Best bars in London - Cool bars
Looking for London's trendiest drinking spots? Time Out recommends the coolest bars in London
There's no shortage of hip hangouts in London so our critics' have rounded up some of the best. Whether you're looking for cool coktails, great live music or some sophisticated surroundings, check out our guide to the most fashionable bars in the capital.
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Cool and trendy bars in London
With a small square of front terrace, a modern bar and a grand, sunken restaurant, this little piece of Poland has been a worthwhile stop on Waterloo bar crawls for many a year.
Read Baltic review
- 74 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8HA
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
- 13-15 Eccleston Street, SW1W 9LX
This busy but commendable bar-club comprises one expansive room – divided by a wall with an oval hole in the middle, giving the illusion that half of Hoxton is here – and a small pool room downstairs.
Read Book Club review
- 100-106 Leonard Street, EC2A 4RH
Epic, soaring, dramatic, magnificent. The Booking Office really is quite an amazing place for a drink.
Read Booking Office review
- St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel, NW1 2AR
This classy two-floor operation, an imposing space that easily reveals its past as a public library, is divided between a top-notch Indian restaurant, a trendy evenings-only DJ basement and a study-like cocktail bar by the lobby.
Read Cinnamon Club review
- Old Westminster Library, (30-32 Great Smith Street), SW1P 3BU
Perfectly groomed hostesses greet arrivals to this basement den. The atmosphere is lively and, better still, the cocktails are superb.
Read Crazy Bear review
- 26-28 Whitfield Street, W1T 2RG
The building that formerly held Match EC1 was revamped in 2010 by Match supremo Jonathan Downey, and in pretty fine style.
Read Giant Robot review
- 45-47 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5RS
This long, thin strip of a bar behind the Chinese screens of Hakkasan's exalted dining room gets astonishingly crowded, and with good reason.
Read Hakkasan review
- 8 Hanway Place, W1T 1HD
This tiny basement has such low light that torches ought to be provided to aid with reading the drinks list. But low light makes the room – dark walls and dark wooden floorboards – just that much more appealing.
Read Happiness Forgets review
- 8-9 Hoxton Square, N1 6NU
Happily for SW4's discerning drinkers, this first-floor bar is still missed by the party-hunting.
Read Loft review
- 67 Clapham High Street, SW4 7TG
You don’t expect to find a bar like Lost Angel along this sorry-looking stretch of the Battersea Park Road, but there is a precedent: this building was once home to Dusk, which brought a little glamour to the street.
Read Lost Angel review
- 339 Battersea Park Road, SW11 4LS
Loungelover’s sultry surrounds were created out of necessity more than anything else. London needed a fabulously hip space for knockout cocktails.
Read Loungelover review
- 1 Whitby Street, E1 6JU
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
- Hix, (66-70 Brewer Street), W1F 9UP
For a so-called ‘secret’ speakeasy, there’s been an awful lot of publicity about this new basement bar beneath the new Breakfast Club in Spitalfields.
Read Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town review
- 12-16 Artillery Lane, E1 7LS
You could walk past the door of this Soho speakeasy every day and never know it was there, and that's just how the owners like it.
Read Milk & Honey review
- 61 Poland Street, W1F 7NU
After passing the flunkies gesturing to chauffeured guests as they pull into this upscale Marriott outpost, you’ve a choice: to the right, the CC Bar to the right; to the left, Pearl, part French restaurant and part cocktail bar.
Read Pearl Bar & Restaurant review
- Chancery Court Hotel, (252 High Holborn), WC1V 7EN
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
- 177 Portobello Road, W11 2DY