The Best Cocktail Bars in London

Whether your drink of choice is a martini, a mojito or a negroni, read our suggestions for the best cocktail bars in London.

Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London

The latest addition to London’s hotel bar scene, the bar at Rosewood London feel welcoming, homely and utterly stylish. With an open fire and book shelves as walls, it’s a bar that you could return to night after night.

Scarfes Bar Rosewood London

Take a seat in one of the wing-back chairs, on the seats in front of the fire or on the rocking chair and enjoy a great cocktail list while listening to a live music performance that creates an enchanting evening.

The Gilbert Scott

With ornately painted ceilings and stunning bell chandeliers you are instantly swept up in the grandeur of the space. The Gilbert Scott bar is absolutely gorgeous and has some wonderful concoctions for you to try.

The Gilbert Scott cocktail bar

The bar offers all day dining, from breakfast and brunch to afternoon tea and late night snacks, and the bacon flavoured popcorn is divine!

The Zetter Townhouse

The venue is designed around ‘Aunt Wilhelmina’, a crazy old aunt whose trinkets and artefacts from her global travels make the Zetter the most unusual venue I’ve been to in a long time. The cocktail menu is short but perfectly formed.

Seymour's Parlour at Zetter Townhouse Marylebone

Each cocktail is the result of a specific concept, and is the product of multiple experiments a lab to get the final libation just right. Expect unusual ingredients, and the influence of many different techniques and fields, making The Zetter Townhouse a contender for one of the best cocktail bars in London.

Joyeux Bordel

The Experimental Group have bars and restaurants in Paris, New York, London and Ibiza, including London’s Experimental Cocktail Club and Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels. Joyeux Bordel is the latest opening, taking their innovative cocktails to an East London basement.

Joyeux Bordel cocktail bar

You can enjoy a menu of cocktails with twists on classics, punches and an extensive champagne list.

Try the ‘Something Italian’ – Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Cynar, Amaro Ciociaro, Fresh Lime, ginger syrup & soda’; and ‘Tommy’s Cut’ – Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, Agaze Syrup, fresh lime, Sweet Vermouth & Pink Grapefruit.

Smokey Kudu

Smokey Kudu is an intimate cocktail bar housed under the arches at Queens Road station in Peckham.

It is the first standalone bar from couple Amy Corbin and Patrick Williams and a short walk away from their excellent restaurant Kudu.

Smokey Kudu

The 37-cover cocktail bar features a central horseshoe shaped bar topped with pink marble and a giant glass chandelier.

Smokey Kudu is open in the evenings only Wednesday to Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday.

The Hawksmoor Bar

The new Hawksmoor Bar in the basement of the original Hawksmoor Spitalfields on Commercial Street is a very fashionable and glamorous affair. A strip club was first turned into a fruit store and this spring has been reborn as a beautiful 60-cover bar.

The Hawksmoor Bar

The bar is dark, mysterious and funky with an excellent food offering to match, as you’d expect from one of London’s best steakhouses.

Bar Termini, Soho

Based on the Italian cafés and Roma Termini in the fifties, Bar Termini is an intimate all-day cocktail and coffee bar on Old Compton Street in Soho.

Bar Termini, Soho

Pop by for a quick £1 espresso at the bar or settle down and make your way through the list of apertivo cocktails such as the signature house Classico Negroni – accompany this with a selection of Italian charcuterie and cheeses.

Bar Termini was opened by drinks industry legend, Tony Conigliaro in 2014, along with friends Marco Arrigo (also head of UK quality at Illy coffee) and tattoo artist Mo Coppolletta.

City Social London, The City

Serving cocktails inspired by the prohibition era, the Art Deco City Social Bar is the new bar on the 24th floor of Tower 42 in The City.

City Social London, The City

The cocktail menu includes fun concoctions such as the Pea-lini (salted pea cordial, spearmint, Butterfly absinthe, citric acid, prosecco, and British summer) and Pretty Fly For A Mai Tai (Trois Rivieres Agricole, Flor de Cana Silver dry, clear almond, crystal citrus, dry curacao, tiki overkill, silver service and ice rocks).

I tried a selection of small plates from the bar menu, including goat’s cheese churros with London truffle honey; baby Cornish squid with green chili and lime salt; and a Ploughman’s basket – Scotch egg, salt beef, Isle of Mull cheddar, served in a traditional straw hamper.

Visit for the cocktails, weekend live jazz sessions or just to enjoy that stunning view.

Dandelyan Bar

Dandelyan is the ground floor cocktail bar at the new Mondrian Sea Containers hotel on the South Bank.

Dandelyan Bar at the Mondrian London

Dandelyan takes its cocktails very seriously in a room sumptuously designed by Tom Dixon. Add in the Thames-side location and views of St Paul’s and you have something pretty impressive.

Callooh Callay

Callooh Callay has an imaginative cocktail menu featuring old favourites and classics in an eclectic space that is as quirky and nonsensical as the Lewis Carroll poem from which it takes its name.

Through a Narnia-esque wardrobe, you are taken to the Jubjub bar, an intimate little room that’s perfect for an intimate party at one of the best cocktail bars in London.

Callooh Callay

69 Colebrooke Row

The classy and bijou 69 Colebrooke Row has caused quite a stir on London’s cocktail scene over the last year.

The owner, Tony Conigliaro, who perfected his craft at the Shochu Lounge at Roka, is described as a molecular mixologist, and nobody can argue with his take on the classic cocktail, which are well priced at one of the best cocktail bars in London.

Purl, Marylebone

For innovative creations and interesting twists on classic cocktails, head to Purl in Marylebone and marvel at the use of foams, fogs, airs and liquid nitrogen. A real theatrical performance, an evening at Purl is about far more than the excellent cocktails.

The Connaught Hotel

The Connaught hotel features two of London’s best cocktail bars that are ideal for very different occasions. The warmth and intimacy of the Coburg Bar make it a wonderful place to relax after a day at the office or shopping and certainly one of our best cocktail bars in London.

The design and the cocktails at the Connaught Bar, with its marble, dark leather and metal Art Deco detailing, are perfect for an upbeat glamorous evening with friends. We highly recommend one of their signature Martinis.

The Connaught Bar at The Connaught

Mark’s Bar at Hix

Mark’s Bar is located in the basement of Mark Hix’s latest venture in Soho, serving some great cocktails from renowned mixologist, Nick Strangeway.

The bar has a warm, clubby and retro feel with its low zinc bar, tin panels and bar billiards table, which is fast becoming Soho’s most popular venue. There is now a second outpost of Mark’s Bar at Hixter in The City.

Dabbous Bar

One of the best new bars of 2012, Dabbous restaurant and bar launched on Whitfield Street in Fitzrovia in late January 2012, the first solo venture from Ollie Dabbous, formerly of Michelin-starred Texture, and mixologist Oskar Kinberg, formerly bar manager at the Cuckoo Club.

Dabbous Bar

Spread over two levels, the restaurant has an industrial but organic design, with exposed brickwork, sheet metal and copper pipes offset by rustic candles and natural woods.

The basement bar serves some of the best cocktails in London, and also makes for an excellent venue for a private party, where you can sample some exquisite canapés.

The Donovan Bar

The Donovan Bar at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair is cool, stylish, intimate and a haven for fashionistas. The walls are adorned with Terence Donovan’s iconic black and white prints, which add a contemporary twist to the history of the surroundings.

The Donovan features in our guide to London’s best hotel bars, and must surely be a contender for one of the best cocktail bars in London.

Artesian Bar at The Langham

Situated in the beautifully revamped Langham hotel, the David Collins designed bar is sleek, sexy and dramatic.

With its 50 types of rum, Artesian is ideally placed for a post shopping cocktail or a refined haven from the frenzy of nearby Soho at one of the best cocktail bars in London.


Widely regarded as London’s oldest restaurant, Rules still thrives in the heart of Covent Garden, thankfully not succumbing to the tourist trap. The upstairs bar is dark and cosy, with a gentlemen’s club feel to it, offering a historical take on the best cocktail bars in London.

The Bassoon Bar at The Corinthia

The Corinthia Hotel is one of London’s newest luxury hotels, situated close to Trafalgar Square and the Houses of Parliament in an old Ministry of Defence building.

The hotel’s gorgeous bar, The Bassoon Bar, was designed by David Collins, where the centrepiece is the piano – not only do they have regular live music but the piano is built into the bar!

The Bassoon Bar at The Corinthia

The bar is stylish, relaxed and has an excellent cocktail list and feels warm and welcoming in the winter.


Nightjar is a beautiful bar hidden away in a basement in Old Street – the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of London.

The bartenders at Nightjar take a lot of care and attention when it comes to making their cocktails. They’re executed with flair and are garnished with some of the most insane but beautiful garnishes I’ve ever come across.

Nightjar is a great place to relax with a drink alongside laid back jazz and brilliant live music on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at one of the best cocktail bars in London.

Le Salon Bar at Joel Robuchon

One of London’s best kept bar secret, Le Salon is a dark, intimate and seductive haven for cocktail lovers, offering all the classics with a few twists. The décor is a mix of black and red in sumptuous fabrics and it really feels like you’re somewhere very few know about.

The bar is on the top floor of a restaurant by Joel Robuchon, one of the most celebrated chefs across the world, which you can only access by a lift.

The Best Cocktail Bars in London

If you liked this top 10 feature, why not read our guide to the best hotel bars? Read our other London bar guides including the best rooftop bars and the best beer gardens and terraces.

The information was correct at the time of writing.