A top 10 guide to the best cocktail bars in London's West End. For pre-theatre cocktails, post-dinner cocktails, after work drinks, romantic cocktails, basement bars cocktails, cocktails that will get you in the dancing mood, this guide to the best cocktail bars in Soho, Covent Garden, Seven Dials, Leicester Square, Piccadilly, Mayfair, Trafalgar Square, The Strand, and Regent Street offers cocktail bars to suit every kind of mood in central London.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Mr Andy Bird
Beaufort Bar at The Savoy
West End / Bar / Hotel / Cuisine: British
This hotel cocktail bar on the Strand in the heart of London offers elegance and glamour. Not far from Covent Garden, the bar is perfect to complete a night of theatre. In the decadent Art Deco style, the bar is all about champagne, cocktails and cabaret. Champagne is definitely the best, offering the vastest choice in London, including rarities as Louis Roederer and Cristal. This bar has been home for many celebrities: Carol Gibbons, the Savoy Orpheans and George Gershwin. The bar's historical tradition of cabaret and music still continues to this day: nightly live entertainment and monthly evenings of cabaret and burlesque should not be missed.
Marylebone / Bar / Hotel / Cuisine: Eclectic
Situated in the beautiful Langham hotel, the David Collins designed bar is sleek, sexy and dramatic. With its 50 types of rum, Artesian is ideally placed for a post shopping cocktail or a refined haven from the frenzy of nearby Soho. This bar showcases one of the largest collection of rums around, an extensive list of Champagnes, and ground breaking, innovative cocktails. Their latest invention is the Butterfly Wheel menu which allows guest to choose progressive cocktails with unusual flavour combinations. It is colour-coded to indicate the descriptive style and flavour of each cocktail. Artesian is a bar not to be missed by any discerning cocktail lover.
West End / Bar / Hotel /
Trafalgar Square - As the name suggests, this destination cocktail bar at the new Corinthia Hotel London in the West End is musically inspired, and showcases an array of theatrically created cocktails. A seven-metre long piano forms the bar top, surrounded by a 1920's Art Deco music room, with smoky glass doors, an open fire, sound waves on the ceiling and jazz inspired art adorning the walls. And no musically-inspired bar would be complete without a regular schedule of musicians popping in to entertain. How swell!
The London Cocktail Club Shaftesbury Avenue
West End / Bar /
Holborn - The London Cocktail Club on New Oxford Street continues the tradition and magic found at with its big brother on Goodge Street in Fitzrovia. The second London Cocktail Club to pop up, it's sure to live up to the hype and love its predecessor is known for. The best bartenders in the business serving with finesse and flair, cooking up some truly wonderful and tasty concoctions in a cozy and stylish atmosphere.
Experimental Cocktail Club China Town
West End / Bar /
Put down the cosmopolitan and step away from that mojito, because there's a whole world of cocktails out there! London's Experimental Cocktail Club - secretly nestled in the heart of the West End's Chinatown - is the place to head in order to expand your cocktail boundaries, with exciting concoctions on offer every night of the week. A low-key speakeasy, the Experimental Cocktail Club import from France has quirky decor, fantastic cocktails (obviously) and a wondrous 3am license. With more than a dash of its Parisian counterpart about it, the bar's black leather lounge sofas, exposed brickwork and low level lighting make the ECC a hip hangout.
The American Bar at The Savoy
West End / Bar / Hotel /
The American Bar at The Savoy is my home from home because it's like going back to the Golden Age. This bar has such a timeless style. You're sitting here enjoying drinks from as far back as the early 1900's, but anything you could possibly want, you can have, whether it's on the menu or not. Your first tipple has to be the Hanky-Panky, but I won't tell you why..it's a glorious surprise. While money is the name of the game here, if you have great taste, don't let price stand in your way. (Ross Kerslake)
Soho / Bar / Cuisine: Bar
This cocktail bar is not only one of the best cocktail bars in London, it's also one of the funkiest. The creative use of paint (redesigned every few months to keep the bar looking fresh) makes it a vibrant central London cocktail hangout. It's also home to probably the biggest collection of gin in London. And, table service (hoorah for no queues!!). Best Cocktail: the bar's signature paint tin punch cocktails, especially Green as it contains the delightfully reassuring Hendrick's gin.
Mayfair / Bar / Hotel / Cuisine: Fusion
A modern bar at the Le Méridien Piccadilly hotel promising different experiences throughout the day based on changes in music, lighting and service. Great for after work drinks and they offer complimentary tapas-style hors d'oeuvres to stimulate those pre-dinner palate. Their mixologist has created some unusual cocktails as well as twists on well-known classics. For those who appreciate their spirits, they have a special section of ultra-premium cocktails. They have a dedicated Chocolatier who create Artisan chocolates, which are perfect for matching with cocktails. It is a stylish destination bar for the sophisticated clientele.
West End / Bar / Hotel / Cuisine: Bar
Up above the West End, with views across to Tower Bridge, The Shard, St. Paul's Cathedral, Tate Modern, Somerset House, The South Bank, The London Eye, The Houses of Parliament, and Covent Garden's Theatreland, this swanky rooftop cocktail bar ten floors up in ME London Hotel provides a wide range of angles to enjoy. The plush outdoor seating is best suited to sun worshipping, and lounging is the order of the day (or night). The bar staff have a range of cocktails and wines to make even the hardiest of lushes blush. This roof terrace bar is proving to be popular, so arrive early and bring plenty of cash (it ain't cheap!).
Boyds Grill & Wine Bar
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Hotel / Cuisine: British
You want one of those weekends in London. You may already live in London but want to show your special someone a good time in your home town. So you book a swanky hotel, book some West End show tickets, put on your best finery, and head to the heart of central London. This is a special weekend so you need opulence and glamour. You need a romantic setting near Trafalgar Square and the River Thames. You need Champagne cocktails lovingly crafted by expert mixologists. You need the Pink Fairy cocktail to work its Pernod absinthe magic so you can get lucky tonight. You need Boyd's cocktail bar and adjacent restaurant for dinner, then. You'll thank us. Best cocktail: Boyd's Dinner Mint
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