Whether you're looking for a top Tom Collins, a magnificent martini or the quintessential cosmo – somewhere in town there's a bartender just waiting to mix it for you. Some of the best cocktails can be found in hotel bars, while there are also some pretty cool bars in London shaking things up in a more low-key fashion. For the full range, check out our guide to the best cocktail bars in London.
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London's best cocktail bars
The Chelsea Pensioner
Venue says: The most affordable bar in Chelsea!
Fancy living in the most expensive borough in Britain, but don’t have a few million to spare? Don’t worry, it’s easy – join the armed forces, lead a long and distinguished career serving Queen and country, then upon retirement move into the palatial Royal Hospital and settle into your scarlet coat and new-found role as a Chelsea Pensioner.Failing that, drop into this new pub on Fulham Road, just a sharpened coin’s throw from Chelsea FC’s ground. It’s owned by the same people behind the good-times Simmons bars in King’s Cross and Camden, and brings some of the same irreverency to a trad corner pub. There’s a junk shop’s worth of kitsch ephemera on shelves, a pool table and, for some unexplained reason, a bike hanging from a wall. Food is straightforward – crisp flatbread pizzas with simple toppings – although Sunday roasts are to come soon.Given that the Pensioner is a free house with no brewery obligations, a more exciting beer offering might have been expected – a few bottles or kegs from some of west London’s fine craft producers would be welcome. But the speciality here isn’t beer, it’s ‘Sharey Marys’: big jugs of the bloody stuff mixed however you like, to set you up for a Sunday (or a couple of hours at the footy). The Chelsea Pensioner is a solid place, rather than an exciting one, but this bit of Fulham Road isn’t exactly a party strip. Save that for if the Happy One fulfills his promise and brings the Premier League trophy to Stamford Bridge.