These days, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing when it comes to going out. Not enough time to go to yoga and meet your mates for a cocktail after work? Now you can do both – and at the same place. Whether you’re after some balance in your life, or are looking for the perfect night out without overindulging, we’ve picked out the best places in London where there’s way more on offer than a glass of wine and a bag of peanuts. Enjoy a cocktail after a spin class or follow a round of croquet with a delicious G&T on a rooftop. Here are seven places to go for the ultimate balanced night out.
Bored of the same old cocktails? At The Bletchley, an immersive code-breaking bar in Chelsea, they’ll never serve the same drink twice. Inspired by the real Bletchley Park, where Alan Turing and his team managed to decipher codes from Nazi Germany during World War II, guests will get comfy in the bar’s own war room where they’ll use a cipher machine to input data about their personality as well as flavour and smell preferences. Once you’ve gathered all your data, you’ll use radio-style telephones to transmit the ingredients to the back office. The bar’s expert mixologists will then create your bespoke cocktail then give you the recipe to take home. Trust us, all that code-cracking is just as fun as savouring the end product. The Bletchley, 459 King’s Rd, SW10 0LR.
If you’ve ever been to one of 1Rebel’s classes, you’ll know that they’re pretty hardcore. But the folks at 1Rebel are all about balance, which is why they’ve also got a fully stocked bar where you can hang out after your workout. After your class, treat yourself to one of the bar’s cocktails, which are a collaboration with Old Bengal Bar, with low-sugar mixers from cold-pressed juice company House Press. 63 St Mary Axe, EC3A 8LE and Broadgate Circle, EC2M 2QS.
Disco Yoga Brunch
You know what most yoga classes are lacking? Glitter. But fortunately, that’s not the case at Disco Yoga Brunch, where participants are asked to arrive 15 minutes early to ‘glitter up’. Yes, really. Once you’re suitably sparkly, you’ll take part in an hour of flow-style yoga to the sound of a disco soundtrack. So that’s the disco and the yoga covered, and after the class, it’s brunch time – you’ve earned it after all that flexing. Tuck into a three-course disco-themed brunch and sip on a ‘boogie bellini’ or a ‘moonwalk mimosa’. Spandex is optional, but encouraged. Check their website for upcoming events.
Alfresco film screenings are great and everything, but the prospect of a torrential downpour in the middle of your favourite film? Not so much. Which is why the folks at Backyard Cinema have created a great British weather-proof venue this summer with the launch of Miami Beach – a cinema at an indoor beach with real sand. You’ll be asked to swap your shoes for flip-flops at the door before you get cosy on their comfy beanbag loungers – no cramped cinema seats here. Bring the summer inside by grabbing a summery cocktail to enjoy alongside the film and some snacks from the beach bar, or get something more substantial from Italian food market Mercato Metropolitano, which is conveniently located right outside. 42 Newington Causeway, SE1 6DR. Book here.
Ministry Does Fitness
Can’t decide between going to the gym or the pub? You can now combine the two at Ministry Does Fitness. Housed inside Ministry of Sound’s former hidden booze vault, the gym offers five signature classes including cardio, core and endurance. Once you’ve worked up a sweat, grab one of their great protein shakes (try their Kendrick-inspired Bitch Don’t Kale My Vibe) or chat to your pals after the class while enjoying a drink from the bar, which serves up cocktails by night, including the Big Smoke Bloody Mary and Reggae Rum Punch. Arches 80 and 81, Newington Court, SE1 6DD. Book here.
Anyone for croquet? How about croquet on a rooftop? That’s what’s on offer at Skylight, a new lawn club-themed rooftop bar at Tobacco Dock, complete with three croquet lawns, two petanque courts (that’s the French version of bowls, fyi) and lawn bowls, which is the ideal sport for a sunny day, as you won’t work up too much of a sweat. After you’ve played to your heart’s content, chow down on food from Greek street food stall Yiro and burger peddlers We Serve Humans and enjoy a refreshing cocktail; take your pick from an espresso martini, a mojito or a Sunset Fizz – a mix of gin, prosecco, lime and mint. Tobacco Dock, Pennington St entrance, St Katharine’s & Wapping, E1W 2SF.
Put your night vision skills to the test at this immersive drinking experience, where guests will be plunged into darkness for a 90-minute ‘multi-sensory adventure’. Don’t panic, it won't be a total shock to the system – the lights will be on when you arrive, so you can meet the staff and familiarise yourself with your surroundings (ie make sure you know how to find the loo in the dark). Focusing on flavour and aroma rather than appearance and alcohol content, guests will be encouraged to guess what they’re drinking. Do you know your martini from your margarita? Only time will tell.
If you would like more information about alcohol, such as what’s in your drink and how it can affect your body, visit Diageo’s www.drinkiq.com.
The DRINKiQ website has been specifically created to cover all aspects of alcohol, and give you the tools to make more informed choices about drinking, or choosing not to drink.