New to London, in town for a weekend or just looking for a new regular? With a ridonkulous amount of watering holes and more opening all the time, let GirlCrew take you by the hand and give you a tour of our favourite haunts for a tipple or two.
1. The London Gin Club
22 Great Chapel Street W1F, thelondonginclub.com
This is a cosy table service bar with the tagline: dedicated to the enjoyment of gin. Don’t panic, they do serve other drinks but you really should try at least one gin cocktail (especially as they have over 130 gins coupled with very knowledgeable staff). Definitely book ahead as it can get busy and also sign up for free membership to collect points for free drinks and so you can hear about gin tastings and the like.
2. Happiness Forgets
8-9 Hoxton Square N1, happinessforgets.com
Don’t let the location put you off, you will soon forget where you are as soon as you enter this basement bar. “Great cocktails, no wallies”, their website exclaims and they are true to their word. You can reserve a table in advance and they always make sure they keep half their tables free for walk-ins. I really wish I could remember the name of the insanely strong vodka-based cocktail I had here once but…
Kingly Street, Covent Garden, cahoots-london.com (Heads up – the website comes with autoplay audio!)
This place has literally only just opened. Great if you really want to be ahead of the curve or you have somebody to impress. It is a London Underground themed bar in a disused tube station but not in a tacky way in a cool ‘40s way.
10th Floor, Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park, Rye Lane, SE15, frankscafe.org.uk
Make a note of this one for the summer as it’s closed throughout the winter. Open since 2008 and a must-do if you venture south of the river. Great views over the city (ideally with an Aperol Spritz in hand) that you’d have to pay for elsewhere.
5. Covent Garden Cocktail Club
6-7 Great Newport Street, WC2H, coventgardencocktailclub.co.uk
And we’re down from the heady heights of a car park to another basement bar. Sign up for free membership then you and three guests can enjoy drinks in a lively place where the bartenders do their best Tom Cruise for you (Cocktail era that is). They have a happy hour (2 for 1) all day on Mondays and from 4.30-7pm Tuesday to Saturday. Just remember you have to get back up the stairs afterwards.
6. Rock and Rose
106-108 Kew Road, Richmond, rockandroserestaurant.com
A bright bar with fabulous décor and space to sit outside, food, passion and glamour is definitely the order of the day here. If this place was a drink itself, it would be a Porn Star Martini for sure. Word of warning: visits here may lead to accidentally stalking Tom Hardy.
7. The Worship St Whistling Shop
63 Worship St, whistlingshop.com
Ever just fancy kicking back in an armchair with an Old Fashioned? This is the place for you. This bar is a homage to Victorian drinking dens serving reinvented classics. More of a gin palace than a speakeasy. Something to be found here for all tastes and budgets (including a two hour Cocktail Emporium experience).
8. Callooh Callay
65 Rivington St, calloohcallaybar.com
An Alice in Wonderland themed bar with access to the back room through a wardrobe (I know) and cocktails served in gramophones (you may need to see that for yourselves). There are endless posing opportunities here especially in the ladies toilets in front of a wall of cassette tapes. They have previously won “Best Cocktail Menu in the World” at their version of the Oscars.
Staying in for the party instead this weekend? Check back tomorrow for three of Lynsey’s favourite make at home cocktails.
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