We usually avoid walking through Covent Garden’s piazza, let alone meeting there for a drink. But Stereo, a bar, live music venue, and restaurant, is worth dodging tourists, street performers, and swarms of pigeons. Descend to the moody basement and slink into one of the low leather sofas for interesting house cocktails like a bourbon, fino sherry, and amaretto number, and well-made classics. The action happens around the warmly lit, circular bar in the middle, which is ideal for a solo post-work margarita and a chat with the bartenders. Alternatively retreat to the corner for a cosy tête-à-tête, or get a spot by the stage for the nightly live music. It’s worth booking a table later in the week as people get more dressed up, the volume increases, and there’s a high chance of dancing.

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