The best bars in London – A cocktail guide.
This article is kind of an homage to the 20 months I’ve spent living in London. There’s no denying that London is one of the best cities in the world for drinking and dining – and the city is unparalleled with their bar scene and hospitality industry in general. There is a superabundance of extraordinary bars and clubs to visit, so I hope this narrows it down for those looking for recommendations or inspo. When I first arrived in London, I worked as a cocktail bartender at the Arts Club on Dover Street, Mayfair. Before this in 2016, I studied an intensive course at European Bartender School in Greece to strengthen my knowledge of cocktails and spirits. These are my favourite picks in beautiful London:
Connaught Bar, Mayfair
These guys won the ‘World’s Best Bar’ award at the Spirited Awards in New Orleans 2016. Set within the mega expensive Connaught Hotel, this bar boasts some killer cocktails and elegant, old style service. Even if you’re an experienced cocktail bartender, their team will always take you in as a barback first, which gives you an idea of how serious they are about the strength of their team and the skill set of the staff. If you’re looking for an opulent, grand setting with cocktails created by seasoned professionals, then look no further than the Connaught Bar. Obviously, order from the famous martini trolley.
Artesian Bar at the Langham Hotel, Marylebone
The Quintessential Luxury Hotel bar and also dubbed the Worlds best bar between 2011 and 2015. I love this bar and believe the cocktails are of high quality and innovation. You can read more about The Artesian here.
Order the Espresso Martini (their version of it).
This is a subterranean bar hidden within Kingly Court. Cahoots is set inside a post-war 1940s underground tube station. The theme is prevalent within the bar, displaying their great attention to detail in the menu, interiors, staff uniforms, and live music. This place is such a brilliant speakeasy with incredibly creative cocktails.
Order the Vera Lynn cocktail.
Bar Termini, Soho
Set in a very small space in Soho, one might mistaken this cocktail bar for a coffee shop – but this is much more than that. They rejuvenated some older, classic Italian aperitivos to create drinks that are more fresh and beautiful.
Order the Death in Venice Cocktail.
Quaglino’s, St. James
This is a ostentatious jazz bar and grand brasserie with opulent vibes. The mezzanine-level bar makes it the perfect spot for enjoying the live band and for people-watching in the dark. This is a high energy, high volume spot with great music and naughty cocktails.
Order the Cheating Wife cocktail.
Beaufort Bar and American Bar at The Savoy, Strand
The Savoy Cocktail Book written by Harry Craddock in 1930. If you haven’t heard of this book, it contains over 750 incredible classic cocktails from the Savoy Hotel. There’s no denying then historical significance of the Savoy London and the standards are high. This will be a super luxurious experience with the interiors dripping in black and gold and attentive staff. Order with your bartender, because many of the cocktails are individually priced.
This is a gorgeous speakeasy venue away from the West End Bar scene. Nightjar has 1920s interiors and jazz music to create a magical atmosphere. The floor staff are attentive and the bartenders are very talented. A lot of attention-to-detail and imagination goes into the cocktails, so you won’t be disappointed. Order the Honeymoon cocktail.
Mr. Fogg’s Residence, Mayfair
Take a trip around the world with Phileas Fogg. The interiors are styled with the theme of an old boys’ club in the Victorian era. There’s also a piano for sing-a-longs. The cocktails are so eccentric and interesting, so they match the paraphernalia and interiors. You will love their flavours and unique glassware. Order the Mr Foggs Peculiar Flying Machine.