Firstly, we have the HMV Garden, where excellent coffee and whatnots from Castello, sit next to an art exhibition and live music performances, all in the slightly unusual confines of the basement of the HMV store.The artwork has sold brilliantly well, and the quality of live music has been really high. I’ve only managed to pop in a couple of times, but it’s well worth a visit.
Another hidden-in-plain-sight-gem is at the Persian Tent, part of the West End Fair, bringing together craft and art stalls at grand scale.I sampled two dishes there, with good vegetable noodle soup (£2.50), and a fruity vegetable stew called yateem cheh (£6), but the highlight was the mint and honey tea (£2), which was just lovely.
When you’re looking for a little moment of calm, right in the city centre, the Persian Tent is a great option. Likewise, the HMV Garden is a very cool spot, and if you time it right you can catch some quality tunes there, too.