Where Are You Drinking TonightTHESE Are The Best Bars In London

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5 Apr 2017
by: Chloe Mac Donnell

Finding a good bar in London can be a bit like hunting down a pair of shoes you love in the sales. There are lots of options, but finding the right fit can be tricky. From sticky floors, to sickly sweet cocktails, there’s nothing worse then a bad bar especially when you’re trying to impress. But now we’ve done the hardwork, separating the good from the bad, and totally judging not only on appearance but inner vibes too. From Tinder dates, to friendly catchups, here’s where to go….

Disrepute, Soho

“He walked down the stairway with the swagger of someone who had done it hundreds of times before. It was clear he felt comfortable as he unintentionally filled the space around him, which felt as at home with him there, as he did. Even in his absence, his presence would linger…” T.A.

A post shared by Disrepute (@disreputebar) on Feb 5, 2017 at 7:09am PST

In the middle of the slightly manic Kingly Court, you’ll find the discreet entrance way to Disrepute. Once home to the Kingly and Pinstripe clubs, where former cabinet minister John Profumo secretly met the call girl Christine Keeler, it was also a regular haunt for Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. Sticking to a 60s theme, but for the Insta age, you’ll now find lots of jewel coloured velvet furniture, marble and polished brass. It’s chic but cosy and a total escapism from the Carnaby street tourists. The menu plays on the idea of the coded messages Profumo and Keeler would pass to each other with lengthy stories describing the mood but you can also just skip to the back where the ingredients are listed. We love the English Rose, a long drink with mateus rose shaken with vodka, soda and lemon but for the ultimate 60s throwback try their signature Juvenescent featuring a Babycham reduction.

Blondies, 205A Lower Clapton Road, E9

Watermelon and Basil Margaritas… Cause why not?? 🍉🍉🍉

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Watermelon and Basil Margaritas… Cause why not?? 🍉🍉🍉

A post shared by Blondies (@blondieslondon) on May 15, 2016 at 11:20am PDT

Run by two sisters, who are you guessed both blonde, this is a really fun little cocktail bar with a slightly less messy crowd than you’ll find in Shoreditch. In what was once an alleyway then a money shop, the original exposed brickwork, now hangs with neon signs while there’s regular DJs, mostly hip-hop and live band nights too. Famous blondes are honoured on the cocktail menu with an Old Fashioned for Suzie Q, a Dark and Stormy for Patricia Arquette and a Strawberry Daiquiri for Dolly Parton. Plus an espresso martini for their mum Brenda.

TT Liquor, 17 Kingsland Road, E2

Sample some new delights this weekend… #ttliquor #kingslandroad #shoreditch

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Sample some new delights this weekend… #ttliquor #kingslandroad #shoreditch

A post shared by TT Liquor (@ttliquor) on Feb 23, 2017 at 7:32am PST

At the Shoreditch end of Kingsland Road you’ll find this beautiful Victorian liquor store with a hidden cocktail bar in the basement. Set up by, Alastair Tatton and Stephen Thompson, who also founded the Discount Suit Company and The Sun Tavern, this place is seriously vibey. Set in a former 19th century police station it’s all low lighting, dark corners and what were once the jail cells have been transformed into cosy booths. The staff are knowledgeable about drinks and the ingredients without sounding patronizing while the drinks themselves are dangerously good. Divided up into eras try the Oh My Darlin’ with mango-infused cognac and clementine for a taste of the 1920s while the Sexy Kung Fu Fighter is all tropical 80s nostalgia, think gin fused with fresh bergamot and kaffir lime leaves.

The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy

By Invitation Only – from the new cocktail menu @thesavoylondon ‘s Beaufort Bar. Jack Daniels single barrel rye, cranberry cordial, Campari, Cherry Wormwood citrus chocolate perfume lipstick 💄 The menu is inspired by famous guests – this one is a homage to Duran Duran Photo via/ @spiritsbusiness @alexander_james_walker #valentinesday #beaufortbar #londonscocktails #spiritsbusiness #beaufortbar #kiss #duranduran #cocktailmenu #londonbar #glassware #serves #barlife

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With its glamorous 1920s art deco setting this is one for when you’re feeling fancy (and its prices are definitely for pay-day) With the bar itself standing on what was once the hotel’s cabaret stage and the luxury menu inspired by the Savoy’s former iconic guests, such as Marilyn Monroe and Fred Astaire, you’ll definitely feel like you could be starring in a Hollywood movie. With its latest menu incorporating the hotel’s captivating history into its cocktails each drink comes with a prop making it very Instagrammable. Think The Showgirl featuring champange, vodka and rose extract, served with a tiny vanity mirror and Under The Stars, and the By Invitation Only featuring rye, campari and a cherry wormwood citrus chocolate perfume lipstick in homage to Duran Duran.

Bad Sports, 184 Hackney Road, E2

The Buckfast Negroni a future classic. Come get yours made by the one and only Stu Bale. Tonight from 6pm.

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The Buckfast Negroni a future classic. Come get yours made by the one and only Stu Bale. Tonight from 6pm.

A post shared by BAD SPORTS TAQUERIA & BAR (@badsportstv) on Dec 2, 2016 at 6:54am PST

If you’re looking for New York dive bar vibes then Bad Sports TV is the answer. Split across two floors, upstairs there is a taqueria serving seriously good tacos while downstairs you’ll find the bar. NBA and NFL games are shown (muted) on TV screens at both ends of the bar while the soundtrack is mainly old-school 90s hip hop. The cocktail menu is limited to seven cocktails and two shots, although they will mix you up whatever you fancy too, so you won’t spend half the night trying to decide what you want. We say stick to house margaritas with achiote paste (a blend of spices) for a kick and the Coatbridge Negronis that are made with Buckfast.

Fox Bar, Brixton

Thursday till late. Deeelish #baskinginthestorm

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Thursday till late. Deeelish #baskinginthestorm

A post shared by Fox Bar (@foxbarbrixton) on Mar 16, 2017 at 10:49am PDT

Opened by the Soho House & Co, Fox Bar has all the feels of the group’s signature style but without the membership fee. With only 25 seats, it’s a first come first enter deal making it ideal for kickstarting an evening or swinging by for a late night tipple. Inspired by their tavern in Chicago, the menu focuses on American whiskeys and rums. But there are also espresso martinis on draft while the negronis are some of the best in London.

Pamela, 428 Kingsland Road, E8

I mean

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I mean

A post shared by Pamela (@drinksatpamela) on Mar 16, 2017 at 9:53am PDT

This bar has a proper neighbourhood feel with its friendly bar staff, chilled playlist and come summer everyone kicking back on the outdoor benches. Photos of its namesake inspo, the nineties icon Pamela Anderson are adorned on the wall while Baywatch references are also namechecked on the menu. We love the Des Barres with jalepeno infused vodka, kiwi juce and a coconut ice cube and Pammy limoncellos are guaranteed to get the party started. Most recently street food legends Club Mexicana have moved in for an open-ended residency dishing up their moreish vegan dishes. Handy when it’s the type of place you end up staying at for way longer than just one drink.

Swift, Soho

Spring is here! Cheers to being ready for some sunshine (any day now!) with our floral little number, New Lace; with Plymouth Gin, Martini Dry, birch eau-de-vie, mastiha & St. Germain.

A post shared by Swift (@barswift) on Mar 22, 2017 at 7:05am PDT

Set-up by the founders of Nightjar, Edmund Weil and Rosie Stimpson plus Milk & Honey’s Mia Johansson and Bobby Hiddleston comes Swift Bar. Split across two levels, on the ground floor you’ll find a buzzy standing bar, ideal for a quick pre-dinner drink while downstairs is the type of bar to wile away the night. There’s a library of whiskeys to choose from while you could pick pretty much anything off the creative cocktail menu and be happy. If in doubt opt for the Curtain Call with whiskey, rooibos syrup and Amere Sauvage, a liquer made using French yellow gentian root, that packs a punch.

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