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LONDON ESSENCE LOVES:
BEST LONDON COCKTAIL BARS

It’s your turn to choose the drinks venue, but where to start? From hidden alleyway gems to rooftop bars with views across the iconic skyline, there’s no shortage of cocktail bars in London.

And who better to share their top recommendations, than the founders of London Cocktail Week – the largest cocktail event of its kind – Hannah and Siobhan. So, sit back, relax and let these experts guide you around some of the best bars in London.

Hannah & Siobhan’s best bar in London for…

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FOR A QUIET MARTINI

Blue Bar at The Berkeley

Wilton Place, Knightsbridge

In our opinion, a well-made martini is the greatest cocktail of all time, and a drink to be savoured in a place of luxury, like Blue Bar at The Berkeley. One of London’s most recognisable drinks spots, Blue Bar is well known for its David Collins art-deco interiors, which lend it that wow factor.

But it’s the bar staff which make this such a firm favourite. As you’d expect, the service is worthy of a five-star hotel, but behind the bar, the team go above and beyond to make your experience unforgettable.

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FOR TWO

Fiend by Chris Denny

301 Portobello Road, Notting Hill

We love to support local and are excited to tell you all about the fabulous Fiend by Chris Denny, the acclaimed chef, which opened recently in our area. Situated at the heart of Portobello Road, this restaurant bar is the perfect mix of casual bohemian and sophistication.

Cooling High Balls and House Martinis are served with a signature twist at the Long Bar on the ground floor, while the night continues into the late hours down in the Cave. We’ve been enjoying working our way through the bespoke Fiendish Cave cocktail list.

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FOR TALKING BUSINESS

Albie at The Hoxton Southwark, 40 Blackfriars Road, Southwark

Every Hoxton Hotel in London is special, but when we’re out for a drink to talk work – be it with a client or colleague – it doesn’t get better than Albie at The Hoxton in Southwark. Spanning across the downstairs lobby, Albie is light and airy but not too loud, and conveniently located a short walk from Blackfriars Bridge tube station.

Drop in any time of day with your laptop and enjoy the calm atmosphere, then once you’re finished with work, it’s just a few floors up to Seabird restaurant. This rooftop eatery boasts some of the best views as the sun sets over London, as well as a spectacular menu.

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FOR A FIRST DATE

Eve Bar

24 Southampton Street, Covent Garden

We all know ambience can make or break a date, but whether it’s your first meeting or a first anniversary, Eve Bar makes the perfect location for a low-lit conversation over cocktails.

The tasteful décor incorporates neon lights, faux stained glass art from JJ Adams and an ivy-covered nook, so Eve Bar gives off an enticing air of possibility and temptation, paying homage to the the biblical character herself. 

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FOR A DRINK & A SNACK

Gold

95-97 Portobello Road, Notting Hill

With open fires in the winter and rooftop drinks in the summer, Gold is a treat to visit all year round. The warm terracotta colour palette opens out into a leafy, glass-roofed atrium at the back.

There’s a fabulous wine list – of course – but this venue really shines if you’re here to eat. The enormous open kitchen on the ground floor brings a welcome buzz to the space, serving an inclusive menu which caters to vegans, meat-eaters and everyone in-between.

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FOR GOING OUT WITH PALS

Hacha

378 Kingsland Road, Dalston

Pioneered by global tequila ambassador Deano Moncrieffe and his gorgeous girl Emma Murphy, Hacha is London’s only Agaveria, and home of the famous Mirror Margarita (voted Time Out’s 7th Best Cocktail in the World in 2020).

With over 25 different agave spirits to discover, this truly is a must-visit for lovers of tequila and mezcal. The Mexican-inspired interiors bring to mind sunnier climes, making it a classy, colourful spot for a few drinks with the gang.

 

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FOR STARTING THE NIGHT

Ever After

8-9 Hoxton Square, Hoxton

While we love Happiness Forgets – the bar in the basement – above ground you’ll find Ever After, a newly refurbed cosy bar and kitchen, which is a great place to start your night. With a menu which covers all the classic cocktails, as well as some contemporary favourites, there’s a tipple to suit every taste at Ever After.

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FOR ENDING THE NIGHT

Behind This Wall

411 Mare Street, Hackney Central

Self-described as a “a lo-fi bar with hi-fi intentions”, Behind This Wall is slightly off the beaten track, with a discrete front door that leads down to a small but sophisticated bar with stylish, pared-back interiors.

But don’t let the understated décor fool you – Behind This Wall has a perfectly formed cocktail menu, and they bottle their own hard seltzers in-house, which you can even purchase to take away. If you needed another reason to love this bar, the staff are happy for you to order Yard Sale pizza from over the road, to satiate that end-of-the-night carb craving.

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BEST NEW BAR

Soma Soho

14 Denman Street, Soho

This bar opened in the run up to London Cocktail Week, so we’ve not managed to taste their wares just yet. However, the Instagram pictures and reviews from pals leave us with no question that we’re going to love it.

A new venture from the team at Kricket, there’s plenty of unusual Indian flavours kicking about – curry leaves and chaat masala feature in their revamped classic cocktail list. Dark, elegant, and boasting a 3am license, we’re super intrigued and can’t wait to give it a go.   

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FOR GUILTY PLEASURES

La Rampa

7-8 Market Place, Fitzrovia

A bar and restaurant inspired by 1950s Havana, it’s impossible to have a dull evening at La Rampa. With live Cuban music on at 6.30pm every night they’re open, the vibrant atmosphere is pure escapism, and dancing is hard to resist.

The cocktail list was devised by co-founder of idyll drinks Marcis Dzelzainis, and includes a range of perfectly-pitched drinks to whisk you away to Havana for the night. You’ll find all the classics you could hope for, plus four daiquiri riffs to enjoy – in short, La Rampa is the best kept secret north of the river.

We hope Hannah and Siobhan’s best London bars will help you rediscover your love for this fantastic city, or find the perfect spot if you’re new in town. But if you’re planning a night in with a difference, why not take a look at our list of cocktail recipes?

Outside of London Cocktail Week, Hannah and Siobhan also co-own their own agency, HANDS, delivering globally-recognised campaigns across all sectors of the drinks industry.

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