London may be better known internationally for its traditional pubs, but when it comes to cocktails, you’ll also find some of the world’s best bars here. Whether you’re after a classic cocktail in elegant surroundings, or something more quirky and unusual for a fun night out, London’s cocktail bars will not disappoint.
1. Mr Fogg’s Residence
If you’re looking for a bit of escape from reality, get ready to be transported back in time and head to the Phileas Fogg themed Mr Fogg’s Residence in Mayfair. The bar is decked out in full Victorian style and packed with vintage-style curios from all over the world in homage to Mr Fogg’s trip around the world in 80 days. The cocktail menu is extensive and it’s also worth making a booking for afternoon “tipsy tea”, which consists of a selection of sandwiches and cakes and a teapot of gin or champagne tea. Booking is essential.
15 Bruton Ln, Mayfair, London W1J 6JD
Open 5pm – 1am Monday to Wednesday, 4pm – 2am Thursday to Friday, 2pm – 2am Saturday, and 3pm – 12am Sunday
2. The Connaught Bar
The Connaught Bar inside the Mayfair hotel of the same name appears in many “world’s best bar” lists and it’s a real treat to experience the luxurious surroundings and impeccable service for a special occasion, although it’s definitely not a budget option. The must-have cocktail here is the Martini, which is wheeled out to you and mixed on top of a trolley. Other cocktails are inspired by the elements and listed in the menu under Terra (earth), Ventus (air), Aqua (water, and Ignus (fire). Drinks are served with complimentary olives and snacks and there’s a menu of light bar snacks by day and canapes in the evening.
Connaught, Carlos Pl, London W1K 2AL
Open 11am – 1am Monday to Friday, and 11am – 12am Saturday to Sunday
3. Cocktail Trading Company
This Shoreditch cocktail bar serves up £9 cocktails inspired by classics with a modern twist, and served in a variety of weird and wonderful ways that include Brasso tins, frozen golf balls, and a chinese takeaway box complete with chopsticks. If you’re feeling peckish, help yourself to the complimentary monkey nuts, served by the pint. The staff are friendly, the vibe is playful, and the setting is cosy, making it a great location for an evening catching up with friends.
68 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6GQ
Open 5 – 11.30pm Monday to Wednesday, 5pm – 12am Thursday to Friday, 2pm – 12am Saturday, and 2 – 10.30pm Sunday.
Located within the upmarket Mondrian hotel, Dandelyan serves up both classic and exotic cocktails from the green marble bar to guests enjoying the plush pink seating and panoramic views of the Thames. There’s a selection of light bar snacks on the menu and afternoon tea is also available.
Mondrian London, 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD
Open 4pm – 1am Monday to Wednesday, 4pm – 2am Thursday, 12pm – 2am Friday to Saturday, and 12pm – 12.30am Sunday.
5. Original Sin
This narrow basement bar in Stoke Newington has a 70s NYC vibe with regular live music and a free pool table. Cocktails are unpretentious and based around unusual spirits like white rye and mezcal (gin and vodka are noticeably missing from the menu). There’s no food served here, only nuts, but if you’re feeling hungry you can pop upstairs to the Stokey Bears burger bar.
129 Stoke Newington High St, London N16 0PH
Open 6 – 11pm Sunday to Monday, 6pm – 12am Tuesday to Wednesday, and 6pm – 1.30am Thursday to Saturday.
6. Blind Pig
The vintage-style Blind Pig in Soho can be found above the Social Eating House on Poland Street offers a quirky selection of cocktails inspired by children’s books. Notable cocktails include the “Hunny Pot” with Havana 7 rum, salted butter, Crowded Hive Mead, Somerset apple brandy, lemon, honey, and orange bitters, and the Harry Potter Half a Pint o’Buttah with Monkey Shoulder Scotch, Kamm & Sons, thyme, butterscotch, ￼￼￼citrus, bitters, and beer.
58 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 7NR
Open 12pm – 12am Monday to Saturday, closed on Sunday.
60s-style private members club and cocktail bar Disrepute opened in December 2016 and has already gained a reputation as being one of London’s best. The coded cocktail menu includes retro ingredients like Babycham reduction and Mateus Rosé listed in categories that include “Counter Culture”, “Screws of Convenience”, and “The Pinstripe Lining”. If you want to feel like you’ve stepped into a vintage Bond movie, this is undoubtedly the place for you.
4 Kingly Court, Carnaby, London W1B 5PW
Open 5pm – 3am Monday to Saturday, and 5pm – 12.30am on Sunday.
8. The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy
As you would expect from anything based at The Savoy, The Beaufort Bar is rather luxurious with £40,000 of real gold leaf used in the decor and an extensive champagne menu. The cocktail menu includes some of the rarest spirits in the world, including £250 1940s Cuban Bacardi and £750 prohibition bourbon. The canapes are as unique as the drinks, including Wagyu beef tartare with caviar and gold leaf topping, foie gras praline lollipops, and beetroot and goat’s cheese macaroons.
99 Strand, London WC2R 0EU
Open 5pm – 1am Monday to Saturday, closed on Sunday.
9. The Artesian Bar at The Langham
The award winning bar at The Langham has the city’s largest collection of rum and an innovative cocktail menu using unusual ingredients (a cocktail named “Throw Some Dough” includes pizza, and the ingredient listing of another drink consists of “Talisker Storm, Unicum, verjus, marsh, samphire, and rain”). There a free canapes on offer and a tapas food menu, with soups and sandwiches also available at lunchtime.
1C Portland Pl, Marylebone, London W1B 1JA
Open 11am – 1.30am Monday to Saturday, and 11am – 11.30pm Sunday.
This underground speakeasy-style bar orders its cocktail menu by era: pre-prohibition, prohibition, and post-war. There’s also a vintage spirits menu with gin, rum, cognac, and whiskey dating back to 1910. The bar food menu includes snacks, tapas, and meat and cheese boards. Live jazz and blues bands play every night of the week.
129 City Rd, London EC1V 1JB
Open 6pm – 1am Sunday to Wednesday, 6pm – 2am Thursday, and 6pm – 3am Friday to Saturday.