Spring is finally here and it’s time to go out, so you should grab all your work buddies for some after-work cocktails or your best friends for a nice rooftop brunch. Head on over to one of these carefully selected bars, fit to everyone’s taste.
This legendary cocktail-lovers spot, hidden behind an unmarked side street door is like tripping back to the 50s. White-jacketed bartenders, jazz pianist and party vibe, black-and-white, retro-designed room. Every cocktail is innovative and curiously named, including the Death In Venice, a rich mixture of Campari with grapefruit bitters topped with prosecco and an orange twist. Almost too beautiful to drink, each is the creation of owner and mixologist Tony Conigliaro and his team. Newcomers are often surprised by their simplicity, but every cocktail is cutting edge and the menu changes with the seasons, making it a new experience every time.
69 Colebrooke Row, Islington, London N1 8AA
The Vault proudly serves up unpretentious, original and unforgettable cocktails in a welcoming basement bar hidden under the streets of Soho. Access to the Vault is gained by passing through an unassuming bookcase, secretly standing at the back of Milroy’s of Soho – London’s oldest whisky shop. Yes, there is a whisky shop above meaning whisky lovers will be spoiled for choice. Fancy a classy cocktail? Just slip through the bookcase and down to The Vault where there is a cocktail to please any taste buds.
3 Greet Street, Soho, London, W1D 4NX
Inspired by Andy Warhol’s Factory, the silver, studio-like space has nude close-up photographs propped up against shiny foil-papered walls that reflect the industrial strip lights. The playful Greek god Pan sits at the head of a giant concrete slab of a table and electro beats play softly in the background. Before your night begins you will be served a Wish – which turns out to be a petal-like palate-cleanser of dehydrated gel infused with beetroot, raspberry and rose. The cryptic menu doesn’t give away much: each drink is labelled by a single word that evokes its name. For those who like a little bit of a snack with their drinks, Untitled has a unique snack choice – Kaiseki – multi-course Japanese small plates – and all created to match the cocktails.
538 Kingsland Rd, London E8
Aqua Nueva is set to define destination dining in the capital with its ultra stylish interiors, stunning city views and innovative cuisine. The restaurant boats a striking glass catwalk that takes the diner on a journey from the cool Aqua Kyoto to the passion of Aqua Nueva, signaled by a life-like charging bull. Offering a very modern take on the cuisine of traditional northern Spain, Aqua boasts two roof terraces overlooking Regent Street. At night, the restaurant takes on an even more dramatic vibe as the tactile statement features, such as the hand-carved wooden pieces, are showcased by stunning effects and lighting.
40 Regent Street, (Entrance on 30 Argyll St, W1F 7EB), London W1B 3BR
Swift is the new cocktail destination from the brains behind Oriole and Nightjar. The bar is split into two: a buzzy standing bar on the ground level and a dark sensual lounge below. Upstairs, the look is faintly Italian, mirrored in a menu of affordable aperitivos. This includes an unmissable sgroppino – a thick and frothy prosecco-based drink with lemony sorbet floating on top. The basement is lit for romantic trysts, perfect for those looking to impress their date. Staff are attentive, guiding you through an original menu edging towards nightcaps. We all know the long queues in front of most places in Soho, so your reservations for the Swift’s lounge will come quite in handy on a busy Saturday evening.
12 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 4TQ