London drinking and nightlife

Top Choice Pub in Richmond, Kew & Hampton Court

City Barge

In a line of small riverside cottages facing wooded Oliver's Island (where Cromwell is alleged to have taken refuge), this excellent pub looks straight onto the muddy Thames. Once known as the Navigators Arms, there…
Top Choice Club in Clerkenwell, Shoreditch & Spitalfields

Fabric

The king of London's after-hours scene, Fabric is a huge subterranean rave cave housed in a converted meat cold store. Each room has its own sound system, which you'll really feel in Room One – it has a 'bodysonic' …
Top Choice Pub in Richmond, Kew & Hampton Court

White Cross

The riverside location and fine food and ales make this bay-windowed pub on the site of a former friary a winner. There are entrances for low and high tides, but when the river is at its highest, Cholmondeley Walk r…
Top Choice Pub in Kensington & Hyde Park

Anglesea Arms

Seasoned with age and decades of ale-quaffing patrons (including Charles Dickens, who lived on the same road, and DH Lawrence), this old-school pub boasts considerable character and a strong showing of beers and gin…
Top Choice Cocktail Bar in The West End

American Bar

Home of the Hanky Panky, White Lady and other classic cocktails created on-site, the seriously dishy and elegant American Bar is a London icon, with soft blue furniture, gleaming art-deco lines and live piano music.…
Top Choice Cocktail Bar in Clerkenwell, Shoreditch & Spitalfields

Discount Suit Company

Tucked away like a hidden seam, Discount Suit Company is one of the city's finest speakeasies – though on weekends you'll see that this closet-sized space is no secret. Superb, reasonably priced concoctions (a rarit…
Top Choice Microbrewery in The South Bank

Brew By Numbers

This microbrewery's raison d'être is experimentation. Everything from its 'scientific' branding (the numbers refer to the type of beer – porter, pale ale etc – and recipe) to its enthusiasm for exploring new beer st…
Top Choice Bar in The South Bank

Oblix

The views from Oblix on the 32nd floor of the Shard aren’t quite as impressive as the panoramas from the 69th-floor viewing platform, but you’ll still be wowed. Relax with a cocktail (from £13.50) in the stylish bar…
Top Choice Cocktail Bar in The West End

Dukes London

Sip to-die-for martinis in a gentlemen’s-club-like ambience at this classic bar where white-jacketed masters mix up perfect preparations. James Bond fans in particular should make a pilgrimage here: author Ian Flemi…
Top Choice Pub in The West End

Lamb & Flag

Perpetually busy pint-sized Lamb & Flag is full of charm and history, and has been a public house since at least 1772. Rain or shine, you’ll have to elbow your way through the merry crowd drinking outside to the…