5 Places to Go Drinking Along the Charing Cross Road

It's always margarita o'clock in Charing Cross

Any self-respecting Londoner will generally avoid drinking in Central London like the plague due to the unbearable throng of tourists, the sky high drinks prices and the unpleasantly strong probability of bumping into an old acquaintance whose name they've long since forgotten. However, that said, here are 5 excellent gems dotted on and along Charing Cross Road that you can rely on for a decent drink when in Central London:

1. The Cork and Bottle

This upmarket wine bar on Cranbourne Street is in blinking distance of Leicester Square Station, but as it's tucked away in a basement where the average tourist who's gravitating towards the M&M store like a moth to a flame will never find it. It has an amazing wine list and plenty of varieties of cheese on offer, and the snug setting makes it the perfect place for a catch up with a friend and spying on a first date.

2. Bar Salsa

When is it not Happy Hour at Bar Salsa? Seemly never (actually, happy hour is 5pm - 8pm every day, yes, every day) so it's the perfect place to start your evening. The massive variety of cocktails on offer take you through a nice tour of each and every gradient of the rainbow, and the outdoor seating is perfect for long summer evenings. It starts to get busy quickly though ahead of the nightly dance classes, so make sure you get there early to get ahead of the bar queues.

3. Le Beaujolais

A friend recently introduced me to this lovely atmospheric little wine bar on Litchfield Street (I'd never even spotted it before) - apparently it's a favourite haunt of French expats, and it has an excellent wine list where you can get a decent glass of house red for less than £4. It was buzzing when we went on a Friday night (though we still managed to get a table), but apparently it's normally a safe bet if you want somewhere a bit quieter to hang out with friends.

4. Weatherspoons

A trip to Charing Cross Road is never complete without a pitstop in Spoons. What? It may be a massive chain - yadda yadda - but it's a reliable friend to every broke Londoner.

It's my first choice of venue to watch the World Cup, though get there early if you want a table and get ready to be deafened by off-key singing. It's also a historical venue in its own right and was once hosted for a gig by The Beatles.

5. The Royal George

The Royal George has to be one of the nicest pubs in Central London, and it tends to be fairly uncrowded, especially as it's currently tucked away down the side of the Crossrail works behind Tottenham Court Road. They sell a decent range of world beers, they host live music and comedy, and go on a Wednesday night and you'll find the basement full of ukulele players from all walks of life coming together to jam using a big pile of communal songbooks. I got serenaded by them on my birthday once and it made my day!