Don’t you hate it when you’re out for dinner with mates, you’ve enjoyed some great food, then before you know it the restaurant’s closing and you’re trying to work out where to go for a round of drinks? Bars are packed, pubs are full and it all seems a bit bleak. But not so if you eat in one of these places. They’re restaurants, but they’ve got secret bars that stay open well past closing time.
Company Below at Balls & Company
There’s a tiny little speakeasy style bar hiding underneath meatball restaurant Balls & Company on Greek Street. Open till 11pm and serving damn fine cocktails, this is an excellent place to end up after gorging on the meatball selection upstairs.
Below and Hidden at Bourne and Hollingsworth
If you go downstairs in the Bourne and Hollingsworth Building in Clerkenwell you’ll think you’ve stumbled into someone’s living room and they’ve forgotten to turn the lights on. This secret drinking den is in fact the little sister venue to B&H where you can drink and dance the night away until 2am.
If you want to shake your booty after dinner in Soho then Barrio Central is the place to do it. Bright, colourful and serving up cocktails called Wonky Donkey and Ol Dirty Bastard by the glass or the jug, Barrio Soho is a good place for a night out. Just don’t forget to line your stomach with a plate of their ancho chicken nachos before you tuck into the cocktail jugs.
It only opened this week, but the new club underneath Chelsea’s Mimosa restaurant is the place to go. After dining on the modern British menu upstairs, you can slip downstairs to the elegant, leather banquet lined club below for cocktails and a boogie to the Funktion One soundsystem.
Every Friday and Saturday Asian barbecue restaurant Bo Drake stays open late to serve up seasonal cocktails and snacks. Head there before midnight for the Christmas special cocktail, the Mr Scrooge, made with spiced rum, maple syrup, lime, beetroot juice and ginger beer.
For another round, have a look at our 50 best cocktail bars in London.