Having a drink in London is still a fine way to spend time. Here’s my take on the finest places to do so.
My choice of best bars in London is a markedly less pub-y list than in years last. I guess I just wasn’t wowed all that much by the pubs I encountered. However, the one that did make the cut is indeed a fine addition to the London drinking scene. The rest of the venues – a mix of old and new – all got a wow out of me and deserve a toast to many more years to come.
Please note, this list merely reflects how I chose to spend my time during the year and is comprised of well established and brand new venues as well as businesses that are somehow related to where work and play took me.
Items appear in alphabetic order, not ranked.
Best London Bars
Arch 35B, Flat Iron Square, 66 Union Street, SE1 1TD
Tantalising Portuguese plates paired with an equally tempting selection of Portuguese wines are the draw at this tiny and tenaciously Lusitanian blue and white tiled bar at Flat Iron Square in Southwark.
7 Old Compton Street, W1D 5JE
Whether you’re passing through Soho in the early morning in need of a quick shot of espresso or you’re looking for a cosy place to sip sophisticated cocktails well into the night this tiny (seats 25) bar brought to you by cocktail mastermind Tony Conigliaro (of The Bar with No Name fame) and extreme espresso geek Marco Arrigo (Head of Quality at illy Coffee) is an ideal setting.
This is the third year in a row that Bar Termini made the ‘best of’ list.
First floor near the entrance to Plum & Spilt Milk restaurant, Great Northern Hotel, King’s Cross Station, Pancras Road, N1C 4TB
Head Bartender Harry Nikolaou’s brilliant creations beguile as much as they refresh, and entice as much as they intoxicate. And sure the same great drinks (the Ahau Chamehez is my fave) can be had downstairs and the perfectly lovely and buzzy GNH Bar, but if there’s room upstairs in the Snug Bar the cosiness of room should have it winning out every time.
St James Bar
The Balcon, Sofitel London St James, 8 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5NG
For clever cocktails made with finesse minus flash in one of London’s most luxuriant bars, head to the St James Bar at the Sofitel. Bartender Matteo Giannuzzi does a phenomenal job creating and curating a smart and seasonally shifting menu of drinks.
15 Langham Place, W1B 3DE
The Langham London’s pub launched this year is a winner for a stylish session of elbow bending with perhaps the best bar snacks menu in town (and developed by Chef Michel Roux Jr it should be). Despite the upscale digs, enviable postcode and gourmet grub The Wigmore is remarkably reasonable with its prices and a decidedly no nonsense spot for enjoying a beer.
- Blade Soho, 26 Frith Street, W1D 5LD
- Boki, 20 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LG
- Cro-Bar, 17 Manette Street, W1D 4AS
- Coal hole, 91-92 Strand, WC2R 0DW
- The King & Co, 100 Clapham Park Road, SW4 7BZ
More of the Best of 2017 to follow!