Enjoy a night out somewhere different this weekend and discover the capital's best hidden bars and nightlife. Sink a drink in one of London's secret drinking dens or spend an evening at an underground event. Check out our guide to hidden bars and nights out in London.
This cosy cocktail cavern, surreptitiously situated beneath a Thai restaurant on the west side of Hoxton Square, is small, subterranean and clearly slung together on a shoestring. But never mind all that, because it's really good. Unlike other drinking destinations, there's none of that secretive speakeasy nonsense, It's just a bar with down-to-earth decor, extremely well-crafted cocktails, switched-on staff and good music.
With speakeasies all the rage in London, the Experimental Cocktail Club is perhaps the closest we have to a genuine hidden drinking den. The bar's two floors are a tasteful blend of fin-de-siecle opulence and antique shop chic. And did we mention the sensational cocktails?
This dimly-lit, basement cocktail bar beneath the new Breakfast Club in Spitalfields is reminiscent of a Twin Peaks cabin with moose heads, mirror balls and retro wallpaper.The cocktails, consisting of classics and house specials, are well-crafted on the whole and the beer list is also better than some.
Tiny, crooked and quaint, it was originally built to serve an area controlled by the Bishops of Ely, who had a nearby palace. Visitors are transported to a parallel pub universe where the clientele are disconcertingly friendly and the staff briskly efficient. A Monday-to-Friday joint, it opens for just one weekend a year to coincide with the British Beer Festival.
Dinky, chintzy and hidden down a flight of steps, this single-room bar is like going back in time. It has the delightful ambience of a 1920s tearoom, complete with tablecloths and flowery wallpaper. Not that this place is twee by any stretch – their cocktails menu sees that the tone stays the right (or should that be the wrong?) side of Prohibition-era chic.
The Library Bar
The luxury Lanesborough hotel is as full of gems as it is history. It's flagship restaurant Celeste, for instance, is a stunning Michelin-starred joint with glittering chandeliers and gold French regency styled decor. The Library Bar doesn't skimp on glamour either. The dark wood, deep shades and leather wing-back armchairs ooze grandeur. Fans of Cognac will feel particularly at home here, as The Library Bar won an award for its selection of the brandy and has bottles dating back to 1770. Elsewhere cocktails abound and if you can't decide which one to choose they helpfully offer three miniatures for £25. Plus, no matter what night you're visiting, you're sure to find live music here. There's a resident pianist, who plays from 6.30pm to 9.30pm daily, followed by jazz, and at the weekend a DJ plays chill-out.
Venue says: “Winner of Imbibe's 'Cognac Drinks List of the Year' 2016”