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London as too many bars. There, we said it! How is anyone meant to sustain a social life of the magnitude that requires a new bar every time you step out into London’s nightlife? It’s best just to stay at home and make your own cocktails instead. Maybe. Actually, do the next best thing and book a room in a London hotel and then spend the whole evening there instead. London is plump full of gorgeous hotels that require you to up your game and wear that little black cocktail dress or smart casual suit you’ve been saving for a special occasion. All the best mixologists in the world create cocktails in London’s hotel bars at some point in their career. Here are 10 of the best places to go for cocktails, with the added bonus of a nearby bed to collapse onto once you’ve sample the whole menu.
City of London / Bar / Cuisine: Bar
Scarfes Bar (pictured above) is probably one of the best things about Holborn. No, it IS the best thing about Holborn. If the grandeur of the beautiful Rosewood London Hotel is not enough, Scarfes Bar will be the cherry on top. The cocktail list is wonderfully diverse and not at all samey, the food is delicious and different (lobster macaroni and cheese) and there are jazz performances to keep you entertained by the roaring fire which is extremely perfect now that winter has kicked in. Scarfes is one of the best hotel bars Fluid London has ever been to because everything it does is right.
South Bank & Bankside / Bar / Hotel / Cuisine: Bar
Designed as a buzzy meeting point for the local commercial area and residents of Bankside, The Distillery focuses on artisan gins and locally crafted beers. Located on the site of Stevenson & Howell's Standard Works, a renowned essence factory in 1800s, The Distillery pays homage to its heritage, serving a range of signature cocktails incorporating homemade aromatics, infusions and bitters. The bar also serves a range of sharing platters and bar snacks, prepared by the restaurant kitchen and served until late. Cool and sultry.
The Lobby Bar
West End / Bar / Hotel / Cuisine: Afternoon Tea
This luxury hotel's Lobby Bar is walking distance from most of Central London's larger galleries and all 15 of the major West End theatres, so now your day is bookended, time to book some R&R in between. Afternoon Tea in the Lobby Bar has highlights such as Welsh rarebit, quail scotch eggs with caper mayonnaise, smoked salmon sandwiches, and scones with cream and jam. And let's not allow standards to slip: wear your almost-best attire.
Asia de Cuba
West End / Bar / Restaurant / Hotel / Cuisine: Latin
This Philippe Starck designed restaurant is based at the hip St Martins Lane Hotel. It's designed with dangling lights, designed bookshelves and art columns filled with artistic photographs. The food is a fusion of Asian and Cuban cuisine overseen by international restauranteur Jeffrey Chodorow. It has one of the largest selection of rums in London, as well as other fine and rare collection of spirits. It also has an extensive list of cocktails, including its signature cocktails like Gingerbread Crumble, Ginseng Fusion and Lemon Meringue Champagne.
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
The Connaught Bar
Mayfair / Bar / Hotel /
This hotel cocktail is located in fabulous Mayfair, with a discreet entrance on stylish Mount Street. This venue is a 21st century interpretation of the Edwardian original. It mixes traditional with innovation, with exquisite Art Deco furnishings and modern fixtures. The bar serve drinks such as the superb Connaught Martini, until 1am. It is the ideal venue to organise birthdays, cocktail parties, business drinks and networking events, but also to enjoy an elegant night of sipping lovely cocktails in style.
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. Its tradition of cabaret and music is still continues: nightly live entertainment and monthly evenings of cabaret and burlesque are not to miss.
Peg + Patriot
Bethnal Green / Bar / Cuisine: Bar
Matt Whiley's Peg + Patriot bar at Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green showcases his infamous creativity with innovative cocktails, house spirits created on site and carefully sourced spirits from small producers around the world. The bar is creating three different styles of gin on site, as well as its own house vodkas, liqueurs and vermouths. The cocktail menu features items unique to the bar, including the Salt Beef Sazerac and Marmite Vodka Martini. Food comes from the hotel's Executive Chef Lee Westcott, carefully compiled to compliment the eclectic drinks menu.
Mayfair / Bar /
Wolfgang Puck launched the art-deco styled Bar 45 to accompany his modern American steak restaurant, CUT at 45 Park Lane. Bar 45 offers outstanding cocktails, a superb 'Rough CUTS' menu devised by Wolfgang Puck himself, and impeccable service in a fun, buzzing and glamorous environment. Immensely popular since its launch, Bar 45 specializes in tea-infused cocktails with signature concoctions designed by Wolfgang Puck. The 'Rough CUTs' menu features small taster portions of some of Puck's signature dishes such as mini Kobe sliders, house smoked pastrami 'Reuben' sandwiches and tuna tartar sandwiches with wasabi and Togarashi toast.
Long Bar at Sanderson
Fitzrovia / Bar / Hotel / Cuisine: British
Situated in the Sanderson hotel, this bar certainly lives up to its name, at some 80 feet in length, it's one of the longest bars in the world. The bar is made of glowing oynx, which adds to the light and airiness of the bar. It's a great place for people watching and non-resident visitors are more than welcome. Apart from its signature cocktails, they also have a vintage collection with cocktails such as the Japanese cocktail made back in 1862 and also skinny cocktails with a much lower calorie count.
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