In the colder months, nothing warms the cockles like a nice stiff drink. And in the warmer months, nothing's quite as refreshing as a nice stiff drink. And right now, in the weird winter twilight of early March, we'll just go ahead and assume that the perfect thing for whatever this weather is, is a nice stiff drink -- preferably at one of these excellent new bars...
10 New London Bars You Should Be Drinking at Right Now
This hidden Brixton speakeasy may be tough to find -- head round to the side of the Prince of Wales Pub, press the buzzer, and the bartender/hostess will come down and lead you up through a mini-maze of stairs & corridors to the joint -- but once inside, you'll be glad you did. With the talents of Chris Dennis (who’s put in serious time at The Zetter Townhouse) the drinks are near-perfect, and the low-lit mood is cool, but unpretentious. But what really catches the eye? That shinny late license, seeing them it 'til 5am.
From artisanal Vestal vodka’s William Borrell comes the latest addition to the nascent cocktail scene in Kentish Town. Down narrow stairs and into a former Victorian loo, it’s surprisingly roomy, with high ceilings, white tiles, stacks of books, and even a little copper still doing its thing at the end of the bar. With an inventive, rotating cocktail list, this is a solid spot to spend a few pennies.
Hidden below the Moroccan paradise of Momo just off Regents St, Black Dice shoots for dark and edgy. Think the rock & roll of the ‘60s with the party mentality of the ‘80s and the cocktail list of the '10s. Leave your expectations at the door, because if you’ve ever been to their other joints -- nearby Sketch or Andy Wahloo in Paris -- you know that it'll be different than other bars.
Happiness Forgets is arguably one of the best bars in London, so the bar was set (pun intended, hard) pretty high for its second establishment. Another basement number, this is nearly twice the size and a bit more polished. Snag one of the booths along the wall, or rack up a game of pool, then take in one of the drinks, which naturally, are up to Alastair Burgess' usual brilliance, and carefully crafted by his all-star female bar team.
Whats better than one great bar? Another great one hidden inside it. Holding only 25 seats, this tiny, elegant watering hole sits inside Opium. All the small details have been considered here, with cocktails arriving in teapots and decanters, garnished with chia seeds and flavored smoke.
Apparently, the continentals want some of London's craft beer action -- boasting itself as "the first Italian craft beer pub in the UK," you can find a dozen rotating brews on tap, plus a selection of bottles showcasing different styles and regions. Obviously it can't help but do food as well, with Italian-style burgers and other small plates filling out the menu.
Tucked under North Audley Cantine, you’ll find a land where puppies and Asian influences go hand-in-hand, finally. Named for the owners' adorable Chow (appropriately named Teddy), the menu will be full of classic twists like the Popcorn Sazerac, joined by bar snacks like sticky pork ribs, Asian pork belly sliders, and Stone-Bas Sang Chow Bow. Dark lit, with paneled woodwork and indoor plants, just mind Mr. Teddy himself as he may put in the occasional appearance.
As if the Mondrian wasn’t a destination in itself, with that view, great restaurant, and the dynamite Dandelyan bar on the ground floor. Well, now there's the Rumpus Room. Perched high over the hotel, complete with rooftop terrace, there're floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing a gorgeous view of the river -- and although it’s technically been open for a couple months, it seems to have passed under the radar. But wait till the weather lifts, this place will become swarmed.
Blink and you might miss it. Every Friday and Saturday from midnight till 5am, if you want a great time and delicious Peruvian booze, this is your jam. Taking up residence in the Comedor Grill & Bar on Upper St, this spot will put together one of the finest sours you've ever had.
After 60 years of selling bottles of the finest liquid in the world, the iconic liquor shop Milroy’s of Soho is shaking things up by selling you the stuff in glasses. Having been taken over by Martin Simpson (previously from cocktail den Coal Vaults), plans are to keep the shop up front, but have a mini 12-seater bar hidden in back with over 250 different whiskeys ready for you to put your loving hands around, as well as an even larger bar downstairs named The Vaults. It'll all be kicking off in early March, so keep your eyes peeled.
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1. Sovereign Loss467- 469 Brixton Rd, London
2. Black Dice25 Heddon St, London
3. Peony15-16 Gerrard St, London
4. The Italian Job13 Devonshire Rd, London
5. Original Sin129 Stoke Newington High St, London
6. Rumpus Room20 Upper Ground, London
7. Ladies and Gentlemen2 Highgate Rd, London
8. Chez Chow40 North Audley St, London
9. Pisco Embassy176 Upper St, London
10. Milroy’s of Soho3 Greek St, London
Enter through the trade entrance via a buzzer and find yourself in a diamond in the Brixton rough. With the talents of Chris Dennis, who’s put in serious time at Trailer Happiness and the Zetter Townhouse, it’s a no brainer that the drinks are top notch and the dark wallpaper and little patio make you never want to leave.
Hidden below the Moroccan paradise of Momo just off Regents St, Black Dice is all about the dark and edgy. Think the rock & roll of the ‘60s with the party mentality of the ‘80s and with an eclectic soundtrack and top-notch booze.
Holding only 25 seats, this tiny watering hole is elegant while still packing some serious drinks -- but what else would you expect from the Opium team? All the small details have been considered here, with cocktails arriving in teapots and decanters, garnished with chia seeds and flavored smoke.
Boasting itself as the first Italian craft beer pub in the UK, The Italian Job features 12 rotating beers on tap plus a selection of bottles showcasing different styles and regions. Plus it does the food game as well with Italian-style burgers and other small plates.
A basement drinkery in Stoke Newington, Original Sin is a basement number that's relatively large and very polished. Snag one of the booths along the wall or rack up a game of pool, because trust us, you’ll be here for a while thanks to the tasty cocktails and brilliant ambiance.
As if the Mondrian wasn’t a destination in itself with that epic view and a solid restaurant, things got turned up a notch with Rumpus Room, a snazzy lounge perched high over the hotel complete with rooftop terrace. It is a MUST for enjoying a cocktail when the weather is nice.
Owned and operated by William Borrell, the producer of craft spirit Vestal Vodka, Ladies and Gentlemen is Kentish Town’s answer to artisanal cocktails. There’s a big focus on neighborhood pride here: everything is locally sourced, from the honey and fruit respectively used for syrups and garnishes to the Highwayman Gin that they make daily in an on-site, 16-litre copper vat. If the elegant presentation of each drink isn’t already enough for you, consider this: this sleek, bright space used to be a public bathroom in the Victorian era.
Tucked under North Audley Cantine, you’ll find a space that's darkly lit, and has paneled woodwork and indoor plants. Named for the owners Chow, Teddy, the menu is full of classic twists like the Popcorn Sazerac with bar snacks like sticky pork ribs and asian pork belly sliders.
Every Friday and Saturday from midnight till 5am, if you want a great time and awesome pisco, this is your jam. Located upstairs in the Comedor Bar and Grill on Upper St, the folks at this drinkery know a thing or two about pisco and will have you dancing on tables and downing it happily till the sun starts to wake up.
Although the familiar liquor store remains out front, Milroy's has expanded its operation to include a 12-seater bar in the back with more than 250 whiskeys, as well as a downstairs bar that features a larger cocktail selection.