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Year in review: drinking in London got even more immersive in 2018

Laura Richards

Londoners had already demonstrated a taste for the out-there when it comes to clocking-off time, but 2018 saw the bar scene become even wilder. Here are the new bars in town that filled our Instagram feeds this year.

The Cauldron

Flames, dry ice and colour-changing cocktails are usually enough to get the average barfly excited. So just imagine the frenzy when ‘magic wand technology’ was added for a wizarding time
at this long-running pop-up that got Potterheads hot under the cape this year. 7 Elephant Rd. Tube: Elephant & Castle. 

Moonshine Saloon

From the people who brought you Alcotraz (a controversial prison-themed bar) came this rootin’, tootin’ boozer in the Wild West of London (aka Chelsea). What’s the deal? You bring along your own liquor for staff to whip up cocktails. Don’t worry, they’ll provide the Stetson. Yeehaw! 535 King’s Rd. Tube: Fulham Broadway.

Little Blue Door

We’ve seen it all now – the theme of Fulham’s Little Blue Door is drinking round your mate’s flatshare. But hey, if your pal lives in Fulham, they’re probably doing all right. Apparently drinking cocktails from cafetières and dancing on the tables is fully encouraged. 871-873 Fulham Rd. Tube: Parsons Green.

Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration

Jules Verne’s globetrotting British gent Phileas Fogg is the inspiration for bar chain Mr Fogg’s, and its 2018 launch is just as #quirky as its siblings. You can drink inside a life-sized Victorian Orient Express carriage (after being greeted by an explorer, obvs). 1a Bedford St. Tube: Charing Cross.

The Grid (pictured above)

The lads at ABQ have had a busy year. As well as cooking up molecular cocktails at their Hackney joint, they got ‘recruits’ to infiltrate (fictional) artificial intelligence firm Neosight in Southwark. Described as ‘an alcoholic escape experience’, The Grid is said to be inspired by dystopian TV series ‘Black Mirror’. 2 Robinson Rd, Bankside Arches. Tube: Southwark. 


This ‘Breaking Bad’-themed ‘molecular’ cocktail class began life in a broken-down RV in a Hackney car park. The vehicle has now been rolled into a new home in Bohemia Place, where you can don a yellow hazmat suit and ‘cook up’ cocktails. Foaming drinks in chemistry beakers never get old, it seems. 18 Bohemia Place. Hackney Central Overground. 

Little Nan’s Fitzrovia

Tristan Scutt launched another bar dedicated to his late grandmother (Little Nan Jojo) this year. Beyond the usual doilies and cocktails in teapots, the Fitzrovia branch has a real thing for Lady Di, as well as a ’90s nostalgia room in the basement where dressing up and singing along to Take That is the norm. 20-21 Warren St. Tube: Warren St.

Read our full list of ways London changed in 2018

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