London boasts the world’s most progressive culture of cocktail makers and drinkers. Other than shopping and sightseeing, exploring the nightlife and cocktail bar scene can be one of the most fun parts about being in London. From secluded and plush drinking dens to high-end hotel bars, you can find a great cocktail just about anywhere in the city. Whether you’d like to sip a handcrafted negroni in sumptuous surroundings or grab yourself a brand new creation from the bartender at the little bar down the alley, London’s cocktail scene has something for everyone.
Artesian Bar at the Langham
The Langham London is one of London’s most famous hotels, and the bar that sits below it is one of London’s most iconic nightlife hot spots. The Artesian Bar at the Langham offers visitors an extensive rum selection, champagne list, and an ever-evolving cocktail menu. The sophisticated bar takes influence from traditional Chinese architecture and design which creates an intimate yet community-oriented space.
McQueen in Shoreditch is the quintessential James Bond bar, with antique aviation decorations, dim lighting, and three distinct rooms that all house a different personality. McQueen has often been referred to as ‘London’s Best Club’ for their sophistication and attention to detail. Comfortable booths and a full bar menu create the perfect night-out atmosphere, and you don’t even need to be 007 to enjoy it.
69 Colebrooke Row
69 Colebrooke Row, often referred to as “The Bar With No Name”, sits along a quite Islington backstreet with a seemingly innocent exterior and no flashy gimmicks. This bar is for those who can really appreciate a great drink. The unpretentious and dimly lantern lit interior contains an antique wooden bar, behind which masters of alcohol craft the best cocktails you will ever have, hands down. Gentle jazz music and an Italian cafe-based design will ensure total relaxation.
Mahiki is looking to change the age-old stereotype that London remains in a constant state of rain and clouds. You will find nothing but sunshine and good times in this downtown Polynesian cocktail bar. Mahiki offers an area for dancing as well, leaving you plenty of room to party the night away at this celebrity hot spot.
The Connaught Bar
The Connaught Bar in Mayfair is an essential stop for anybody interested in history. A decor that brings the ‘20s back to life and a bold cocktail menu that perfectly combines old and new is exactly why The Connaught Bar has been awarded so much praise. If you like what you taste, they distill their own gin in-house so you can take a bottle home with you.
If you’re in the market for dinner and a show, Ronnie Scott’s jazz club is an essential stop. Exceptional drinks and a full food menu to match is why Ronnie Scott’s continues to draw in such big crowds after 60 years, and why many of the jazz world’s biggest names have played here more than once. Since their renovation, the club serves modern sophistication through their decor and the soul of jazz music through their drinks.
The Zetter Townhouse Cocktail Bar
Designed by Russell Sage, this cocktail bar’s interior feels more like an eclectic friend’s home rather than a bar and lounge. Plush seating, dim lighting, bookcases filled to the brim with stories and crackling fires are what make the Zetter Townhouse Cocktail Bar the perfect place for a relaxing evening out on the town. The drinks are created from taking inspiration from local distilling and drink-making history, and the Townhouse often hosts parties that are reflective of that history.