Hookah … shisha … whatever you want to call it, a relaxed and al fresco sit round the hubbly bubbly pipe can add a bit of chilled out exotic charm to any night on the town. Here's a list of four of the best spots in London for having a Middle Eastern puff.
Mayfair: 37A Curzon Street, W1J 7TX; nearest London Underground station is at Green Park.
Knightsbridge: 136 Brompton Road, SW3 1HY; nearest London Underground station is at Knightsbridge.
Okay, technically this is a list of five not four venues as Mamounia Lounge actually has two rather upscale locations in London. There's the Knightsbridge lounge across from famous Harrods department store as well as the one in exclusive Mayfair. Both have excellent restaurants and a glamourous buzz. The Mayfair lounge may have a slight edge over its sister establishment with more outdoor seating situated off a less trafficked road. Find out more at mamounialounge.com.
Sara Cafe & Sandwich Bar
13A Crawford Street, W1U 6BZ
Nearest London Underground station is at Baker Street.
Established in 20014, the already legendary Sara Cafe & Sandwich Bar offers an outstanding selection of shisha flavors alongside a tasty assortment of teas, snacks and freshly made juices. Have a look for yourself at saracafe.co.uk.
61-63 Edgware Road, W2 2HZ
Nearest London Underground station is at Marble Arch.
Edgware Road is the cultural heart of London's Middle Eastern community and a smart destination for a glimpse of London's distinctively cosmopolitan flair. It's a good street for hookah too. Among the best in the area for hookah, great Lebanese food and a buzzing atmosphere is Al-Dar 1 (there's an Al-Dar II in Chelsea that's a great place to eat but not quite as shisha-rific). More at aldar.co.uk.
133 Brick Lane, E1 6SB
Nearest London Underground station is at Liverpool Street.
Share a hookah with a hipster at this cosy and eclectic bar on ever trendy Brick Lane. In addition to the shisha, this is a fantastic place for cocktails, a broad range of teas, coffee and casual dining. Visit the lounge online at hookah-lounge.co.uk.
Photo: Dávid Kótai