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tonight josephine, neon bars in london

The best neon-filled bars in London

These lit London bars are dazzling – especially after dark. Marvel at the electric lights in these beautiful neon-filled bars in London

By Laura Richards
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I know, I know, you’re already like a moth to a flame when it comes to London’s best bars. But these bold, bright lights give you another reason to be drawn in for a drink. Discover the best places to drink in London if neon sets your heart aglow – from bars drenched in warm red and orange rays to watering holes displaying the most radical slogans and shapes, all shining brightly. Essentially, if taking snaps of neon gets you totally gassed, these London bars are a must-visit.

Neon-heavy bars in London

Tonight Josephine

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Waterloo

Plastered in neon phrases, this cocktail bar for meme-loving millennials is themed around a ‘wild’ woman. Neons in the collection include a sign declaring that, ‘well behaved women don’t make history' and one that simply says: ‘lady garden’. After all, if you don't post about your night out on social media, did it ever happen? 

Venue says Bottomless brunch every Saturday? Yes please! Join Josephine for bottomless Prosecco, brunch, showgirls, burlesque dancers and more ✌️💋🌸

The Rolling Scones Café

Art Galleries Walthamstow

This is the bar at God's Own Junkyard, London's striplight shrine all the way up in Walthamstow. The gallery filled with unique neon artwork is a bit of a pilgrimage, so make a pit stop in the café-bar. Here, you can sip local beers from Wild Card Brewery beneath the mad, otherworldly glow.

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Near and Far

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Peckham

This tropical den stuns. The pink neon glow from multi-storey-carpark-turned-multi-sensory-playground Peckham Levels (in which this bar resides) is ever-present. While the entire venue is awash with colour, this bar also shines thanks to custom neon signs peeking out from behind palm-tree fronds. Think Club Tropicana, but for hipsters. 

CircusXO, neon bars london
CircusXO, neon bars london
© John Carey

CircusXO

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Mayfair

Purple and yellow light up the bar, while a giant neon fish hangs above the dining area to the side of this Mayfair basement bar. Drinks are just as Instagram-friendly – from tipples served in Chinese takeout cartons to a lavender-coloured drink in a glass the size of a fishbowl. It’s a pricey place to party, but the aesthetics almost make up for it.

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Genuine Liquorette

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Fitzrovia

Tom Selleck’s face plasters the ladies’ toilet at this bar, while colourful striplight signage plasters the walls elsewhere. The look of the place is said to be inspired by the liquor stores that line the Californian coast, so for a dose of bold West Coast style, give this Fitzrovia bar a roll.

The Drunken Oyster

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Victoria

Big, bold and blue, this bar above a Jason Atherton restaurant in Victoria almost looks like Bada Bing!, the strip joint in ‘The Sopranos’. So it’s only right that you should spy some flickering neon – one sign is in the shape of an anthropomorphic oyster necking a martini, and we love it.

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Venn Street Records

Bars and pubs Clapham

Not only is Venn Street Records clad in vinyl but it’s also dressed to kill in neon: from the bar’s logo in red to a sign above the door that tells punters to ‘spread love’. It’s all very designed and deliberate, but the drinks deliver – especially during happy hour.

green room at the curtain, neon bars london
green room at the curtain, neon bars london
© Justine Trickett

Green Room at The Curtain

Bars and pubs Hotel bars Shoreditch

Neon signage, beautiful blooms and pastel hues: the bar at The Curtain is camera-ready, and she’s not shy. Forget the name, aside from viridian bar tiles and teal velvet sofas, it’s a shiny space with polished concrete flooring and gold-trimmed walls. But the plush look is a perfect match for signage that advises: ‘Don’t wait for tomorrow!’

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Eve Bar

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Covent Garden

Pull back those heavy doors to reveal the words, ‘resist everything except temptation’ lit in red neon above a staircase that leads to Eve Bar. Down here you’ll also find some gawdy artwork made to look like stained glass. It’s an intense look, but it’s tempered by friendly staff and interesting drinks.

The Golden Heart

Bars and pubs Pubs Spitalfields

This East End spot – perhaps surprisingly – has a neon by Tracey Emin in the window. The artist and former local gifted it to the pub’s landlady Sandra Esquilant back when the bar was the toast of the town among an arty crowd. The pub might not shine so brightly these days, but Emin’s neon is still trying its best to illuminate the boozer.

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CellarDoor

Nightlife Nightlife venues Covent Garden

This compact and diminutive club in a converted Victorian loo is thrilling for a fair few reasons, not least for the electric hue that’s cast across the room from carefully positioned striplights. It gives a slightly seedy look – from the minute you descend the stairs and spy neon above the door – that’s incredibly fitting for the burlesque and drag antics that go down below ground.

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