Must-see nightlife in London

  • 14 Hills

    London

    Growing from the roots of the newly opened Garden at 120 one floor up, this 14th-floor jungle bar has no outside space but is planted with more than 2500…

  • Spaniard’s Inn

    North London

    Dating from 1585, this historic tavern has more character than a West End musical. It was supposedly highwayman Dick Turpin’s hang-out between robberies,…

  • Radio Rooftop Bar

    The West End

    This stunner of an art-deco bar (cocktails £17) offers gorgeous views, especially of the Thames, South Bank and Trafalgar Sq, from the open-air terrace on…

  • Freud Bar

    The West End

    Make this the first stop on your crawl because there’s no way you’ll make it down (or up) the stairs (not much more than a ladder) after a few drinks. It…

  • Cahoots

    The West End

    Tricked up to look like a disused Underground station, Cahoots is a retro cocktail bar channelling the spirit of London during WWII and its aftermath…

  • City of London Distillery

    London

    The first gin distillery to be opened in the City for nearly 200 years, this small-batch micro-distillery has brought back the art of 'mother's ruin'. Sip…

  • Gibson

    Clerkenwell, Shoreditch & Spitalfields

    Hope you packed your explorer's hat, because the Gibson will take you on an adventure. The cocktail menu hops through the calendar month by month, and you…

  • Brew Dog

    Notting Hill & West London

    Craft-beer specialist Brew Dog has over 40 beers on tap – from its brewery in Scotland as well as guest beers from far and wide. These include the heady…

  • Euston Tap

    North London

    This specialist drinking spot inhabits a monumental stone structure on the approach to Euston station. Craft-beer devotees can choose between 15 cask ales…

  • Chapel Down Gin Works

    North London

    England's most famous winery, Kent-based Chapel Down, has branched into distilling spirits and what better place to start than with gin? Here it’s made…

  • London Apprentice

    Richmond, Kew & Hampton Court

    This riverside pub trumpets a lineage dating back to Tudor days, although the building you drink in today is 18th century. Henry VIII is said to have…

  • 69 Colebrooke Row

    North London

    Also known as 'the bar with no name', this tiny establishment may be nothing much to look at, but it has a stellar reputation for its cocktails (£11). The…

  • Crooked Billet

    Richmond, Kew & Hampton Court

    This historic Young’s boozer south of Cannizaro Park, just off Wimbledon Common, is brim-full of character, with flagstone floors, open fires and a cosy…

  • Brixton Brewery

    Brixton, Peckham & South London

    Though its beers are now sold as far away as Hong Kong, Brixton Brewery remembers its roots in its railway-arch taproom. The names of the brews, with big…

  • Experimental Cocktail Club Chinatown

    The West End

    Deliberately obscure in its nondescript location, the ECC is a sensational cocktail bar behind an unmarked, faded-grey door in Chinatown. Soft lighting,…

  • Gobpsy

    London

    The unpronounceable Gobpsy takes its speakeasy status seriously. There's no signage at street level, so be ready to duck into a totally ordinary working…

  • 40 Maltby Street

    Brixton, Peckham & South London

    This tunnel-like wine-bar-cum-kitchen sits under the railway arches that support trains as they travel in and out of London Bridge. It is first and…

  • Ship and Whale

    Brixton, Peckham & South London

    Traditional British roasts on Sunday are a big pull to this Rotherhithe watering hole by the Thames, occupying a building dating to the late 19th century…

  • Pergola Olympia

    Notting Hill & West London

    On the roof of Olympia London carpark and part of Olympia's costly regeneration, the vast expanse of (cashless) Pergola goes for a rustic-chic look of…

  • Princess Louise

    The West End

    The gorgeous ground-floor saloon of this Sam Smith's pub, dating from 1872, boasts pressed-tin ceilings, handsome tiling, etched mirrors and 'snob screens…

  • Jensen's

    Brixton, Peckham & South London

    This micro gin distillery at the end of Maltby Street Market provides weekend G&Ts for shoppers and snackers from its railway-arch premises. Jensen's…

  • BrewDog Tower Hill

    London

    The ubiquitous but delicious Scottish brewery recently opened this new outpost half-buried under an office block steps from the Tower of London. The 33…

  • The Parrot

    The West End

    This plush, tropical-themed cocktail bar is tucked into the decadent surroundings of The Waldorf Hilton. The luxury extends to the menu which is packed…

  • Effra Hall Tavern

    Brixton, Peckham & South London

    This rather rundown old boozer brings you closer to the heart of the Brixton Afro-Caribbean vibe than any other pub in the area, thanks to the spicy…

  • Hiver

    Brixton, Peckham & South London

    There's a buzz about Hiver, which sources honey from London bees to infuse into its IPAs, ales and blondes sold at its railway-arch taproom at the end of…

  • Elephant & Castle

    Brixton, Peckham & South London

    Elephant and Castle almost lost the most recent incarnation of its namesake neighbourhood pub, but the council named this spot an asset of community value…

  • Mr Fogg's Tavern

    The West End

    An unexpected oasis for the weary Covent Garden visitor, Mr Fogg's is a themed throwback to the drinking dens of yore. Taking its name and inspiration…

  • Omeara Cantina

    South Bank

    Down a little-used Southwark side street, Omeara is an intimate bar and live-music venue that keeps the party going inside the distressed-style interior…

  • White Hart

    Richmond, Kew & Hampton Court

    This riverside Young’s pub in Barnes was formerly a Masonic lodge. It's huge, traditional and welcoming downstairs, but the temptation in warmer months is…

  • Terroirs

    The West End

    This food-friendly wine bar near Charing Cross has a fantastic selection of Old and New World wines, with plenty by the glass and available for takeaway…

  • Aqua Shard

    South Bank

    If you want a view from the Shard for the price of a cocktail, find your way up to the 31st floor and into this gorgeous three-storey bar and restaurant…

  • Old Ship W6

    Notting Hill & West London

    Decorated with sculls, oars and nautical prints, the Old Ship and its shiny, buttoned leather sofas would hardly merit a diversion but for its terrific…

  • Searcys at the Gherkin

    London

    The top two floors of the iconic Gherkin skyscraper were once reserved as a private members' club, but now anyone dressed to impress is invited up…

  • Engineer

    North London

    The dictionary definition of a beautiful backstreet boozer, the Engineer is all dark wood, cosy booths and unvarnished tables, and has a hidden garden…

  • Jerusalem Tavern

    Clerkenwell, Shoreditch & Spitalfields

    Housed in a building from 1720, this tiny, atmospheric pub covered in wood panelling, delft tiles and scuffed paintwork is the only London dispensary of…

  • cloudM

    London

    Settle into the sleek mod furniture at this hotel bar, where floor-to-double-height-ceiling bookcases and pop-art portraits of the Queen overlook the…

  • Dog & Duck

    The West End

    With a fine array of real ales and some stunning Victorian glazed tiling and pressed-tin ceilings adorning its intimate interior, the Dog & Duck has…

  • Trafalgar Tavern

    Greenwich

    This elegant tavern, with crystal chandeliers, nautical decor and big windows overlooking the Thames, is steeped in history. Dickens apparently knocked…

  • Two Floors

    The West End

    This chilled Soho spot has managed to stay off the lager-lout radar screen by eschewing outdoor signage. The Pacific bar on the main floor has a long zinc…

  • Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden

    South Bank

    Climb up the bright yellow stairs to find this unexpectedly verdant summer-only rooftop oasis hidden amid the concrete jungle of the Queen Elizabeth Hall…

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