behind the bar: The elegant bar has a great selection of beers, wines and classic cocktails. The mojitos rock.
Bill please: Small plates from £4, cocktails from £8.50.
Verdict: The Barbican Centre is worth a look simply to check out its striking architecture While you’re there, a visit to this uber-chic lounge is a must. And that’s before you remember that this is a world class multi-arts venue. Bonus!
– Frankie Mullin