21-of-the-prettiest-bars-in-london-for-picture-perfect-cocktail-dates

21 Of The Prettiest Bars In London For Picture-Perfect Cocktail Dates

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London isn’t short of beautiful places to visit. Pretty streets, pretty restaurants: there are picture-worthy spots around every corner. In preparation for London Cocktail Week, however, we’ve rounded up the prettiest bars in the city.

This year, London Cocktail Week has been extended to an entire month (October 1-31) for the first time in its history, making it the world’s biggest cocktail event in 2020. To take part, all you need to do is purchase yourself a London Cocktail Week wristband, and this will entitle you to signature cocktails for just £6 at 250 London bars. Let’s be honest, being able to drink in some of London’s top bars for anything less than a tenner is a pretty big deal, so you’re going to want to get your hands on one stat

Wristbands cost £15 and are valid for as many cocktails as you can manage throughout the month (within reason, kids). You’ll find the full list of participating bars over on their website, but we’ve chosen to highlight the prettiest of the bunch below.

Please note: while this article has been sponsored by London Cocktail Week, the bars on this list have been chosen by Secret London’s editorial team.

1. The Coral Room at the Bloomsbury Hotel

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Photo: The Coral Room

Created by designers Martin Brudnizki and Luke Edward Hall, The Coral Room is obviously a tonic for the eyes, with vibrant colours, parquet flooring, a classic marble-topped bar and other refined features. Naturally, there’s a creative menu of twenty different cocktails to work your way through, too.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: an Atlantic Roller (CÎROC vodka, crème de menthe, blue curaçao, Supasawa and MUYU Chinoto Verte topped with soda water and served with a Belsazar Riesling Foam), or a Nogroni (Seedlip Spice 94, Æcorn Bitter, Æcorn Aromatic) for £4.

📍 16-22 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 3NN

2. Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals, Fitzrovia

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Photo: Mr Fogg’s

Cocktails plants Instagrammable interiors = millennial dreamland. So the theory goes, at least. If there’s anywhere that’ll put it to the test, it’s Mr Fogg’s gin-heavy drinking spot, the House of Botanicals. This fine establishment does a rather nice job of doubling as a garden centre, given the shrubs, vines, and flowers covering the walls and ceilings. And they have a very lovely floral-inspired cocktail menu to boot.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: The Forager (Bombay Bramble gin, Quaglia Pino Mugo liqueur, sugar syrup, fresh lemon juice, homemade aquafaba and oak tincture. Topped with Mr Fogg’s British Lager).

📍 48 Newman Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1QQ

2. Goods Way, King’s Cross

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Photo: Goods Way

Goods Way is, first and foremost, a New Orleans-inspired hangout with top cocktails and delicious street food. The venue is the sum of many parts, but cocktails can be found at Sweetwater, a fantastic American-style cocktail bar channelling the spirit of New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta, or hidden speakeasy Nola’s.

Goods Way will also be the temporary home to Whisky House, which offers a series of curated experiences and masterclasses throughout the month. Head to LCW’s website for all the details.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: a Palo Santo Highball from Nola’s (Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch whisky, earl grey tea, apple cordial and Palo Santo infused soda), or a George Collins from Sweetwater (Roe & Co Irish whiskey, rye liqueur, fresh lemon juice and peach & jasmine soda).

📍 11 Goods Way, N1C 4UR

4. Hello Darling, Waterloo

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Photo: Hello Darling

Dreamed up by a couple of set designers, you can bet that Hello Darling is just as darling as its name. This Waterloo spot invites guests to drink and dine “inside a work of art”, and comprises three parts: Hello Darling, the fabulously extra cocktail bar and restaurant; The Cockatiel Club, a chic basement bar; and Darling House, an immersive house party-style bar.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: a Tokyo Sunrise (Roku gin, triple sec, hibiscus syrup, orange blossom water and topped with tonic water), or a non-alcoholic Buttercup Mule (Everleaf Non Alcoholic Bittersweet aperitif, fresh lemon juice and ginger ale) for £4.

📍 131 Waterloo Road, SE1 8UR

5. George’s Bar at the St Pancras Renaissance, King’s Cross

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Photo: George’s Bar

Boasting incredible architecture and equally incredible cocktails, this is a fantastic place to stop for a drink if you’d like to feel like royalty. Just don’t leave without taking a good look at the ceiling—it’s mesmerising!

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: a Six Bells (Frapin 1270 Premier Cru Grande Champagne cognac, white port, fresh lemon juice, creme de cerise and homemade honey water).

📍 St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, NW1 2AR

6. Zetter Townhouse, Clerkenwell

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Photo: Zetter Townhouse

Taxidermy and “pretty” aren’t two words I’m inclined to use in the same sentence, but Clerkenwell’s Zetter Townhouse has a pretty spectacular way of forcing my hand. This old-fashioned bar is both beautiful and eccentric, inspired by the stories of a fictional great aunt named Wilhelmina. The cocktails here are legendary, so you’d be hard-pressed not to stay for a few.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: a Perfect Martini (BeauFort Fifty-Seven Smoked Sipping gin, dry vermouth, white vermouth).

📍 49-50 St John’s Square, EC1V 2JJ

7. La Goccia, Covent Garden

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Photo: @lagocciacoventgarden

The central London outpost of Richmond’s Petersham Nurseries is as beautiful as you’d expect. And, of course, the bar at La Goccia serves up some bloomin’ lovely botanical cocktails inspired by the brand’s floral heritage.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: a White Port Negroni (Graham’s Blend Nº5 white port, Chartreuse liqueur and gin – garnished with a lemon twist).

📍 1 Floral Court, WC2E 9FB

8. Nine Lives, London Bridge

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Photo: Nine Lives

A beautiful, subterranean tropical oasis, Nine Lives is one of London Bridge’s best kept secrets. Expect lots of lovely rattan lampshades and lush greenery—oh, and a carefully curated list of fabulous cocktails, of course.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: a Grapefruit Spritz (Tanqueray No.TEN gin, homemade grapefruit cordial and topped with Double Dutch soda), or a Grapefruit 75 (Tanqueray No.TEN gin, fresh pink grapefruit juice, thyme sugar topped with Moët & Chandon Champagne and finished with an absinthe spritz) for £9.

📍 8 Holyrood Street, SE1 2EL

9. Laki Kane, Islington

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Photo: Laki Kane

This tropical paradise will whisk you away to warmer climes, especially when you’ve got one of their famed artisanal rum cocktails in hand. The decor is rather tiki bar-esque, but definitely on the classy end of the spectrum. Laki Kane is Polynesian for ‘lucky person’, and we must admit it’s a pretty apt name. Head along for your next night out, you laki thing.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: a Sustainable Vice (Flor De Cana 12 yo rum, Flor De Cana 4 yo rum, grapefruit and lemon Oleo Saccharum, spiced pineapple tapache, lime cordial and squid ink – served in a calabash fruit and garnished with dehydrated fruit mix).

📍 144-145 Upper Street, N1 1QY

10. Oriole, Farringdon

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Photo: Oriole

Not only does this bar boast stunning interiors, but its cocktail menu is also a glorious work of art. Arguably made for Instagram, Oriole is inspired by all things tropical. The walls are adorned with palm trees, and the drinks are made with obscure and exotic ingredients that you may not have heard of, let alone be able to pronounce.

Throughout London Cocktail Week, Oriole will also house the Laphroaig Library: an immersive virtual reality experience that will whisk you away to the beautiful island of Islay and into the Laphroaig distillery. All with a dram in hand, of course. Head to London Cocktail Week’s website for more details.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: an 1815 Highball (Laphroaig Quarter Cask whisky, Amaretto liqueur, homemade peated barley syrup and topped with Muscovado tonic), or a non-alcoholic Tian Shan Collins (Everleaf Non Alcoholic Bittersweet Aperitif, osmanthus tea and topped with aloe vera tonic) for £4.

📍 East Poultry Avenue, Smithfield Market, EC1A 9LH

11. Sketch, Mayfair

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Photo: @sketchlondon

Ah, sketch. Where to even begin? This place serves high-end food and cocktails in breathtaking surroundings. Seriously, every inch of it is begging to be Instagrammed. A sum of four parts, sketch is made up of: The Gallery, a pink paradise famous for its afternoon tea; The Lecture Room, a fancy sunset-themed room serving Michelin-starred food; The Parlour, a more affordable affair with chairs dressed in ballet shoes; and, last but not least, The Glade, which can only be described as a stunning, mythical forest. (Oh and of course there are also those famously Instagrammable toilets.)

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: an Osaka Highball (Roku gin, apricot liqueur, lemongrass & ginger cordial, verjus, citric and topped up with soda water) or a Tampico (Bitter aperitif, blood orange liqueur, fresh lemon juice, topped up with citrus tonic and finished with a spritz of Absinthe).

📍 9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG

12. Little Bat, Islington

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Photo: @littlebatbar

This neighbourhood bar serves an almighty brunch—but post meridiem, it’s all about the cocktails. It’s the perfect place for a romantic date night, or an overdue catch up with your mates.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: a Scoff (Benriach The Original Ten whisky, dry vermouth, passionfruit, grenadine and topped with soda) or an Auld Alliance (Benriach The Smoky Ten, Yellow Charteuse, chocolate bitters and topped with ginger ale).

📍 54 Islington Park Street, N1 1PX

13. Dalloway Terrace, Fitzrovia

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Photo: Dalloway Terrace

You’ve probably seen this place on your Instagram feed once or thrice, and for good reason. This cute courtyard is known for its spectacular seasonal makeovers, and it’s just revealed its autumn issue. With a stunning backdrop of golden leaves illuminated by twinkling lights, it’s the perfect spot for an afternoon cocktail.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: a Johnnie Highball (Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch whisky, peach liqueur, Amaro Montenegro and topped with soda water).

📍 16-22 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NN

14. Lost in Brixton

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Photo: @lostbrixton

South London’s jungle paradise is filled with Latin American-inspired cocktails, lots of local beer, plus the option to order food from the market straight to your table. Accessed via a secret staircase in a corner of Brixton Village market, it’s a great spot to visit if you’re not quite ready to wave goodbye to the summer.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: a Casa Caliente (Casamigos blanco tequila, Supasawa, agave nectar, fresh red chillis, basil leaves and raspberry powder).

📍 Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PS

15. Lyaness, South Bank

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Photo: @lyanessbar

Formerly the home of World’s Best Cocktail Bar Dandelyan, Lyaness sprang to the head of the pride in 2019. Still sumptuously decorated, still wildly inventive, Lyaness builds its cocktails around a series of select ingredients, with names like Infinite Banana and King Monkey Nut.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: a Lincoln Julep (Angel’s Envy whiskey, Plum I Suppose liqueur, mint cordial, Infinite Banana, a dash of wood-spice bitters and topped with soda water).

📍 20 Upper Ground, SE1 9PD

16. Eve Bar, Covent Garden

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Photo: Eve Bar

Hidden beneath Covent Garden is London’s very own Garden of Eden, brainchild of feted London chef Adam Handling. This bar is full of temptation, indulgence and hedonism. With a huge list of inventive and beautifully presented cocktails, as well as some seriously stunning interiors, Eve is pretty close to being Heaven on Earth.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: a Roku Umeshu (Roku gin, Kamoizumi Umelicious, green Chartreuse and maraschino liqueur) or a St Germain Spritz (St-Germain elderflower liqueur, Adam Handling Own Label sparkling wine and topped with soda), or a non-alcoholic Maple Salted Nogroni (Æcorn Aromatic, Æcorn Bitter, Seedlip Spice 94, saline solution and maple syrup) for £4.

📍 34 Southampton Street, WC2E 7HF

17. Charlie’s Bar at Brown’s Hotel, Mayfair

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Photo: @charliesmayfair

This place is primarily an extremely fancy restaurant, but there is also a small yet swanky bar area where you can grab a drink. You’ll be surrounded by botanical wallpaper and interesting art—not to mention the red velvet bar stools marked with the letter ‘C’, which commemorate Lord Charles Forte (father of Sir Rocco Forte, the hotel’s owner).

⭐️ London Cocktail Week offer: Remember Me (Ratafia, vodka and topped with Moët & Chandon Champagne) for £9.

📍 Brown’s Hotel, Albemarle Street, W1S 4BP

18. Burlock, Marylebone

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Photo: @burlocklondon

This buzzing basement bar stocks over 200 rums from all over the world, and you’ll find them mixed into an array of colourful cocktails. If you like to party Cuban-style (i.e. dancing all night long), this place is right up your street.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: an Under Hand (Santa Teresa 1796 rum, Punt e Mes, Martini Riserva Speciale Rubino, bitter aperitif and cacao bitters).

📍 31 Duke Street, W1U 1LG

19. Little Orange Door, Clapham

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Photo: Little Orange Door

This place feels just like home, which is entirely the point. Just like award-winning cocktail bar Little Blue Door, the Little Orange Door is designed to replicate the old school house party, with DJs, dinner parties and bottomless brunches taking over the kitchen, living room and bathroom. Each room is a feast for the eyes, with surprises behind every door.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: a Madmen (Monkey Shoulder Scotch whisky, Martini Rosso vermouth, amaretto, fresh egg white, fresh lemon juice and sugar syrup).

📍 16a Clapham Common South Side, SW4 7AB

20. Artist Residence, Victoria

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Photo: @artistresidencelondon

This place is really rather special. A stupendous triad of hotel, restaurant and bar, the running theme is art, so you can expect to see a rotating collection of prints and paintings adorning the walls.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: an Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (Brown butter-washed Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Scotch, chardonnay reduction, Oak, Angostura & Orange bitters) or a Passport to Pimlico (Tanqueray No.TEN gin, strawberry aperitif, walnut, bitter aperitif, Rooibos tea, fresh lime juice and clarified almond milk), or a non-alcoholic London Calling (Everleaf Non Alcoholic Bittersweet Aperitif and paragon white penja pepper topped with elderflower & cucumber tonic) for £4.

📍 52 Cambridge Street, SW1V 4QQ

21. Blue Bar at The Berkeley, Mayfair

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Photo: Blue Bar at the Berkeley

Last but by no means least we have the Blue Bar at The Berkeley, a bluemin’ lovely addition to the list. This place is pretty iconic, with its all-blue-everything vibes, as well as an elegant cocktail list served by some of the best mixologists in the business.

⭐️ London Cocktail Week £6 cocktail: an Absinthe Frappe (Hendrick’s Absinthe, pink grapefruit, fresh lime juice, coconut whey and Tonka bitters), or a non-alcoholic Wake Up Call (Everleaf non alcoholic bittersweet aperitif, cold brew coffee and topped with tonic water) for £4.

📍 Wilton Place, SW1X 7RL

Head to the London Cocktail Week website for all the information you need, and to purchase your festival wristbands (which you’ll need to enjoy all these £6 cocktails throughout October)!


Also published on Medium.