The Light Lounge, Chinatown
Chinatown’s best kept secret. Chic and intimate – an oasis in the madness of Leicester Square and Soho. Escape the tourists and chill out in this bar that bucks the area’s reputation of noisy sports bars and American chains. Music sets the tone, but you can still hear your date’s conversation and there’s a small terrace for smokers.
Friendly barmaid Nicola will guide you through the myriad fabulous-sounding cocktails on the menu, with weird and wonderful ingredients that you’ve never heard of. Barman Peter shakes up a storm – a must order is the Violets are Blue, a cocktail which harks back to childhood days of penny sweets and pick ‘n’ mix. I had my first ever Pisco Sour, which was a delight to consume. My date ordered an off-menu Whisky Sour, the best he’d had in a long time. Also on the list was a Light Lounge Smash. Suffice to say the cocktails were so wonderful that we were stumbling down the stairs on our way out….
Come to The Light Lounge for some warm up drinks before going for a meal in the infamous Chinatown. Bag a table by the bar if you want a more chilled out experience, or grab a booth in the corner if you want to be a little more intimate. Mid-week is a little quieter, before it gets rowdy at the weekends. If your date doesn’t work out, then book a booth for a private party and you can order canapés to soak up the booze.
If you have an exhibitionist inner-Paris Hilton, and love dancing on the bar and spraying champagne on the crowd, then this isn’t for you.
3. Intimate venue, cracking drinks.