Watching the clock, feeling hungry, feet aching and longing for food. That feeling when you know there's only one hour and 37 minutes until you'll be back up serving on your split shift.

The sparkle of a meal at Slug And Lettuce was lost somewhere under the hot plate for me while working for the chain during my uni years.

Even when the food did arrive it failed to hit the spot because you'd seen the same meal cooked up minutes before for a paying customer.

Slug and Lettuce, Canary Wharf,

Fast forward five years and that sparkle has returned. Visiting the revamped bar and restaurant in Canary Wharf that reopened on February 2 after a £400,000 makeover, things really do look different.

Chunky wood furnishings, squishy booths and a mish mash of colours are all around the compact venue.

There's a longer bar ready for cocktail classes (and even cocktail trees, £40.95 for nine glasses), more seating, a heated terrace and an outdoor bar - complete with specially branded plastic Peroni glasses.

General manager Peter Huggins

General manager Peter Huggins could not be more excited and it's infectious.

"We've been given a lot more creative licence with this one, which I'm really happy about - I'm like a big kid here," he said.

The winning cocktail has to be the crisp, minty fresh English Country Garden (£8.75), which will be a perfect way to end a summer's day.

Other notable mixtures are the sweet and smooth French Martini (£8.75) and the punch-you-in-your-taste-buds Long Bramble (£8.75).

An English Country Garden and a Dark and Stormy

The drinks list is unrecognisible, with craft beers, a wider selection of ciders and flights of wine to try.

But it's the food that Peter is keen to push with the new look.

He said: "We've always been a drinking place, but I want to move it from being a pub to a fine dining and cocktail venue, where you can relax.

"It's been designed to be a lot more female friendly as well and with more available for families on the weekends."

Ultimate S&L burger

The food didn't disappoint. For anyone in serious need of a large lunch, the ultimate S&L burger, packed with a beef patty, chicken fillet and topped with pulled pork should suffice.

The tangy sauce was the highlight here, slightly let down by a little-too-tough pulled pork.

The char-grilled salmon and pepper skewers were wholesome and had a lightly BBQ grill taste on the outside.

The highlight were the sweet potato fries though, which had delicious fluffy centres.

Char-grilled salmon and pepper skewers with asparagus and sweet potato fries

My dessert of choice has to be the chocolate and salted caramel bar, which had a creamy chocolate ganache, complimented nicely by the salty sweet sauce.

The service from our waiter Scott cannot be ignored either. He was friendly and more than happy to suggest a cocktail or dessert or two.

Finally I can wipe away the memory of those tiresome shifts and visit a Slug that has got enough sparkle to make me forget.

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