28°-50° is well-regarded for its French-inspired wine list and food menu, and this branch is a bright space where light fills the room and bounces off glassware on a marble-topped central bar. The wine list is a thing of joy, offering upwards of 30 varied and delicious wines from on-song suppliers, many of them small producers.
Although Artesian is tucked inside one of central London’s elite hotels, it does its best to maintain a down-to-earth edge. It’s a stunning room – epically tall ceilings, doric columns, blinging chandeliers. Cocktails are flamboyant, service is smart, prices are steep.
Venue says Artesian is at the forefront of London's sophisticated bar scene, showcasing the city’s largest collection of rums, Champagne and cocktails.
If you’ve struggled to get a seat at Soho’s Bar Termini, then the second, roomier branch of the bar from cocktail maestro Tony Conigliaro and coffee whizz Marco Arrigo is worth seeking out. The same elegant Italian look has been carried across, the aperitivi are as powerful as ever and kitchen pop-ups have included a hugely popular pasta residency from Fat Tony’s.
This basement bar has a faux colonial look, with light flickering through curtains, floral wallpaper and vintage sewing machines on tables. To fit the setting, Burlock does a strong line in rum: punters can choose something spiced, light, dark or even overproof. There’s a decent happy hour, too – take advantage of the Old Cuban, a light, bright twist on the mojito, for a fiver between 5pm and 7pm.
A swanky wine bar set within a mock Tudor townhouse, Clarette is a curious mash-up between city-boy boozer and early modern pub. There are plush pink velvet bar stools and plenty of marble, but also lattice windows and a couple of weird stained glass crests. French wine is the thing here – and it’s very good. It’s also reasonably priced given the location – although cheese boards and snacks don’t offer quite the same value for money.
Beneath Italian restaurant Benardi’s sits this smart bar kitted out with vintage Italian posters and black and gold embellishments. They mix up several variations of the much-loved negroni behind the bar – the Rose Negroni is a super-sippable option. Stylish couples and pedigree chums prop up the bar.
Purl is one of London’s first speakeasy-type bars and it’s still popular for its playful takes on tippling. Order drinks that whizz and pop and don’t be surprised to find dry ice in abundance. The layout of the bar, over a number of smallish spaces in a vaulted basement, gives the opportunity for genuine seclusion – settle in for a session backed by classy jazz tunes.
Okay, so it’s a little dated and it’s now an Indian (and has a food menu to match), but Salt still offers as wide a choice of whiskies as you’ll find anywhere in London –there are 200 available by the glass or bottle. Amid the hardwood and natural slate of the solitary bar-room – a classy, dark, square-shaped interior at odds with the gaudy brightness of Edgware Road – Salt feels like a sanctuary for discerning followers of the grain.
Seymour’s Parlour, in this follow-up to the original Zetter Townhouse hotel, looks like the home of a well-travelled, eccentric booze collector. With its deep red walls, wooden furniture and fabric furnishings, it’s like a living room filled with a treasure trove of knick-knacks. Tony Conigliaro has devised another stonking cocktail menu, and we advise champagne concoctions to match the plush setting; they’re dangerously easy to drink.
A wine bar in the Jason Atherton fold, be warned that many punters here are found tucking into full (and terrific) meals, which slightly defies the premise. There is a great, wide-ranging wine list, though, with some Spanish drops and a few vinos on the more affordable end of the scale. It may not be a rustic bodega, but we like it.
This outlet near Oxford Street continues the Vinoteca mission, blending a wine bar, restaurant and shop. If looking for a glass of something exciting after hitting the shops in central London, there’s prosecco on tap and interesting options by the bottle – including options from England and Greece. It's a classy yet relaxed spot to savour your sips.
The Wigmore, a self-styled ‘modern British tavern’ at The Langham Hotel, is said to mirror public houses of the past. It’s a bit fancier than that, in truth, with Michel Roux Jr having devised the menu of hearty pub grub. Prices are refreshingly on a par with other pubs in the area – from £5 pints of cask and keg beer to affordable wine on tap. It’s understandably popular with media types working in the area, so make sure you have your elbows at the ready if also visiting straight from the office.
Venue says A modern British tavern now open on London's Regent Street. Expect great wines on tap, cocktails, cask ales and craft beers.
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