With bars on almost every street corner, going out for drinks in London shouldn’t be a problem – that is until you can’t decide where to go. We’ve rounded the most glamorous bars in the Big Smoke – from a sleek rooftop with 360º views to a 1920s-inspired speakeasy – to make your decision a little bit easier.
Set in the 1920s prohibition era, Barts is a ‘hidden’ speakeasy bar on Sloane Avenue with an eye-catching décor and an even more impressive cocktail menu – we’re talking pages and pages of crime-inspired drinks. Make sure you find out the password – a friend with a membership might come in handy here, although a booking will do too – and immerse yourself in the extravagant world of prohibition parties and murder mysteries.
Sexy Fish, Mayfair
Holding the world’s largest collection of Japanese whisky, Sexy Fish, the late-night bar on the corner of Berkeley Square, is perfect for a lavish night out with friends. With oversized Frank Gehry fish dangling from the ceiling and mermaid sculptures decorating the red lava stone bar – you get the idea – this glamourous gem in Mayfair serves an intensely curated cocktail list that includes drinks like Lion’s Milk and Ginza Highball.
The Zetter Townhouse, Clerkenwell
Inspired by your great aunt’s living room – think floral wall decorations, old fashioned lamp shades, brightly coloured pillows and dark wooden furniture – the cocktail lounge at The Zetter Townhouse provides the perfect backdrop for date-night. At the apothecary-style counter, experts serve up a variety of surprising recipes based on old bitters and herbal remedies, or you can opt for homemade cordials or infusions.
Radio Rooftop, Covent Garden
Favoured for its ultimate location, Radio Rooftop, situated on the tenth floor of ME London, serves its signature cocktails with stunning 360º views. Find a table under the patio heaters, or just grab an extra blanket, order a glass of fizz from their extensive wine list and unwind after a busy day in the city while the sun sets over the capital. Fun fact: the bar offers guests the option of adding CBD drops to their drinks.
Tucked away in a corner of Kingly Court, Cahoots is a concept bar rekindling the spirits of a 1940s London train station. Thanks to its vintage Underground, Ticket Hall and Control Room area, the well-thought-out theme leaves little to the imagination – did we mention the bar is decked out with carriages, phone booths, and ticket machines? Drinks-wise, we recommend trying out the Winston Churchill or Judy Garland.
Swans Bar, Piccadilly
Hidden behind the expertly curated bookshelves at Assouline, you’ll find Swans Bar. The French-inspired café – complete with red accents, dark wooden bistro tables and an incredible range of white, red and sparkling wines – is surrounded by a dazzling collection of coffee table books and rare first editions. Aiming to feel more like a home library than a bar, it’s the perfect stop for a pick-me-up for bibliophiles.