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The winners of the Time Out London Bar Awards 2017

The boldest, the booziest, the best. Time Out toasts the finest bars in town

By Laura Richards
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The brightest stars of London’s bar scene have gathered in east London to celebrate the Time Out London Bar Awards 2017. At the ceremony, we unveiled the winners of six awards that championed the biggest achievements in bartending in the capital. Our judges – among them mixologists, journalists and bar industry experts – picked the places doing consistently dazzling things with drinks as well as the boldest new bars in town. Categories celebrated everything from super-slick service to mind-blowing settings right through to knock-out cocktails. Read on to discover 2017’s best places to drink.

RECOMMENDED: Read our full guide to the Time Out London Bar Awards 2017

Meet London's best bars

bar termini, bar of the year, time out london bar awards
bar termini, bar of the year, time out london bar awards
Rob Greig

Southern Comfort presents Bar of the Year

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Soho

Bar Termini

Quality cocktails and coffee combine at Soho’s Bar Termini. The man behind the coffee is Marco Arrigo, Illy’s head of quality. And the man behind the libations that really matter to us is London drinks luminary Tony Conigliaro (of 69 Colebrooke Row and Untitled). Bar Termini won over the judges with its pared-back approach to drinking and its setting inspired by the coffee bars of Rome’s central train station. Classic Italian cocktails are amped up to perfection – think rose negronis and rhubarb spritzes. This slice of La Dolce Vita in London has been so successful that a second branch has just arrived in Mayfair. We’ll drink to that: salute!

Runner-up: Connaught Bar

swift, best new bar, time out bar awards
swift, best new bar, time out bar awards
Photograph: Addie Chinn

Best New Bar

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Soho

Swift

This Soho newbie was the unanimous winner of the Best New Bar award, with the panel raving about the star bar team in the driving seat as well as the flawless drinks and a design that serves up two venues for the price of one. Upstairs is a light, bright standing bar doing a roaring trade in aperitifs and oysters, while tucked underneath is a dark and brooding whisky and cocktail lounge where table service is as friendly as can be. Trust us, you’ll never want to make it a swift one here.

Runner-up: Three Sheets

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Best Bar Team

Bars and pubs Hotel bars South Bank

Dandelyan

It’s the second year running that the South Bank’s Dandelyan has scooped the coveted prize for Best Bar Team. Led by cocktail legend Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan), the bar serves some of London’s most mind-blowing drinks in seemingly effortless fashion. Yet every member of the team chips in to the creative process when the bar devises a new menu. It’s this collaborative and creative atmosphere, paired with unfailing service with a smile, that won the judges over. Go team!

Runner-up: Connaught Bar

Best Bar Design

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Farringdon and Smithfield

Oriole

When deciding the winner of the award for Best Bar Design, the judges were looking for places that went the extra mile in the decor stakes. So who better than the flashy little Oriole (designed by Daytrip Studio) to scoop this award. Parquet floors meet exotic palm-strewn wallpaper, the bar itself glimmers with gold, while expensive-looking vases and artefacts sourced from around the world add an extra wow factor. All this from a basement accessed through an unassuming entrance just by Smithfield Market. Stunning.

Runner-up: Untitled

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Best Single-Focus Bar

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Moorgate

Black Rock

The panel were looking for bars putting one particular drink or spirit on a pedestal, so Black Rock was an obvious choice. Before, when you thought of whisky bars in London, you probably didn’t picture a scene-defining hangout with a cool young crowd. But Black Rock is just that, a dark little bar serving more than just a simple wee dram. Choose from hundreds of bottles from the cabinet, or drink from one of two whisky rivers that sit maturing inside an oak tree that’s been sawn in half and placed as a table in the middle of the room. Mind = blown.

Runner-up: Noble Rot

Most Creative Drinks List

Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Bethnal Green

Peg + Patriot

Cauliflower. Carrot. Black pudding. Beetroot. Peanut. Plum. Nope, not Time Out’s shopping list. These are the names of just a handful of cocktails on the drinks list at Peg + Patriot. The man behind the bar is Matt Whiley, also known as Talented Mr Fox. He and his very talented team have come up with these compellingly original culinary cocktails inspired by chefs from around the world. Cooking techniques are used in the process to achieve some mad scientist results. With such a foodie drinks menu, you may want to skip dinner altogether.

Runner-up: Dandelyan

Find the best cocktails in London

50 best cocktail bars in London, promo, high water
© Victor Frankowski

The 50 best cocktail bars in London

Bars and pubs

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.

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