If Dry January is giving you the hump, hang in there because the reward will be worth the wait when, come next week, you can hot foot it to one of these snazzy new watering holes. From retro members bars to secret speakeasies, here’s our pick of the hottest new bars to open in the capital, all guaranteed to get you out of that gloomy January slump.
Six Storeys, Soho
Step back in time to an era of prohibition, where clandestine cocktail haunts host rebellious crowds, hell bent on getting their essential liquor fix. London isn’t short of a speakeasy or two, but the latest addition to the set is something far more luxurious than your average underground cocktail den. Taking up residence in a 17th century six-floor townhouse, this cavernous watering hole promises a cornucopia of indulgent discoveries. Explore every nook and cranny over six decadent floors, from the lobby up to the decantery and the study, stopping off in the parlour room and luxurious lounge along the way. Each room is festooned in Victorian wallpapers, flickering candles with sultry shades of midnight blue splashed on the walls. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served throughout the day, but we’ll be heading there almost certainly for a few of their dangerously addictive apple pie-infused or pour-your-own espresso martinis.
4 Kingly Court, Soho
West Hampstead will be opening up the doors to Bobby Fitzpatrick’s retro party pad, embracing the ‘70s theme to the max, where shag pile carpets and garish patterned wallpapers are nothing but acceptable. Bobby’s hell bent on passing on his penchant for rum cocktails and a spot of gambling too, so you needn’t worry about bringing the party, the party willl be there waiting for you, the minute you swagger through the swinging doors. Caribbean-inspired rum cocktails will be flowing freely, as will the pizzas, which are all inspired by Bobby’s American travels.
273 West End Lane, West Hampstead
London’s gin craze is having a bit of a renaissance, and with more and more gin spots popping up all over the city, it doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. Phew. If you’re a bit of a gin buff, Portobello’s latest opening will almost certainly catch your attention. Set on Portobello Road, The Distillery is a towering four-storey mecca, dedicated entirely to London’s favourite spirit. The Resting Room on the ground floor serves up an eclectic range of one-of-a-kind gin blends and quirky spirits – think avocado and olive oil vodka – with many drinks dispensed directly from hand-built barrels suspended above the bar. Head upstairs to the Spanish-inspired GinTonica for G&T’s served up in Copa De Balón – that’s a balloon goblet glass to those who didn’t study Spanish – where you can devour small plates of tapas, or for the full gin experience, book in for gin making with a stay in the one of The Distillery’s themed guest rooms.
186 Portobello Road, Notting Hill
The newest addition to Kingly Court’s piazza of eateries and watering holes, Disrepute is a swanky new member’s bar that takes up residence where the infamous Kingly Club used to be – the ‘60s celeb hangout frequented by the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Oliver Reed and Carey Grant. With a playful take on ‘60s counterculture, Disrepute mixes retro chic with a touch of contemporary cool to bring the same level of fun and naughtiness to London’s cocktail scene. Like the décor, the 1960s features heavily on the drinks list. The impressive drinks cabinet comes fully stocked with the likes of cognac, vodka and gin, as well as playful retro classics including Mateus Rosé and Babycham. Cocktails are split into three sections; Counter Culture; Screws of Convenience; and The Pinstripe Lining, with descriptive stories for each. No doubt each tipple will come loaded with a rich history of the original club’s scandalous antics. Sounds good to us.
4 Kingly Court, Soho
Exmouth Market Grind
Adding to its extensive list of ‘cool kid’ café bars, Exmouth Market is the newest bar on the block, setting up camp in Islington’s charming Exmouth Market. The new spot will feature a restaurant and bar, with Kyle Boyce – ex-Soho House chef – behind the new menu. Coffee and cocktails will naturally feature – we can’t wait to try out their new batch of signature espresso martinis – alongside an all-day menu including wild boar Benedict; nduja baked eggs; eight-hour lamb shank with sweet potato; and grilled octopus with fennel and grapefruit.
8-10 Exmouth Market, Islington