London’s cocktail scene is booming, with new bars opening all the time – but if you want to treat yourself to a flawless classic then head to a hotel bar or a classic cocktail bar. London is spoiled with new bars and great young bartenders eager to showcase their latest discoveries. Prepare to be astonished by the top 10 we’re about to show you.
Soho’s members cocktail bar Disrepute, from the creators of Barrio and Sovereign Loss, has taken up residence in the former home of The Kingly Club, home to Hollywood royalty in the Sixties and Seventies. The bar’s latest incarnation is designed with that Sixties heyday in mind – it’s a rather beautiful vaulted den of jewel-coloured upholstery, marble floors and polished brass accents, making a beautiful bar interior design.
The Fumoir at Claridge’s, Mayfair
Discreetly tucked away in Claridge’s art deco interior, The Fumoir is where those in the know have enjoyed a quiet drink since 1929, surrounded by an amazing bar interior design. Hidden behind a discrete glass door in the hotel’s famous entrance hall, the seats are plush, the lighting is low and the cocktails are decadent.
Library Bar at The Ned, Bank
The Ned is known for the grandeur of its open-plan drinking and dining spaces, but by contrast its Library Bar, hidden behind Cecconi’s, is intimate and cosy. It seats only 18 guests at a time allowing for bespoke table service. Guests can enjoy a House Martini or create their own, selecting from an extensive list of gin, vodka and vermouth.
Fitz Bar, Bloosmbury
Fitz’s sits inside the Kimpton Fitzroy London, just on the corner of Russell Square. This hotel comes from a UK group with prestige, and you sense it from the marble-heavy lobby leading into this disco decadence. Staff in floral print were accommodating from the get-go, showing off their new home as we entered and offering suggestions on where to take our night when we came to settle up. Fitz’s cocktail bar boasts plush seating to sink into, flamboyant accents and original features.
68 and Boston, Soho
This all-day wine bar is situated on the ground floor of its Greek Street residence, and expertly replicates the atmosphere found at the traditional wine bars of France and Italy. Every bottle of wine on its concise menu costing just £20. Upstairs, speak-easy style cocktail bar Boston is intimate enough to be ideal for a date-night destination, lively enough for larger social gatherings and with cocktails to suit every palette.
Seymour’s Parlour at Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone
Seymour’s Parlour feels more like the living room of an eccentric uncle than it does a hotel bar. This cocktail bar does have a slightly toe-curly “concept” behind its menu pertaining to the adventures of a Georgian rake by the name of Uncle Seymour.
The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy, Covent Garden
The dramatic jet-black and burnished gold décor of the romantic Beaufort Bar exudes the glamour of a time when stars graced the renowned cabaret stage at The Savoy. The opulent Art Deco bar interior design setting is reminiscent of the roaring Twenties – there’s plenty of champagne to go around, and cabaret acts are a regular occurrence (the bar itself stands on the hotel’s former cabaret stage).
Mark’s Bars, Soho and City
The basement of Hix Soho remains one of Soho’s most popular cocktail haunts, and that’s only partly because of its highly unusual drinks based on true-Brit recipes from years (and centuries) gone by. Mark’s Bars make for a fail-safe pre-party pick. Eccentric drinks inspired by historic British recipes perfectly complement the bar ‘snax’ menu designed by Mark Hix (of course).
Fam, Central London
With the orangey hue of the ‘Soul Train’ studio and a soundtrack to match, it’s pretty hard not to instantly dig Fam, a cocktail bar round the back of Oxford Street that’s already full of buzz. With inviting leather seating and record-covered walls, cocktail spot FAM is the Bond Street equivalent of your best mate’s living room, but we can promise the drinks list stretches to more than a bag of cans and some corner shop red.
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From the founders of one of the world’s most notorious and legendary cocktail bars, Nightjar, comes Oriole, a speakeasy inspired affair in the heart of the city. Be transported back to a bygone era and explore the Old World, the New World or the Orient – depending on which cocktail menu you choose to drink from.