London’s buzzing bar scene offers everything from art deco lounges, to industrial supper clubs, to hip watering holes.
England’s cosmopolitan capital has something to offer everyone, and when it comes to bars, the choices can be staggering. Our top 10 picks for London establishments, rounded up below, are forward-thinking in concept and design—and offer palate-pleasing cocktails that truly raise the bar.
Designed by renowned French hospitality interior designer Pierre Yves Rochon, the Beaufort Bar at The Savoy hotel near Covent Garden is located on the historic property’s former cabaret stage, which has hosted musical stars like George Gershwin and Carol Gibbons.
Evoking the feel of a holiday in warm, sunny climes, Mint Gun Club is an aperitivo bar, tea room, and delicatessen that serves alluring cocktails such as Bloodstone, made with blood orange, cactus flower, blanco tequila and grapefruit.
With exotic, palm tree wallpaper from London brand Iksel on its walls, and décor that would entice the likes of Indiana Jones, Oriole Bar in Smithfield Market serves equally exotic cocktails that celebrate cultures around the world.
Located in what was once an iron foundry in Shoreditch, this cocktail bar and restaurant connects to its industrial past with features like cast iron pillars and an industrial lift, which houses the DJ booth.
Bar consultancy firm Drink Factory hired Studioprototype to create this cutting-edge cocktail bar called Untitled. Located in the hip neighborhood of Dalston, East London, the centerpiece of the 2,000-square-foot space is a large communal bar on the ground level with a shiny, monolithic, cantilevered bar, and a stainless steel-covered base.
Designed by London–based Elliot Barnes, Behind This Wall was built by a group of friends, together with Jack Leith of local bespoke furniture makers Leith Furniture. Patrons can book a table or reserve the whole space. The venue places emphasis on good vibes, advising that only women can introduce themselves to men instead of vice versa, and that patrons are responsible for unruly guests.
This modern, art deco-influenced bar in the Modrian London hotel in South Bank was created by award-winning bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana, and features interiors by legendary British designer Tom Dixon. The establishment was named the world’s best cocktail bar by Tales of the Cocktail in 2017.
Inspired by the tiki bars of Polynesia, Nine Lives in Southeast London serves a stellar selection of spice- and fruit-infused cocktails. The bar’s name is a reference to its mission of salvation: “unveiled treasures, nothing wasted, everything lovingly sourced and selected with intention.”
In the elegant The London EDITION hotel in the West End, striking artwork—such as a reflective, stainless-steel egg sculpture hanging from the ceiling—add a touch of surrealism to the Lobby Bar’s historic architectural features, as in its intricate, plastered ceilings and cornices.