Set against a shimmering backdrop of silver, platinum pink and polished pistachio, the bar delivers immaculately tailored drinks. Inspired by English Cubist and Irish 1920s art, late designer David Collins produced a gem of a London bar and the excellent team serve up a cocktail menu, which is a fusion of tradition and innovation using exclusive vintages and limited edition Champagnes, spirits and liqueurs. You cannot fail to be dazzled by the meticulous attention and exacting precision to all the details that goes into making what you sip. Priceless.
The American Bar at The Savoy has appeared on The World’s 50 Best Bars since 2011, having re-opened following a three-year refurbishment as reclaimed the top title for a London bar after losing out to New York’s Dead Rabbit the year before last. The longest surviving of all London's other 'American Bars' (popular in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries), it is also one of the most iconic cocktail bars in the world and has a venerable 125 year history - having been home to inventor of the Hanky-Panky Ada Coleman, author of The Savoy Cocktail Book Harry Craddock, and modern legend Peter Dorelli to name but a few. Decades down the line, the bar retains its impressive reputation and its thirst for innovation.
Three Sheets, (16th)
Once called Between the Sheets, Three Sheets is one of Dalston's finest cocktail establishments. Austerely decorated, micro-bar recalls the diner in Edward Hopper’s painting Nighthawks. The cocktail list - short and succinct, but long on interesting ideas - is refreshed monthly to reflect the season. The menu reflects the name, and is split into three ‘sheets’ (aka pages), with three cocktails on each. The first ‘sheet’ showcases lighter, aperitif-style cocktails, and the drinks become more complex and punchy as the sheets unfold.
This cocktail bar mixes the sophistication of a French brasserie with the personality of the Bethnal Green locals who frequent it. Think relaxed neighbourhood hangout - low-lit, with bare brick walls and a hip-hop soundtrack. The bar itself marries expert hospitality with authentic French ingredients and spirits, particularly Calvados and Armagnac. Discover an eclectic menu inspired by French avant-garde cultural icons from the worlds of art, music, photography and dance painstakingly developed to showcase the flavours of specialist spirits presented with a no-nonsense air of simplicity.
Matt Whiley, aka The Talented Mr Fox's Shoreditch based Bar serving seasonal cocktails made with British ingredients. The 35-seat ground floor cocktail bar (which sits over two floors) serves a rotational menu of 10 cocktails, five house ferments and five beers and a selection of natural wines alongside bar snacks, made using only seasonal and foraged British produce, created from leftover ingredients to reduce waste. Expect decor that’s pared-back and natural, with a selection of artisan vessels including glassware and ceramics sourced from Japan and Turkey.
Lyaness (formally known as Dandelyan) at Sea Containers London is the brand new concept from Ryan Chetiyawardana, A.K.A. My Lyan, and the team behind White Lyan, Super Lyan, and Cub. Ryan, aka Mr Lyan, closed the award-winning Dandelyan despite taking home the top spot at the World’s 50 Best Bars awards. The bar (that works like a kitchen) presents an entirely different concept to Dandelyan, complete with new electric-blue décor. Instead of a traditional cocktails the menu focuses on seven common ingredients (changed seasonally) that have an element of familiarity and used to make special versions of classic cocktails and bespoke variations.
This subterranean watering hole in Hoxton is part of a new breed of cocktail bar which the strapline is 'great cocktails, no wallies'. The brainchild of Alastair Burgess, who worked at establishments as revered as Pegu in New York - subtly situated, under the stairs of French restaurant Petit Pois (also owned by Alex Burgess). Discover a moody, fun and relaxed buzz in a space where you can always expect world-class drinks. It remains one of the few neighbourhood bars that people travel from around the world to visit.
Swift is a two-storey bar offering light aperitifs and pre-dinner drinks in its main room, while the downstairs space features an ‘intelligently compiled’ list of whiskies from around the world in a more opulent, 1950s-inspired Art Deco setting. Step inside to an airy standing bar inspired by the sweeping style of Joseff Hoffman and the Art Nouveau era. The drinks menu has a succinct list of aperitifs focussing on martinis accompanied by a selection of small plates - the perfect place for those looking to fit in a ‘swift’ drink. Head to the more 'decadent comfort' downstairs bar, which hosts live piano music, offers table service - altogether at a far slower pace. Sink into one of the Art Deco sofas and order one of the drinks which lean more towards darker spirits (served with a contemporary twist) or choose from a refined whisky library which showcases (over 130) affordable drams.
Kwãnt sits in the basement space of Momo's African Mediterranean fusion restaurant. The bar is a joint venture by Lorincz and Momo owner Mourad Mazouz – the man also behind the two-Michelin starred Sketch. The 19th century-style bar and lounge is the first solo venture from Erik, a multi award-winning bartender who helped bring The Savoy’s American Bar to the number one spot at The World’s 50 Best Bar Awards in 2017. The venue’s subtly tropical décor, created by French-American interior designer Bambi Sloan, is “reminiscent of an eccentric gentleman’s drawing room”, delightfully furnished with light-coloured Chesterfield sofas and wooden panelling. Expect “pared back yet innovative” drinks and a selection of rare and vintage spirits and Champagne from Erik’s personal collection, formed over many years.
Artesian at The Langham, (48th)
Outlandishly inventive cocktails at this chic and glamorous bar, bestowed with the coveted “Worlds Best Bar” accolade. The lounge is named after the 360ft-deep artesian well under the hotel. The interior offers a beautiful oriental inspired space with stunning purple leather and upholster. The new team of Remy Savage (ex-Little Red Door) and Anna Sebastian (ex-Beaufort Bar) are behind the latest resurrection and this famous bar’s reputation. The new Minimalist menu couldn’t be further from the old Artesian mould – theatrical, often imaginative serves – but is just as creative. Pairing two ingredients in elegant glasses, this is stripped-back drinks-making with an emphasis on clean, complementary flavour combinations.
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