On the weekend most of us like a drink. However, why is it that we always seem to end up in the same old boring place next to where we live? Why not change that. Why not go somewhere different. Making a Top 5 list about anything, particularly the ‘coolest London bars’ is always going to be difficult but here you go, below is a list of bars that if you haven’t been before are at least worth visiting. Then you can make your own decision.
You only live once right!
1. Book Club
100-106 Leonard Street
EC2A 4RH – Shoreditch
In between Shoreditch and Old Street, this London bar is cool and quirky whilst defiantly reminding its customers there still in Shoreditch, retaining its reputation for all that it is edgy as well as providing the frequently bizarre. Nonetheless, it still manages to retain a likeable homely feel that helps you feel like your trip was worth the effort! This bar meets club is set in an old Victorian warehouse and has many activities, ranging from the challenging to the barmy and they serve to aid your drinking experience with different ones taking place on a daily basis. The décor is very apt with lots of visual stimulation as this bar attempts to integrate fun and cultural experiences with your evenings drinking and giving the bar a friendly and sociable atmosphere. This is best highlighted by the oval hole separating the main bar in which one can peer through to see the rest of evening’s revellers as it serves to remind you that you’re all in it together rather than enjoying separate evenings. The music is eclectic and varied, from indie bands to DJ’s of multiple genres. All in all, the music gets mixed up frequently and with the highly enjoyable Tweetbox, in which drinkers get the chance to request tracks for the chance to win a cocktail such as the comedic ‘Don’t go to Dalston’.
The music is part of the greater experience with other fun activities like the ping pong table to keep your evening varied and interesting.
2. The Loft
SW4 7TG – Clapham High Street
The Loft Promo Vid (makes it look more rubbish…)
On a high street that it shares with many other London bars and clubs, including the infamous drunken hot spot infernos, this is a cut above the rest and is your way out of the general debauchery that is the Clapham scene. A good looking, spacious bar that delivers on the drinks front, combining a feel of both London and Manhattan. Cocktails are the real deal here and a mixture of the decent drinks on order combined with this contemporary setting help in creating a largely unique and relaxed drinking experience. Notably, Loft also has a relationship with Plan B in Brixton, an award winning club well known for its music nights. You can ask for a free wrist band and more often than not they can sort you out with one, the music there varies from Hip Hop to House to Bass, so make sure to check out whose playing.
EC2A 4AA – Shoreditch
In tribute to the Hollywood legend of the same name, this bar is without doubt one of the coolest bars in Shoreditch. With a banging club sound system and a very good restaurant to accompany the lounge bar this place has got a lot going for it. Essentially it can be whatever you want to be, go to the restaurant, hit up the bar or if you’re going fully wild then smash up the dance floor in the club downstairs. The vibe is very much about looking good and the place has a real sense of style so if this is what you want from a night then this could be right up your street. The staff are also renowned for good service so feel free to ask questions regarding the drinks on offer and they will be more than happy to help. Only downside is that it’s becoming increasingly popular so could be very busy, particularly on a Thursday night or on the weekend so make sure to book ahead if you do fancy it.
4. Bar Vinyl
NW1 7HJ – Camden Town
Being named Bar Vinyl It should come as no surprise that this popular Camden bar should have a close affinity with music. From the outside, it looks like nothing special but this is testament to the relaxed nature of the place and you are rewarded for taking the plunge inside the venue. With cool and imaginative art and décor inside and as somewhere that prides itself on DJs and music, it is a surprisingly unstuffy and relaxing experience in what could be described as sitting somewhere between a night out (as there is always music playing) and an evening pub session. Bar Vinyl provides a very unique experience, the winning combination of decent DJ’s playing good music at a reasonably priced and likable venue.
EC1V 1JB – Hoxton
Hidden away in Hoxton, NightJar is a hotspot for bar for the cocktail lover. It’s hard to find, with only a little sign to point it out…but that’s the point. It prides itself on its sense of style, alluding to the speakeasy bars of the prohibition era, which all in all contributes to a memorable and stylish drinking experience (at the very least you think you are for being there!). With a wide ranging and unique cocktail menu, there are a lot of different drinks to try as well as some ‘classics’ that you may never have had the chance too, with the menu intelligently separated into different parts, pre-prohibition (1600-1918), prohibition (1918-1932), post-war (1945-2000), and Nightjar Specials. As an all seated bar, this is not ideal for those expecting a wild night out but for those craving a relaxed drinking experience, where the quality of drinks are of the highest order, this could be right up your street.
As I said before, these bars are each very different and may not be too everyone’s taste. But as far as London bars go, this selected few is a great place to start.