The 50 best bars in London
This exciting collaboration between sommelier Xavier Rousset and executive chef Agnar Sverrisson (their second, following haute cuisine restaurant Texture) is focused on wine, but has much more attention on food than the average wine bar.
Read 28°-50° Wine Workshop & Kitchen review
This tiny bar opened in Islington in mid-2009, and is overseen by Tony Conigliaro, who is widely considered to be one of London’s top bartenders and cocktail experts. With just a handful of seats, the understated, intimate space proves a fine environment in which to enjoy the pristine cocktails (peach and figleaf bellini, martinis made with ‘woodland bitters’, rhubarb gimlet), mixed with quiet ceremony.
Read 69 Colebrooke Row review
Tucked away in a courtyard accessible via an alley at the foot of Pentonville Road, this rustic, Andalucían-themed bar is dedicated to sherry. With room for only four or five tables, all shaped from sherry casks, it’s a tiny place – so small, in fact, that the toilet is across the road at Camino (run by the same folks) – but no less appealing for its lack of size.
Read Bar Pepito review
Following the £220m revamp, The Savoy’s devotion to debonaire drinking now stretches beyond the iconic American Bar. The Beaufort might be the second bar, but second-division it is not. It’s a considerably more salubrious space to sip than the American Bar, and combines a wow-factor interior with good service and top-quality (if pricey) drinks.
Read Beaufort Bar at The Savoy review and read American Bar at The Savoy review
The name isn’t just a caprice: this David Collins-designed bar really is as blue as a Billie Holiday album. The sky-blue armchairs, the deep-blue ornate plasterwork and the navy-blue leather-bound menus combine with discreet lighting to striking effect. It’s a see-and-be-seen place, but staff treat all-comers like royalty, and the cocktails are a masterclass in sophistication.
Read Blue Bar review
The drinks menu at this part-sophisticated, part-kitsch Scottish-themed enterprise – tartan everywhere – is less of a list and more of an encyclopaedia. The histories of various whisky regions are outlined within its pages, which also contain individual tasting notes worthy of the most pedantic oenophile.
Read Boisdale review
There's no velvet rope barring your way to the Coburg Bar: you can just walk straight on in. And once you've done so, the service will be faultless.The hotel's other bar, Connaught Bar, is both cosy and elegant, with a conspiratorial duskiness. Read Connaught Bar review and read Coburg Bar reviewRead more
Perfectly groomed hostesses greet arrivals to this basement den. The atmosphere is lively and, better still, the cocktails are superb: try a Lychee Mojito, which fuses Havana Club Añejo Blanco, lime juice, lychees and mint, or a martini made with Hendrick’s gin and cucumber garnish.
Read Crazy Bear review
Time Out’s Food & Drink reviewers can often be heard singing the praises of Hawksmoor’s three-strong chain of steakhouses with bars (the other two are in Covent Garden and Guildhall). Over many visits over the years, using different reviewers, for breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks, we’ve struggled to find faults in any of them.
Read Hawksmoor Spitalfields review
Opened in 2009, together with the Mark Hix-operated restaurant on the ground floor, this is a destination in its own right. It’s a subterranean speakeasy with plenty of style – low zinc bar, tin ceiling panels, comfortable Chesterfields, bar billiards table – but with precious little attitude.
Read Mark's Bar review
Powder Keg Diplomacy is a bar and restaurant with a colonial theme so loyal that Cecil Rhodes would feel at home. But don’t worry: the owners didn’t occupy this Battersea site by force; the staff do get paid; and you won’t catch malaria if you stay too long.
Read Powder Keg Diplomacy
The Rum Kitchen is a Caribbean inspired beach shack restaurant and cocktail bar. Showcasing the vibrant flavours of the West Indies, The Rum Kitchen serves up exciting Caribbean classics with a modern flare.
What’s cooking? If ever a bar represented the changing demographics of W11 from the 1950s to present day, here it is. Rum Kitchen takes the spirit of the Caribbean and repackages it for the new residents of Notting Hill.Read more
Remaining laudably tongue-in-cheek while the rest of Ladbroke Grove drowns in chichi spots, Trailer Happiness is not a cocktail bar as such – with its deliberately tacky decor (Tretchikoff paintings galore) and DJ hatch, it’s far too informal for that.
Read Trailer Happiness review
This is the epitome of bar trends circa 2011 – a semi-secret location, Victoriana, reinterpretations of classic British drinks. We've noticed a few conspicuous themes appearing in London's bars: a semi-secret location, Victoriana, faithful interpretations of classic British drinks.
Read Worship Street Whistling Shop review