London has a flurry of cocktail bars, but there are a select few that will serve up a really good cocktail. Here is our personal favourite list of the best and most luxurious cocktail bars in London. Whether you are looking for something imaginative or for a cocktail bar with a view, you’ll find it in this list and most important of all, you can be sure they taste pretty damn great.
Gong @ Shangri-La Hotel, London Bridge
Based on the 52nd floor of The Shard building in the Shangri-La Hotel, Gong is London’s highest cocktail and champagne bar. The cocktail bar has a relaxed Asian theme that overlooks the City, with great table service. Gong have just launched a director’s cut menu that has a cocktail creation for every great director. The George Lucas Feel The Force has two different cocktails, the light side and the dark side and comes complete with its own under glass light as a nod to the light sabre. Whereas Woody Allen’s Storm & Marbles comes with three separate drinks. A unique and inspired menu.
As you might expect the bar is great at sunset and has a dress code of smart casual. If you are looking to impress your friends or visit one of the most impressive bar’s in London then Gong is the bar for you.
The American Bar @ The Savoy Hotel, Strand
Known as one of the best bars in Europe, The American Bar is the luxury choice for many visitors to London. The American Bar has a long and grand cocktail menu with a dedicated theme that changes regularly. The American Bar has a lovely chilled out vibe, where you can enjoy a high quality cocktail and often a pianist singer in the evenings.
The waiting staff are always very helpful when it comes to helping pick the right cocktail for you and will offer their expertise to recommend a similar drink to your favourite that’s on their menu. My favourite currently is the Basil Ionides, an art deco served drink. A sweeter take on a Rum Old Fashion and although it is priced at £25 it’s in the top 5 drinks I have ever drunk.
I’d definitely recommend booking before visiting if on a Friday or weekend and the dress code is smart. So maybe a great one to dress up or to take a date to impress.
Punch Room @ Edition Hotel, Central London
Hidden at the back of the Edition Hotel on Berners Street is the Punch Room. The bar is intimate, low lit and the decor has an old school oak finish that will impress even your coolest friends.
Punch Room as you might from the name, have crafted a number of different punch cocktails. The punches are strong and great for sharing, unless like me and you prefer your own punch. You can of course order off menu for your preferred cocktails. Why not try the Punch a la Romaine, a modern interpretation of the punch served on the Titanic, fizzy effervescent lemon with orange and gin topped with a smooth delicious foam. The waiting and bar staff are very knowledgeable and will happily recommend a drink or punch for you. Reservations for Punch Room are required.
The Polo Bar @ Westbury Hotel, Mayfair
Situated in Mayfair between some of the top designer shops in London is the large and impressive Polo Bar. The bar itself is long and has a fantastic selection of cocktails that are expertly mixed as well as an impressive selection of spirits and wines. From your classics with a Polo Bar twist to more modern short blended drinks. On our most recent visit, each drink came with a smaller version of the drink, for our other guests to try or just as a top up.
The bar snacks menu is also a delight with things like Panko crusted prawns and Iberico ham. I’ve always found The Polo Bar is typically slightly quieter than the others recommended which is good if you are looking for a great cocktail and somewhere you can sit back, relax and talk. Read the full Polo Bar Review.
Scarfes Bar @ The Rosewood Hotel, Holborn
One of Paula and I’s favourite bars is Scarfes bar in the Rosewood Hotel, which is located just a short walk from Holborn station. Scarfes is a grand cocktail bar with a luxurious library setting and a centrepiece large fire, which is great in Winter. Scarfes has an impressive spirits menu, including a huge number of single malts and whiskeys from all around the world aswell as one of the best gin selections in London.
We recently tried out their latest menu, ‘The Caricature Menu’ which is inspired by the artwork of Gerald Scarfe, which currently adorns the walls in Scarfes bar. Each cocktail is inspired by the historical subjects, bringing each of his sketches to life with a signature drink. Try the Highgrove which uses the classic French 75 cocktail for inspiration and is named after the much-loved private gardens of its subject, HRH Prince Charles. Served in a coated glass of herbal fragrances, the finished drink recreates the delicate scents of the famous gardens and is sharp and light with tantalising flowery elements. You will also find cocktails named after figures like James Bond, Harry Potter and Alfred Hitchcock.
To enjoy your cocktail with you will often find a pianist or the live jazz band playing in the evenings. Scarfes bar also offer cabaret evenings, which are uber classy and well worth checking out.
Do you have a favourite cocktail bar in London?