Great Scotland Yard, Covent Garden
Great Scotland Yard has opened to the public for the first time in nearly 200 years. Once the historical home of law and order in the City of Westminster, the grand venue has been transformed into a 152-bedroom hotel, restaurant, tearoom and bar – with all drinking and dining destinations overseen by critically acclaimed chef Robin Gill of Darby’s, Sorella and The Dairy. On the ground floor, you’ll find The 40 Elephants, a bar inspired by a notorious all-female gang of thieves, who were active throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Meanwhile, the 40-seat Sibín is an intimate drinking den influenced by the illicit bars that originated in Ireland around the turn of the 17th century. The Parlour uses loose tea leaves as a base for both hot and cold-brewed cocktails, and focuses on small-batch gin botanicals. And finally, The Yard serves craft beers brewed by Braybrooke Beer Co., who have also created a label designed to be paired with dishes served at the hotel.
3-5 Scotland Yard, Covent Garden, SW1A 2HW
Eastcheap Records, Bank
Old St. Records, Northcote Records and Venn St. Records are already well-established party venues in the capital. Now the group has opened up in the City. Situated near Monument tube – on the corner of Eastcheap and Lovatt Lane – the new venue comprises two live music stages and two bars. Like its sister venues, Eastcheap Records offers a familiar line-up of pizzas, live acts and music-themed décor, including more than 5,000 records – all of which are available to buy. A lively spot for post-work drinks and weekend birthday parties.
20 Eastcheap, Bank, EC3M 1EB
Enchanted Woods at Madison, St Paul’s
Christmas might be over, but rooftop bar Madison has been transformed into an ‘enchanted woodland’ for the rest of the winter period. Offering great views of the City and St Paul’s Cathedral, the chalet-lined space is the place to head for sharing platters, hearty bar snacks and a drink or two. Belvedere vodka is also on board, serving warming cocktails such as ‘Peaches Go Crazy’ (Belvedere vodka, creme de peche, Chinotto liquor, lime and salt) and ‘Snowdrop’(Mancino Bianco Ambrato, Belvedere vodka, elderflower and Moët & Chandon).
New Change, City, EC4M 9AF
Locket’s Wine Bar, St James’s
The former Economist building has become a 60-cover café and wine bar, inspired by those found in European cities such as Paris and Amsterdam. By day, Locket’s serves a menu of pastries, teas, coffees, smoothies and juices, followed by light salads and lunches. By night, the vibrant spot transforms into a candle-lit wine bar serving small plates. A diverse wine list celebrates both old and new world, with over 40 wines available by the glass. The design, by Fran Hickman Interiors, explores an early-70s theme with copper, cork, and orange resin tables. A cork bar is surrounded by individual up-lit tables overlooking the street and art galleries of Bury Street. Curving around, larger banquettes in mint green leather work well for groups of up to six. Come summer, we’re looking forward to hanging out on the al fresco wine terrace and canopy, which will spill over into Smithson Plaza’s courtyard.
25 St James's Street, St James's, SW1A 1HA
Discount Suit Company, Spitalfields
East London hotspot Discount Suit Company is celebrating its sixth birthday with the launch of a new cocktail menu. The team behind the former suit tailor’s storeroom has concocted a fresh menu featuring eight new cocktails, including three returning Discount Suit Company favourites, providing plenty of reasons to break all resolutions of sobriety this month. Cocktails include a ‘Whipping Boy’ with Ocho Blanco tequila, Lillet Rose, citrus, olive brine and agave, a ‘Cockney Touch’ with Dewar’s two-year whisky, fino sherry, citrus, bitter grapefruit syrup and club soda, and a ‘Hug Me Not’ with Seven Tails brandy, Akvavit, acorn, maple and Umbrella Brewing sparkling cider. If you’ve not been, this is the perfect spot for a first date.
29 Wentworth Street, Spitalfields, E1 7TB