Sure, it’s fun to sit up at the bar. But what about having the bar come to you? Some of London’s sharpest bars are doing the legwork by rolling across neat drinks trolleys replete with glorious tipples. Have top bartenders mix you a mind-blowing martini or another cocktail concoction right by your seat, or simply select and sample from the wonders on offer in these pretty little booze wagons.
The best drinks trolleys in London
Far more than a great way to fix a hangover, the bloody mary trolley at 45 Park Lane is something approaching a lifestyle choice. It looks like a farmers market, the countertop brimming with heritage tomatoes and sticks of celery. Guests can customise their BM with culinary components – from horseradish sauce to beef stock – made by the hotel’s restaurant. If you don’t fancy going bespoke, Bar 45’s team have created four twists on the original including a Gazpacho Mary.
A negroni is the kind of drink you should be sitting comfortably for; its killer combo of Campari, gin and vermouth is made for languid sipping. Cartizze Bar – a black, gold and geometric-patterned room that makes you feel like you’re inside the Versace logo – has given the drink its very own trolley, a vintage Empire-style vehicle from which staff pour four variations on the Italian cocktail. The classic is a good place to start, but for extra bang, go for a Cartel Negroni that’s mixed with mezcal instead of gin. You are sitting comfortably, aren’t you?
Order a martini at the blingy Connaught Bar and one of the team will wheel this luxe workstation to your seat. First choose a vodka or gin (Tanqueray No. Ten comes recommended) then personalise your tipple with a tincture from a glory box of seven in-house bitters. Watch as your trolley-tender stirs (heaven forbid you should have it shaken) with a white-gloved hand, like the Michael Jackson of the drinks world. Just be warned: you may be the one that needs wheeling out afterwards; these go straight to your legs.
Before you ask for the bill here, be sure to request a digestif. Grain Store’s trolley, made from a Victorian pram, carries a precious cargo of after-dinner drinks. Choose from armagnacs, cognacs and limoncellos, or sample an amaretto made from a recipe passed down through generations of cocktail whizz Tony Conigliaro’s family. It’s a far better end to a meal than dessert. You’ll be rooting around on eBay for a disused pram, stat.
A black cabinet has been custom-made from lacquer wood and glides across the white marble floor of One Aldwych’s Lobby Bar like Darth Vader on the Death Star (just far less ominously). Stay on the dark side with a Woodford Reserve old fashioned, poured into cut-glass measuring jugs before a good old stir with house-made syrup and bitters, with staff offering it sweet, dry or balanced. It claims to be the world’s first old fashioned trolley, but we’ve seen ‘Mad Men’, so we know that’s not technically true.
Find even more great tipples in town
So many cocktails, so little time. So just stick to the best cocktail bars in London by using our ranked list below. You'll find everything from dark and dirty speakeasy joints and secret bars to bold and brash party spots meant for a night out on the tiles. What they all have in common is mixed drinks that will blow your mind – and hopefully not your budget.