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London's best restaurants for drinking cocktails

London's best restaurants for drinking cocktails

Upgrade your mealtime tipple without compromising on the cuisine

By Laura Price
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We’ve all done it: you book a restaurant on the promise of great food, only to find the cocktails resemble the sort of umbrella-topped disaster you’d get on a cheapo package holiday in Benidorm. But you needn’t opt for pre-dinner drinks at a cocktail bar and settle for a watery mojito alongside the main meal – just head to one of London’s best restaurants for drinking cocktails and have the best of both worlds.

London's best restaurants for cocktails

The Manor House
The Manor House

The Manor

Restaurants British Clapham

Few restaurants provide as good value a drinks pairing as The Manor, where a flight of five drinks to accompany a tasting menu is just £33. Eight seasonal courses by chef Robin Gill are paired with a series of wines and cocktails ranging from Just Beet It with Calvados and beetroot juice to a simply red Mick Hucknall finale. There are also plenty of cocktails to accompany the à la carte. See also sister restaurants The Dairy and Paradise Garage.

Drink this: The Mick Hucknall — Mount Gay, Chase blackcurrant, hibiscus extract and mango

Patty & Bun Redchurch

Restaurants Burgers Shoreditch

Burger maestros Patty & Bun have rolled out a bigger branch on Shoreditch’s Redchurch Street, this time featuring cocktails designed by Danny Varley of Berber & Q. A stripped-back menu with two-burgers-and-one-veggie option is served in a cool exposed-brick interior alongside a choice of seven strong, seasonal cocktails. Sup a fruity, mezcal-based Twisted Spritzer at the counter for a great view of both the kitchen and bar.

Drink this: Twisted Spritzer — mezcal, aperol, velvet falernum, agave syrup and grapefruit bitters

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Pedler

Restaurants Contemporary European Peckham

If you’ve never had the pleasure of a £5 Maltby Mary served in a jam jar topped with fiery horseradish at Little Bird Gin on Bermondsey’s Maltby Street, then quite frankly you’ve never lived. Fortunately, the twist on a Bloody Mary has found a permanent home at Pedler, where gin aficionados can also try a Little Bird martini, a ‘Perfect’ G&T, a grapefruit and Prosecco-laced Englishman in New York and even a gin-based sausage. 

Drink this: Maltby Mary — Little Bird Gin, peri peri, horseradish, tomato juice and spices

Peckham Refreshment Rooms

Restaurants Cafés Peckham

A light and airy space right beside Peckham Rye station, Refreshment Rooms is an ideal stop-off for small-batch coffee en route to work, or for something stronger after the daily Thameslink crush. Simple food done well – think bavette with pickled walnut and parsley salad – washed down nicely with any of the eight cocktails on offer. Try a bourbon-based Quinquina in New York with your meal or simmer down after the commute with a refreshing Sage Bee’s Knees.

Drink this: Blood and Sand — scotch, orange, punt e mes, cherry Heering

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Shotgun opening
Thomas Bowles

Shotgun

Restaurants Soho

Those missing the now-closed Marylebone restaurant The Lockhart can still catch Mississippi-born Brad McDonald’s barbecued meats alongside US-and Mexico-inspired cocktails at Soho’s Shotgun. The smokiness of the spicy chipotle-infused Woody Old Fashion goes well with hearty plates of brisket and pork belly, while light, seasonal G&Ts are great enjoyed with a few snacks at the bar. Kickstart your meal with a fiery Mexican Michelada.

Drink this: Woody Old Fashion — Woodford Reserve, smoked maple syrup, toasted coconut and Jalapeño

Find more cocktails in London

cocktails in london, satan's whiskers
© Kris Piotrowski

Cocktails in London

Bars and pubs

You'll get way more than a G&T and a pack of pork scratchings in London's best cocktail bars. The capital keeps on serving up innovative neighbourhood hangouts as well as pioneeringly pistine hotel bars where cocktails are big on the agenda. So don't just rely on our cracking list of the 50 best cocktail bars in London, but also browse below to find exactly what's on the menu. This is pure cocktail geekery as London does best.

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