London's best drinking spots

  • Category: Wine & Dining
  • Date: Monday, 01 January 0001

London is known for having plenty of options when it comes to sitting down to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, but with so much choice on offer, how do you know where to go? Whether you prefer a quiet pub, a quirky speakeasy or a snazzy cocktail bar, we've got the lowdown on the best places to drink in the capital.


Speakeasies, in fashion in London at the moment, are known for their prohibition-style environments that often simply equate to basement bars. The Mayor of Scardey Cat Town near Liverpool Street is known for going that bit further. Access from the upstairs cafeteria is obtained by asking to see the Mayor, upon which you are led through a fridge to the underground bar. Expect atmospheric lighting, superb cocktails and excellent food.

Cocktail Bars

The Gothic architecture of Euston's Booking Office is a stunner for those who admire good-looking bars, with a great view of St Pancras Station to boot. While the cocktail list prioritises traditional punches, these are done well, but beware the dangerously addictive free bar snacks.

Alternatively, Loft on Clapham High Street provides a drinking hole away from the 20-something bar trawlers who fail to look above the ground floor. Choose from an imaginative selection of more than 30 cocktails.

Classic pubs

For classic pubs, you can't beat Dog & Duck, a reliable stalwart of Soho's drinking scene. Full of charm and with an ever-changing ale selection, you'll find yourself visiting again and again to sample rare brews such as Black Dog.

Alternatively, the Newman Arms in Fitzrovia can boast ex-drinkers including George Orwell and Michael Powell, and with such a classy interior and picturesque facade, you can understand why. The food is also highly recommended.

Your hotel bar

If you're staying at the Chesterfield Mayfair and fancy a nightcap, remember that the bar is always open, and has such a strong reputation that it even attracts some of the locals. Balance out the alcohol with the Foodie for Thought package and treat your tastebuds to the full London experience.