The Library Bar, City
The Ned has launched its 17th drinking destination. Located next to Cecconi’s on the ground floor, the 18-seat Library Bar has a sumptuous 1930s design, with restored antique furniture, a selection of retro cocktail books and a bar clad in oxblood leather panelling. There are 30 champagnes on offer, sold by the glass or bottle, a martini trolley and a selection of classic house cocktails, including ‘Breakfast at Emily’s’ (buttered Star of Bombay gin, Cointreau, marmalade and toast essence, citrus and champagne). The vintage collection features three cocktails created by The Ned bartenders. Taking inspiration from drinks created in the early 1800s, each one includes vintage vermouths and rare spirits sourced from the 1950s onwards. The perfect spot for a date.
27 Poultry, City, EC2R 8AJ
Casa Bonita, Soho
Part of the Inception Group (that’s the gang behind Mr Fogg’s, Bunga Bunga and Maggie’s) Casa Bonita is a new pop-up bar in Kingly Court. A colourful, relaxed Latin-American bar, the venue serves rum, tequila and cachaça cocktails to the tunes of Reggaeton, Cuban hip-hop and Brazilian beats. Tacos, burritos and ropa vieja (pulled beef with onion and green pepper, served on tortillas with sour cream, cheese and coriander) loom large on the street-food menu, while the drinks list features the likes of frozen Piña Coladas and Daiquiris – perfect when the weather’s as hot as it is. The venue has a license until 1am, making it the ideal place to hang out if you fancy a late one on a school night.
5 Kingly Street, Soho, W1B 5PF
Lady of the Grapes, Covent Garden
When Covent Garden’s Lady of the Grapes opens next week, it’s set to be a wine bar, restaurant and shop. The most exciting bit? The clue’s in the name – the venue’s aim is to showcase wines made predominately by female winemakers. The space will have 29 covers and a wine list featuring 80 wines, 15 of which will be available by the glass and all of which will be organic, biodynamic or natural. These will complement the main menu, which will feature charcuterie platters and main dishes made with seasonal, local ingredients. The shop aspect of the project will sell a selection of wines plus an extensive list of cheeses, charcuterie and fine grocery products that promise to give your own soirées a sophisticated edge.
16 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, WC2E 7NJ; opens 25th July
The co-founders of Bottles & Battles in Mercato Metropolitano have teamed up with pop-up restaurant SOOD Family to create Bottles, an atmospheric wine bar that focuses on the food and wine of Italy. With the new project, the team aims to create a friendly and unpretentious environment that’s all about discovering new wines, exploring personal tastes and revisiting old favourites. With every member of waiting staff a sommelier in their own right, the team is able to personally advise guests, enthusing on the many regional varieties on offer and suggesting the most suitable food pairings from its zero-waste menu – we’d go for the handmade spaghetti all’ amatriciana.
67 Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, E1 6AA
Laki Kane, Islington
Billing itself as a ‘real tropical escape’, new Islington bar Laki Kane offers a menu of cocktails created using the finest rums, sugar cane syrups and a hand-picked selection of rare and exotic ingredients. Case in point: its signature 'Laki Kane' cocktail mixes Bacardi Cuatro dark rum, Mozart dry chocolate vodka, soursop tea, cupuaçu (a type of cocoa), guanabana and sugar cane juice. Reminiscent of Bob Bob Ricard, each table features push buttons for guests to call for service, so there’s no need to wait at the bar – bliss. We’re rather taken with the Spiced Dry Rum Club, Laki Kane's exclusive upstairs bar that runs rum experiences. With 17th-century style etched throughout the design, guests will be taken on a rum discovery through the past, present and future of the spirit, resulting in guests creating their own bottle personalised to their taste.
144-145 Upper Street, Islington, N1 1QY
Dante at Ham Yard Hotel, Soho
Winner of the US’s Best Restaurant Bar and ranking 16th in the World’s 50 Best Bars, Dante – the famous NYC aperitivo bar – is about to launch a summer rooftop residency at the Ham Yard Hotel. Bringing a taste of New York to London, the award-winning bar will be recreated in the centre of Soho, complete with world-class cocktails and skyline views, for one week only. The drinks menu will feature some of Dante’s signatures including the Garibaldi, and a full range of Negronis, all mixed by the original New York team of bartenders. To say we’re excited is an understatement.
1 Ham Yard, Soho, W1D 7DT; from 28th July-5th August.