The King of Ladies Man
There is nothing out of the ordinary about this launderette… except the fact it’s a bar. And a retro breakfast club. This 70’s themed caf serves up some perfect brunch options such as pancakes with maple syrup, milkshakes and smoothies, bacon and eggs, burgers and plenty more. Now here comes the fun part… If you’re someone who likes secret rooms and read too much Enid Blyton as a child (awkward cough) then you will definitely enjoy delving into the secret bar disguised behind a smeg fridge door- just the kind of quirky thrill we like! You will soon find yourself inside a 70’s bachelor pad complete with classic retro cocktails, (the Pina Coladas or the tequila sunrises should take you back to the golden era of bell bottoms and mullets) random pink flamingos and some classic playboy additions lining the wall, well we did say bachelor pad. For more fun and frolics try The King of Lady’s Man’s sister venue, The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town in Spitalfields, the secret speakeasy that everyone is talking about! Perfect for revelers seeking to escape the mainstream party scene.
Guy Pelly, the man behind Whisky mist and Mahiki has come up trumps again with his latest addition to the London high society party scene. Tonteria is a new tequila bar in Sloane Square. It boasts a long list of spirits including the legendry Reserva del Alma, of which there are allegedly only 2 bottles left in the world! At £5,000 it might be safer to stick to the good old salt and lime version. The fun part comes before you’ve downed them as the shots are delivered to customers on a toy train circling the ceiling above. Cocktails are served in a variety of novelty containers such as a Mayan pyramid or a Mexican wrestler’s mask. There is truly delectable tapas and as the tequila begins to take effect the lights dim changing the atmosphere from a quirky bar to a naughty Mexican den. The perfect venue for a birthday party or a wild night out!
Feeling in the mood for wrapping up warm and embracing the Winter vibe? Then head to Below Zero, London’s one and only ice bar to warm up Russian styley with some Absolut vodka! Slap bang in the middle of London just off Regent Street, this bar is easy to locate. There is a restaurant on ground level so you can get warmed up beforehand in preparation for the icy conditions in the bar below or perhaps sit down for a cosy meal afterwards to defrost! Before you enter the ice bar itself you are given silver capes to wear and mittens to protect your hands from frost bite. As you pass behind the curtain Narnia style you enter a small, glistening space where you can literally… chill. There are ice columns, a well-stocked bar and all the drinks are served in glasses made from ice. The staff are great and you can make funny faces through the ice columns if the conversation runs dry. What more could you ask for? Next stop Sweden’s ice hotel!
Sick of the grey skies and dreaming of a far away island then why not pop into Trader’s Vic for a bite to eat or a cocktail! Situated beneath the London Hilton you will instantly feel you have entered an exotic paradise. Whether you sit down to enjoy the food that takes inspiration from the Polynesian Islands or linger at the bar whilst sampling one of their signature cocktails you can guarantee the summer holiday feeling will soon set in. Try the Samoan Fog Cutter cocktail served in a tall, carved glass that depicts a native islander or take the Treasure map as it takes you on a journey to discover six tropical locations through the flavours of six different cocktails… just make sure you book a cab home! A fantastic option for those seeking a taste of the exotic in the heart of the city.
(Bring your own cocktail bar) does exactly what it says on the tin. Pay £20 on entry, bring your favourite tipple and then hand the reigns over to the highly skilled bar staff as they choose from their vast array of fresh juices, home-made cordials, herbs, salts, spices and bitters to create a truly scrumptious and original cocktail. This speakeasy is located under the juice bar in Covent garden. Candlelit tables and jazz playing from vintage gramophones makes this small atmospheric bar just the place for lazy weekend drinks. Reservations by email only.
Tucked away in one of Mayfair’s backstreets you will find Mr Fogg’s, the supposed residence of the eccentric British adventurer Philias Fog. Ring the bell and enter the elegant and intriguing bar that is packed full of unusual ornaments and objects that the great explorer has collected from his travels around the world such as a globe that becomes a punch bowl and and various stuffed animals. Try a cocktail made using old Tom gin, a traditional alcohol from the Victorian era served by the bar men who are dressed in the clothes of the period and are in character. A trip to the toilet does nothing to break the atmosphere as the story of phileas fogg is blasts out from speakers above. A fun, atmospheric bar and a perfect option for a first date- you won’t be short of something to talk about in this weird and wonderful venue.
Radio rooftop bar
It’s time to dust off you laboutins and get your ‘Sex and the City’ vibe on at this achingly cool new rooftop bar. Although in many ways conventionally cool, we feel this place deserves acknowledgment as one of the most unique and well located roof top bars in the city. Big sofas and outside heaters mean you can take in the spectacular views of the London skyline at your leisure. The bar is located in the epicentre of the city in the old Marconi House. The cocktails have been named to reflect this. Try the Radio Active or the AMF each presented in a quirky jam jar. The beautiful art-deco surroundings and the breathtaking views of London’s landmark buildings make this bar a must for Londoners and tourists alike.
Copa de Cava
‘Copa de Cava’ is the UK’s first bar dedicated to Cava. Built to echo the traditional Spanish vaults where the precious brut, reserve and grand reserve Cava are stored, this place well and truly captures the Spanish atmosphere. If you gaze upwards you take in the deep arched brick ceiling, look down and peering through the glass panel you see the cellar where thousands of bottles are stored. The traditionally Spanish food is superb and some mouth-watering tapas is the perfect accompaniment to one of the 25 different types of Cava available. So it’s time to get your maracas out (no not the rude ones, it’s not that kind of establishment) and head underground to experience a taste of true Spanish culture.
Hidden beneath the streets of Aldwich in a converted Victorian loo you will find Cellar Door a small but atmospheric cabaret bar that stays open until 1am each night featuring live acts form 9pm. Alternatively you can always choose your own songs on the UK’s first SMS text jukebox. Once frequented by the likes of Wilde, Orton and Gielgud this bar has retained its theatrical edge. For those in the mood for trying something different there are various flavours of snuff available, a fun nicotine based alternative to the harder stuff. The incredibly sexy toilets are definitely worth a visit too! For those seeking a secret underground cabaret venue, this place is kitch and fun all year round.
If you follow the buzz on the streets you will probably have heard about Soho’s fabulous new addition to the bar scene! If not it’s time to dust off the bell bottoms and back comb your hair as you step into the crazy Pan am styled reception. Here you will find air stewardesses waiting to check you in and hand you your boarding passes. There is even the optional conveyor belt for the checking of personal items. The 70’s theme continues as you head into the bar which is a glorious senses overload. The bar is a replica of a vintage fairground and the classic tunes are played by a DJ from within a large glitter ball. Chorreographed performances and live musical performances culminate in a countdown to midnight every night. The perfect place to let your mojo out on the dance floor… groovy baby!
If you get a little bored of the Polo but love the Polo party scene, après-polo if you will, then Soho’s Chukka is the place for you. The fantastic Archer street venue has transformed its downstairs space into a polo themed lounge on Thursday-Saturday evenings. The kooky bar comes complete with astro turf, helmets, hobby horses, mallets and even an equestrian themed dressing up box. There is a resident DJ on the decks throwing out the best of the 90’s tunes and regular pop up performances. Guest can sit back and chill as they sip on one of the polo-themed cocktails such as “Treading Divots” or “Hooves on Fire.” A fun and frivolous place to while away the hours and recapture some of the fun of the Summer.
We need to tell you about Opium as it would be mean of us to keep it to ourselves. This kitsch and trendy cocktail bar in the heart of Soho has pitched itself perfectly. Situated in a three floor, multi-roomed venue, Eric Yu and Dre Masso have created three seperate bars- The Academy, The Apothecary Bar and The Tea Parlour. The Apothecary bar is where the magic happens as spirits are dispensed into Chinese medicine bottles and The Tea Parlour is where to go for a selection of Chinese teas and dim sum. Burning insense, Chinese vases and retro furniture provide the perfect ambiance and a trip to the toilet is an experience in itself as you are greeted with speakers that blast out mandarin announcements and motion activated lights. If you really want to spice things up try the Opium cocktail No.1, a tantalizing combination of rum, absinthe, mandarin juice, lime syrup and ginseng that arrives dramatically enveloped in smoke.
Mizuwari is London’s first whisky bar. Located underneath Bincho Yaktori restaurant in Soho, the word Mizuwari means “mixed with water” and is a popular way of drinking spirits in Japan. If drinking whisky straight isn’t your thing there is also an array of mouthwatering cocktails to choose from such as the Usui with Hakushi 12 which is a delicate infusion of violet, rosewater and orange blossom or the slightly stronger Seimei which mixes marschino, Hibiki 12, absinthe and lemon zest. Staying true to the Japanese bar theme Mizuwari also offers a ‘bottle keep’ option which allows you to purchase your favourite whisky and keep it tagged and guarded until your next visit. The wood-paneled walls, benches and candlelight all work well to enhance the mood of a traditional Japanese speakeasy. An exciting new addition to London’s whisky scene.