London Lite Monday, 10 August 2009 11 by Karen attwood Someone should warn Santa: sales assistant Emine Mehmet gets to work in the Christmas store at Selfridges in Oxford Street Drinktonight ...somewheretrendy ViVa VerDe HIP without the pretence, thats Viva Verde. And youll be able to afford a few more rounds of their classy Italian drinks -- some of which you may never have tried before, such as Tesauro Recioto (4) a dessert wine to go with cheese, or Peroni Gran Reserva beer (4.20). Its near the Tate Modern -- so trendy drinkers pass through often. 6 Canvey Street, SE1 (020 7928 6867) Chris Beanland read1,ooosofpubandrestaurant reviewsandbookonlineat thisislondon.co.uk/lite The May Fair Bar IT wAs the official hotel of London Fashion week, so the May Fair knows a fair bit about style, from the colour scheme to the clientele. But this aint no shoreditch hipster dive -- the May Fair attracts a slightly more well- heeled breed of fashionista. After all, the May Fair Martini costs a cool 150 quid, because its made with a Richard Hennessy Cognac that was bottled in the 1800s. Stratton Street, W1 (020 7915 3894) ho no! Christmas is here136 days early Selfridges in earliest ever festive start CHRISTMAS has come extra early at Selfridges, where festive decora- tions and accessories have gone on sale four and a half months before the big day. The department stores Christmas shop has launched earlier than ever this year to benefit from tourists taking advantage of the weaker pound. Many decorations are designed to appeal to shoppers from overseas, with baubles covered in Union flags and We Love London slogans. Other items on sale include bright pink and purple Christmas trees, although shoppers are being spared festive tunes on a loop. Real trees will be available at the store for the first time this year, but only in December. A Selfridges spokeswoman said the state of the pound -- at $1.66 and 1.17 -- meant more visitors were spending their cash there. Economists have reported a boost in London retail sales helped by tourists. Total sales in the capital climbed 4.7 per cent in June com- pared with the same month a year ago, against 1.4 per cent nationwide, the BRCs London Retail Sales Monitor showed. But tourists and day-trippers on a sunny Oxford Street were struggling to get into the Christmas spirit. Richard Gibbs, 27, down from Leeds, said: Its ridicu- lous. Today has been about the first time you could get your shorts on.