Nightjar in Shoreditch is one of the capital’s best speakeasies. The team’s opening a second outpost in Carnaby’s Kingly Court on Wednesday 20th April. The building itself is steeped in history: in the 1930s it was London’s first Black-owned music club, before becoming Club Eleven under Ronnie Scott. Much like the original Nightjar – justly famed for its experimental cocktails and late-night live jazz – the new venue will be a cool subterranean bar with live music every night. East London-based design studio Daytrip has created art deco-inspired interiors with dark décor, secluded booths and a striking bar beneath the staircase. The menu will pay homage to three historical eras in the 20th century: pre-prohibition, prohibition and post-war. New drinks include the ‘Aztec Tepache’ made with Herradura tequila, chinotto, chamomile liqueur, pineapple juice, sherry and lime juice; and the ‘Barrel Aged Zombie’ featuring Foursquare spiced rum, Hendrick’s absinthe, Coconut Cane Wray & Nephew rum, pineapple juice and Fever-Tree ginger beer. There’s also a small menu of sharing plates like manchego boards, smoked mozzarella and serrano toasties, and olive crackers with romesco.
Unit G15, Kingly Court, 49-51 Carnaby Street, Carnaby, W1F 9PY
The Dorchester Rooftop, Mayfair
Last year, The Dorchester launched a rooftop bar to celebrate its 90th birthday. Now, there’s a new residency with Cognac House and Courvoisier and updated interiors. To enjoy the speakeasy-style pop-up and lounge with live music on select nights, head to the 9th floor. You’ll also be able to try new drinks created by the hotel’s head bartender, including the ‘Cuckoo’ made with Courvoisier VSOP, fennel, lemon and agave; the ‘Sakura’ featuring Grand Marnier, rose, strawberry, mandarin bitters and Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label; and the ‘Garden of the God’ made with Roku gin, Campari, myrtle, chinotto, orange and bay leaf. Guests can sit indoors on plush velvet sofas or enjoy the sunshine outside under garden umbrellas. Order bar snacks and small plates from the food menu – we like the sound of the lobster roll with crispy veg, sriracha and Thai basil.
53 Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1QA
The Little Scarlet Door, Soho
The Little Door group is set to open its fourth outpost in Soho on Monday 6th June. It joins The Little Yellow Door in Notting Hill, The Little Blue Door in Fulham and The Little Orange Door in Clapham. Promising the group’s signature cool interiors and fun house party vibes, the new place is set across two floors in recently redeveloped Ilona Rose House on Greek Street with New York-style interiors – think exposed bricks, leather seating and neon lights. The bar has been designed to look like a kitchen, while the living room and laundry room have cosy nooks for settling down with a few cocktails – there’s even a shower in the bathroom with rubber ducks and shower caps for Instagram shots. Downstairs, you’ll find a collection of vinyl records and retro games, and the lower ground floor can be hired for private parties and events. Continuing the house party theme, there are DJs every Wednesday to Saturday night and drinks (inspired by TVs and films) are served from the kitchen in vases and mixing bowls. We recommend the ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ made with Hendricks gin, Reyka vodka, St Germain, apple, rosemary and sage.
12-13 Greek Street, Soho, W1D 4DL
The Thin White Duke, Soho
Bowie fans, this one’s for you. The Thin White Duke is an all-day drinking den in Soho. Guests can order coffee in the AM and experimental cocktails at night, while members have access to two recording studios – the Kyoto Room with its Japanese-inspired interiors and the Seminary, designed to look like a church with a stained-glass mural of… David Bowie. There’s even a vocal booth which designed by none other than Christian Lacroix. Mixologist Dav Eames has created an interesting cocktail menu which pays homage to Bowie hits including the ‘Rum from the Shadows’ made with Golden rum, vermouth, ginger liqueur and Cynar bitters; the ‘Lovers’ Eye’ with apple brandy, Aperol, rhubarb and ginger syrup, and lemon; and the ‘Just Visiting’ made with quince infused tequila, blood orange and rosemary syrup, and prosecco. The upstairs bar will also host talks, readings, screenings and workshops from artists.
22B Great Windmill Street, Soho, W1D 7LD
Dear Grace, White City
This stylish neighbourhood bar in White City has been created by the Incipio team (Pergola, The Prince and Lost in Brixton). It offers brunch and sharing plates through the day before serving a range of classic cocktails by night. Original options include the ‘Kiwi Margarita’ made with El Jimador Blanco tequila, Cointreau, lime, kiwi and agave; and the ‘Cracked Mule’ featuring Duppy Share spiced rum, charred pineapple, chilli and Fever-Tree ginger beer. There are also ten gin and tonics to choose from, plus a good selection of wine and fresh juices. On Saturday mornings, groups can book in for the ‘House of Brunch’ to enjoy breakfast dishes, bottomless drinks and music from DJs and saxophonists.
195 Wood Lane, White City, W12 7FQ
The Pantry Bar, Haggerston
The Big London Bake East, inspired by The Great British Bake Off, opened last month. Now, there’s a cake-inspired bar to visit, accessed behind a huge fridge door. Once you’ve walked through the fridge, visitors can sit on sofas and stools in a cool bar set under Haggerston’s arches. As well as all the classics, there are fun cake-inspired cocktails on offer, including a ‘Pick ’n’ Mix Punch’, the ‘BakewellTini’ and a ‘Lemon Meringue Pie Cooler’. Guests can also relax at the heated outdoor drinking deck and garden, and take part in a bake off.
Railway Arch 323, Under The Bridge, Lee Street, Haggerston, E8 4ED
Gravity Southside in Wandsworth has just opened its first cocktail bar on the venue’s New York floor. Interiors are inspired by the NYC’s cool lofts – think wood panelling, parquet flooring and velvets seating. After trying Gravity’s arcade games and activities (including e-karting, urban street golf and electric shuffleboard), choose from a menu of signature cocktails including ‘The Michael’ made with Ketel One, Kahlua, chocolate bitters, cream and sugar; ‘The South Sea Company’ featuring Martin Miller’s gin, hibiscus syrup, creme de cacao, lemon and mint; and the ‘Chilli Mango Margarita’.
Southside, Wandsworth High Street, Wandsworth, SW18 4TF