West End bars: My perfect London day out

First things first: I need a decent brunch so head to The Riding House Cafe on Great Titchfield Street (ridinghousecafe.co.uk) for a pitcher of Bloody Mary and a smoked haddock kedgeree. After getting lost in Topshop and looking at trainers I can't afford in Niketown, I leave the hordes on Oxford Street behind and head down Argyll Street to find the entrance to Aqua Kyoto (aqua-london.com) the bar and restaurant on the top of the iconic former Dickins and Jones building on Regent Street. The rooftop terrace is perfect on a sunny day, so I kick back with a Bellini and a newspaper and drink to the best of London's skyline.

The West End is where I work and play. Loyal to my local haunts, I head for a light lunch at Sakana-tei on Maddox Street (020 7629 3000), which does brilliant Japanese food. I have a dobin mushi (seafood broth) and some toro (fatty tuna) sashimi, which is the best in town, and it all goes perfectly with a carafe of sake – it is the weekend after all.

After lunch I dive into the den of debauchery that is Soho. The Seven Noses of Soho never fail to put a smile on my face (look up on the wall of Meard Street, at the Dean Street end) and neither does Gerry's, the best booze shop in the world. Next I like to pop into Mark's Bar dowstairs at Hix (hixsoho.co.uk) on Brewer Street and, if feeling punchy, will order a deadly Hix Fix, the ultimate pick-me-up (morello cherries in somerset eau de vie crowned with sparkling wine). I also can't resist the quail's egg shooters and always pig out on the free twiglets. With dusk fast approaching, it's essential to line the stomach with a sturdy Guinness at the legendary Toucan pub on Carlisle Street near Soho Square.

Just around the corner there's Barrafina, whose delectable tapas are hard to resist. I am a regular here and usually order razor clams and chilli chips and sink head first into the extensive wine and sherry list before I head on my merry way.

By this time the night owls are out, so it's compulsory to join them. Lodged between two sex shops, Mexican cocktail bar El Camion is run by the legendary Dick Bradsell (creator of the Espresso Martini, no mean feat). The reason Dick was put on this earth was to make drinks, very good drinks indeed. I order margaritas, (when in Rome, right?), dance, and polka home at 3am, wearing a sombrero.

• Bar Chick blogs about drinking in London and 30 other world cities at barchick.com


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