With lockdown round two (finally) coming to an end this week, we don’t need to be mind readers to know that everyone has had enough of it and is craving for some sort of normality. And with that normality comes going out to bars with your friends and celebrating the beginning of the holidays in style. With so many venues in London, sometimes we want to push the boat out and try where the majority have never heard of, let alone been to, which is why we welcome you to some of the secret bars in London’s– to put you in the party spirit!
Address: 29A Wentworth St, Spitalfields, London E1 7TB
The ‘Discount Suit Company’ might look like your average old run-of-the-mill tailors from the outside, but once you make your way down the steep stairs, watching you don’t bump your head because the ceilings are incredibly low, it is an entirely different world. Gone is the merchant’s storeroom, now replaced with a dimly lit bar entwined with wooden accents and a rich speakeasy atmosphere. With contemporary cocktails choices of gin, whiskey, tequila and many more, plus with prices starting at just £8.50, and great Northern Soul playing in the background, we think it’s time for a new suit… how about you?
Address: 12-16 Artillery Lane, E1 7LS
Not only is the name of this bar enticing enough, but it also has a super unique entrance to make sure that your night is anything but boring. Once you enter ‘The Breakfast Club’, a seemingly normal looking diner, inform a member of staff that you are “here to see the mayor” (that’s the now-not-so-secret secret password!) and you’ll be directed towards a Smeg fridge. Once you open the door and make your way down the stairwell, you will be welcomed into a low-lit speakeasy-style bar brimming with tempting cocktails, craft beers and wines. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, then this is the perfect venue to start with!
Address: 3 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 4NXSource: Evening Standard
Enter Milroy’s Whiskey Shop in Soho and locate the bookcase at the back of the store. Behind that is the secret entrance to a cosy little cocktail bar, apply names ‘The Vaults’, hosting a brilliant speakeasy-style venue and delicious cocktails. With a lovely, intimate atmosphere, the menu is brimming with whiskey mixes that host not only modern twists on old classics, but also traditional blends. Take your pick of deep, smoky ingredients or light, sweet cocktails that pack a punch in each glass, not only for a great price but also with incredible flavours!
Address: 8-9 Hoxton Square, Hackney, London N1 6NU
A stylish, speakeasy bar encompassed within a low-lit basement is ‘Happiness Forgets’, located in Hoxton and serving some seriously good cocktails. Make your way down the grungy entrance, beneath a quaint French restaurant, comprised of concrete stairs and metal railings into the underground bar that’s draping in vintage glamour. Whether you decide to indulge in their signature Two Barrels or a classic Espresso Martini, this secret bar is a small oasis away from being not so secret, so make sure you book in advance!
Address: 310c Earls Ct Rd, Earl’s Court, London SW5 9BA
An American-style bar located in Earl’s Court is ‘Evans and Peel Detective Agency’ and is definitely a must to check out – if you can find the entrance of course! As the name suggests, once you enter, you will be greeted by a detective waiting for you to present your case – that is, your booking. Play your cards right to seeking a solution, and they will open a secret door within a bookshelf, welcoming you inside the bar. With a cavernous atmosphere encompassed amongst the exposed brickwork and bottles of booze, it’s no surprise that reservations go quickly, so make sure you check this secret bar out as soon as possible!
Address: 1e Great Eastern St, Hackney, London EC2A 3EJ
Now, ‘Lounge Bohemia’ takes secret bars to an entire new level – this is a hidden treasure no one wants to expose just yet. Tucked away under a kebab shop in Shoreditch, an unmarked door leads you to a Prague-inspired bar brimming with retro furniture and charming lanterns. Although they host a couple of classic cocktails, most of them are anything but traditional – make sure to expect drinks arriving in lightbulbs, and test tubes, or even bubbling and smoking from glass pipes, alongside Bellini-flavoured gummy bears and G & T flavoured ice cubes! Not only is it as sensational as it sounds, but ‘Lounge Bohemia’ is also super exclusive, so make sure to book in advance.
Address: 489 Hackney Rd, London E2 9ED
Tucked away behind a Mac repair shop, yes you read that right, in East London is a secret bar specialising in signature cocktails inspired by the Latin philosophy of nature. Natural ingredients are favoured here, so there are a lot less traditional drinks and more unique ones, perfect for those that want to push the boat out on testing new flavours. Perhaps you fancy a bittersweet take on a Margarita or an original sour taste of their Lord Kelvin? Whichever it may be, make sure you try it at this secret bar!
Address: 15-16 Gerrard St, West End, London W1D 6JE
A hidden venue located in the heart of Chinatown, ‘Opium’ hosts a 1920s oriental-themed bar laced with modern accents and a fresh twist on Asian cocktails. Make your way up the dark stairs and through the jade green door where you’ll be greeted with a choice of three bars serving their best bespoke cocktails. Whether that be their ‘Bitter Sweet Boulevardier’ or ‘Matcha.com’, every drink is served with an element of theatre and glamour, which we don’t mind paying that little bit extra for. Open for late-night drinking and dining, ‘Opium’ is nothing short of a great time.
So let us know, were there any bars on this list that you HAD heard of before, and if so how you found them (because that’s always the best part of the story!). We’re finally coming to the end of lockdown, so make sure to gather your friends and hit these bars in London, before someone gives away the secret!