There are no shortage of options for cool places to drink in London — nowadays it seems even the weirdest of events are decked out with innovative bars serving crazy cocktail concoctions.
But there’s something extra-special about a bar which you wouldn’t be able to find without a little bit of a hunt, isn’t there? Nobody can deny the appeal of the more exclusive vibes these places offer.
To help you find some of the best secret spots for a drink in the capital, we’ve put together this list of the top 7 hidden bars in London.
489 Hackney Road, London, E2 9ED
Credit: The Natural Philosopher/Facebook
As far as settings for drinking establishments go, it doesn’t come much edgier than old Mac repair shops. Comprising of three rooms, featuring all sorts of old Apple paraphernalia and old-fashioned furniture, you can enjoy some delicious cocktails in a venue like no other.
4 Kingly Court, Carnaby, London, W1B 5PW
Named after its less-than-reputable history, Disrepute used to be known as the Pinstripe Club, the site of scandals such as cabinet ministers meeting with call girls. The bar is hidden away in Carnaby, and features a heavily 1960s-inspired art deco theme, and some gorgeous-looking (and tasting) cocktails with suitably raunchy descriptions.
119 Dulwich Road, Herne Hill, London, SE24 0NG
This Peaky Blinders-themed bar is a dream come true for fans of the 1920s-set BBC show. Featuring an atmosphere and decoration ripped straight out of the Prohibition era, Blinders offers a fantastic set of unique cocktails and some seriously yummy bar food to keep you entertained as you do your best Cillian Murphy impression.
3 Greek Street, Soho, London, W1D 4NX
Credit: The Vault/Instagram
Nestled away under Greek Street in Soho, The Vault is a suitably exclusive bar for one of the trendiest areas in London. Ostensibly, it’s a whiskey shop, but beyond purveying a huge array of the grain beverage, it also has a bar hidden behind a bookcase — how cool is that?
13a Gerrard Street, London, W1D 5PS
Credit: Experimental Cocktail Club/Facebook
Tucked on Gerrard Street in Chinatown and hidden behind a foreboding door, Experimental Cocktail Club allows half of its capacity to be walk-in guests who, without booking, can enjoy a series of the bar’s titular innovative drinks. Spread over three sprawling floors, Experimental Cocktail Club has a quirky vibe and some even quirkier drinks to discover.
61 Poland Street, Soho, London, W1F 7NU
Another bar hidden in trendy-as-can-be Soho, Milk and Honey has been an institution of the area since 2002. For 16 years it has been bringing amazing drinks and a supremely niche vibe — members and their guests are allowed to stay at the bar until 3am — to the denizens of Soho. Non-members can reserve a spot at the bar until 11pm, but it’s really the kind of club you’ll want to be a member of once you’re there.
25-26 Lime Street, London, EC3M 7HR
Credit: The Bootlegger/Facebook
Moving away from the edginess of Soho into the even edgier sprawl that is Shoreditch, the final item on our list is another speakeasy-themed bar. The Bootlegger is nestled behind a Nando’s, inviting you on a hunt to actually find it and sample the delights within. When you get in, you’ll find a suitably Prohibition-era decor including an old gramophone and a hooch distiller, making it one of the best of the numerous ‘speakeasy’ bars you can find in the capital.