As Descartes famously almost said, "I think, therefore I am... wondering about what the best new bars are in London, and will there be one hidden behind a cool, Victorian-style computer repair shop?" Well, good news D, after centuries of waiting, we finally have an answer to your question...
Where to Drink Right Now: 8 New London Bars
Hidden under slick BBQ-slinger Hotbox, 46 is a first-class cocktail joint with low-key decor (aided by the occasional splash of pop art colour) and finely tuned cocktails to match. Best bet? The Rye Me To The Moon, whose whiskey is deliciously tamed with sherry & bay leaf syrup.
Head to Drapers' Hall in The City, and you'll find a new pub called The Arbitrager. It's a lovely little spot, it only serves London-brewed booze (everything from Beavertown beers to Portobello gin), and underneath it you'll find DW&P. Here, in a sleek, industrial space filled with brass & leather, they're perfectly crafting drinks like the Fellowship Porter, with aged rum, stout, and cocoa syrup.
Slapped right in the dark heart of Oxford St next to the Bond St Tube, Woodstock is a rare thing (at least in the UK) -- a Japanese pub. Beer-wise, there's Asahi Black lager, Hitachino Nest Pale Ale, and half a dozen more, plus, there're naturally whiskey & sake menus too. As is typical of Japanese pubs, it's also serving a selection of skewered snacks like miso-marinaded pork belly and crispy calamari w/ yuzu.
Named in honour of the original 13 colonies that made up the good ol' British-ruled USA, Fourteenth Colonie promises to "relocate Brooklyn to London" by bringing with it the exposed-brick design the borough is famed for, as well as a ton of Brooklyn Brewery beers and some fantastic cocktails.
Departing slightly from the other LCCs, the Islington outpost is hidden, speakeasy-style, behind a fake apothecary shopfront. Here, you'll find a door marked "Staff Only." Go through it, and behold not only a bar (serving all the usual LCC favourites), but also an "off license and tasting room" where you can learn to mix some of its signature menu-fillers and then take home the ingredients for more.
Going to the Natural Philosopher is, for want of a better word, a disarming experience. First, there's the door that goes beyond the normal hidden speakeasy route by disguising itself as a steampunk-y, Victorian-style computer repair/taxidermy shop. Then, once inside, there's the bar itself, sunken into the floor so that you have to kneel in order to pick up your drink. Then, there're the drinks; there are only seven, and they include less-than-usual ingredients, like in the Getafix, which has Cognac & yellow Chartreuse.
Combining the bleeding-edge boozing expertise of the 5cc chain with the deep-cut tradition of the Singer building (home to the original Singer sewing machine factory), the Tavern now boasts a beautifully modern look, a vast beer menu (19 rotating draught taps & 90+ bottles), and a top-shelf cocktail list.
Okay so Cahoots isn't just a theme bar. It's themed after a Tube station... from the 1940s... that was also used as an air-raid shelter. And it has staff that are ALWAYS in character. And an entire replica era train carriage too. Oh, and the cocktails are served in milk bottles, thermos flasks, and even a clock. Don't ask, just go.
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1. 46 & Mercy46-48 Commercial St, London
2. Demon, Wise & Partners27a Throgmorton St, London
3. The Woodstock Kushiyaki Bar11 Woodstock St, London
4. Fourteenth Colonie45 Clerkenwell Rd, London
5. The London Cocktail Club Islington108 Essex Rd,
6. The Natural Philosopher489 Hackney Rd, London
7. 5cc at Singer Tavern1 City Rd, London
8. Cahoots13 Kingly Ct, London
Located underneath the Hox Box restaurant in Shoreditch, 46 & Mercy is a stylish cocktail bar that's full of street art and delicious takes on your favourite drinks. Crack open the menu and find a wide selection of 'tails, beers, and wines, not to mention stories and poems about each cocktail.
DW&P is a classic cocktail bar nestled beneath The Arbitrager in the heart of The City of London. The menu consists of classics, twists on classics, and a few specials -- check out the Demon and Wise 'tails, which are both chockfull of premium liquors that will add some fun to your night.
The Woodstock Kushiyaki Bar brings an izakaya feel to the heart of Mayfair. Here, you'll find an extensive Japanese-led drinks menu and freshly made Japanese fare in a dimly lit, relaxed environment.
FC is a Brooklyn-inspired space filled with cocktails, all the grills, and a pretty epic-sounding brunch. It doles out Nutella French toast, pumpkin waffles, eggs in every way imaginable, craft beers, and a damn fine whiskey selection. You can't go wrong.
You can expect the same kind of awesomeness at this drink den as the previous LCCs. Order up some outstanding mixeds and enjoy the unmistakable, fun vibe that is the essence of The London Cocktail Club. And if you enjoy making cocktails at home, you can pick up a number of bitters, liqueurs, fragrances, and vermouths for here for your home bar.
This unassuming spot in Hackney is actually a den of delightful drinks and low lighting. Located on a lower level, the bar is dim and features a number of interesting paintings on the walls and a sunken bar, which actually requires you to kneel down to get your libation. You won't find another place like it in the city.
Located beneath the Singer Tavern in Shoreditch, 5CC is a hidden cocktail bar that's all about the gin. The menu features a myriad of batch-produced gins, which produce some of the best gin and tonics in the city, not to mention the other cocktails it cooks up.
This Soho libation-slinger doles out a fine selection of dazzling cocktails in a space designed like a 1940s Tube station, while being positioned in a WWII air raid shelter. It features themed 'tails, authentic decor, and you're pretty much guaranteed to have a fun and unique night.