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Jan 26, 2009 05:40 AM

NYC Hound looking for best cocktails in London

Sorry if I'm posting to the wrong board re cocktails . . .

Where can I find the best cocktails in London IYHO? Many thanks . . .

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  1. As in any major city the surroundings will probably vary more than the cocktails, which will be pretty similar in all the decent places.You could do a lot worse than the bar in the Mandarin Oriental hotel not far from Harrods. Very reasonably priced too.

    1. My three favorite spots for cocktails are Corrigan's (their Plymouth Navy Blue is a must), the bar at One Aldwych (a perfectly-balanced, non-perfumey cocktail with lavender stands out), the Long Bar at the Sanderson Hotel (especially their alcohol-free lychee lemonade). The Blue Bar at the Berkeley is also quite good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: peelmeagrape

        Mint Leaf - Haymarket - the cucumber slumber is divine.
        Hakkasan - Fitzrovia
        Dirty Martini - Covent Garden
        Cocoon - Regent Street
        Mahiki - Mayfair

        I've only mentioned a few in central, but it really depends where you're staying and for how long. London is vast, so it may be better to tell us where you are or intend to be?

      2. a dry martini is pretty good at the marriott in holborn.

        2 Replies
        1. re: steve h.

          The most interesting bars in London right now IMO are

          Lounge Bohemia - Shoreditch - a small, discreet bar run by a studious young chzech mixer called Paul Tvaroh. Very laid back atmosphere and exemplary cocktails. Try his range of infused vodkas too.

          Rules - the oldest restaurant in London currently houses its best new bar. In a former Private dining room, Brian Silva ( one of the great mixers of London and formerly of The Connaught) is mixing, IMHO the best drinks in town and has the most interesting back bar.

          Both worth a try


          1. re: Simon Majumdar

            There's a brand new cocktail bar on Broadway Market called "Off Broadway", but that's probably out of the way for you if you're just here for one night. The prices are very good and the staff are very friendly.

            More centrally, you could do worse than Joe Allen, just off the Strand. It's a great old theatre hangout and the staff make every cocktail you can think of.

        2. Thanks . . . I'm only in London for one night (a Sunday to boot!) and we plan on doing lunch at St. John. Still haven't figured out a hotel either . . . we're leaving in the morning for a trip to Scotland (Islay . . . )

          I'm hearing good things about Artesian in the Langham Hotel (?)

          Here in NYC, there are a few cocktail destinations that are a must (PDT, Pegu Club, Death & Co, Milk & Honey) Just curious if there are any similar spots in London . . . I'll admit, my research is lacking so any advice is most helpful!

          4 Replies
          1. re: rluczak

            There is a Milk and Honey in Soho - if you are a member in NYC you should be able to get in here.
            I dont think London has quite the same cocktail 'scene' as in NYC- a lot of the better cocktails are found in either restaurant bars (see Rules in post above) or in hotel bars.

            1. re: pj26

              i wouldnt recommend the artesian, i went there a month or so ago + it was rubbish

            2. re: rluczak

              I'll have to second Lounge Bohemia in Shoreditch. Reminds me the most of the cool cocktail lounges in NYC. That place is hard to find tho - just a door right next to a convience store and you have to walk down a flight of stairs. The scene inside is very relaxed, really nice late 60s/early 70s decor with cool drinks. The prices are pretty good as well (£6-8 from what I remember). Reminds me a bit of Little Branch in the West Village in NYC since it's underground and tiny.

              I like Milk and Honey as well but there's already one in NYC so I don't know if you'd want to go to this place anyway. I know the one in NYC is going to be made into a members' only bar (if it hasn't been already). If you want to try Milk and Honey in London, you can make a reservation anyday before 11pm. After 11, it turns into members only.

              Loungelover in Shoreditch used to be the epicenter of good and cool drinks. I don't know good this place is now.

              Lost Society in Clapham has been another place I've heard from people as a good place for cocktails. I don't know if you'd want to travel outside of East and Central London though.

              1. re: felizglfr

                i went to lounge bohemia on friday + it was a nice place and all but i dont really think the dinks were that good. i guess it's all to do w/ personal preference like e.g they have an area of the menu called 'martinis' which then has a long list of flavoured vodka drinks, which is not the kind of thing i'm into at all.

            3. I would recommend the Player in Soho but it's shut on Sundays-sorry:(
              The Soho Hotel is good (pricey), as is the Charlotte Street Hotel.
              As someone has mentioned, the cocktail scene is different here, we really do trail New York by quite a long way unfortunately.
              If you want to see the gap, then by all means go to Dirty Martinis in Covent Garden. Cocktails taste fine, but they come in tiny cocktail glasses and it smells a bit! Not that it's reflected in what you pay of course...

              1 Reply
              1. re: bootsyjam

                Funny you should say that - the owner of the Pegu in NY reckons London is the best cocktail city in the world, this was back in 2007, but I can't see how we've fallen off?

                I think there is a huge variety of places to drink cocktails in London, from your standard bar serving cocktails to more upscale establishments with knowledgable mixologists taking it to the level of art almost.