Cocktails and candlelight.
This 1940’s underground-themed bar has a lot going for it – not least the fact that it contains an entire tube carriage. And the drinks are excellent.
Nearest station: Oxford Circus
2. Original Sin
The sister bar to Happiness Forgets, Original Sin specializes in excellent cocktails with lesser known ingredients. And though their list is tip top, they’ll go off books too if you ask them. Personally, I’d recommend asking for a Mezcal Negroni.
Nearest station: Stoke Newington
A sister bar to The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, Call Me Mr Lucky is located in the basement of the Breakfast Club near London Bridge. Depending on your tolerance for this kind of thing, it’s a bit of a caper to get to the bar (password at the restaurant, go through the kitchen, access the bar with a key card). As for drinks, think infused-tequila and plenty of beers.
Nearest station: London Bridge
A simple, but effective premise. Bring a bottle of whatever you fancy (could be whiskey, could be frangelico), pay a £25 cover charge, and for two hours, the bar staff will create cocktails for you based on your bottle.
Nearest station: Camden Town, or Leicester Square
A cocktail bar beneath a Brewdog pub, Underdog’s beer cocktails will make ale fans very happy. And they do a mean Corpse Reviver too, if you’re not a big beer drinker.
Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street
A cocktail bar yes, but *also* a dessert bar. OMG. Desserts are served until midnight, making this the perfect stop-off for a nightcap.
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus
A splendid hidden rum bar, underneath a splendid vintage shop in Dalston. The vibe is really friendly and relaxed, and the cocktails make a rainy day feel like the sun in shining.
Nearest station: Dalston Kingsland
Though the ecclesiastical theme might be a bit much for some, there’s enough stained glass here for a cathedral. The cocktails have a nice South London twist (including one dedicated to the nurses at King’s College Hospital).
Nearest station:Denmark Hill
9. The Nightjar
A terribly elegant cocktail bar, with a playful edge. Go there for classy cocktails, and live jazz most nights.
Nearest station: Old Street
Ring the doorbell and ask to see the detective at this sleuthing speakeasy. It’s lit by candlelight for an intimate vibe, and they also serve food, so you can settle in for the evening.
Nearest station: Earl’s Court
11. 214 Bermondsey
An underground bar for gin fans – check out the London gin flight on the right – that also makes a mean Negroni.
Nearest station: Borough
This cocktail titan is a bit more expensive than the others on this list, but definitely worth it. Purl’s drinks are classy, experimental and unforgettable. Think dry ice, foams, fogs, airs and aromas – it’s like Willy Wonka opened a cocktail bar.
Nearest station: Baker Street
Imaginative cocktails, served in an imaginative way (on the right, for example is The Snapper, a take on a Bloody Mary).
Nearest station: Oxford Circus
Not exactly a secret, but this wine cellar is up there with the best of them, and is practically a London institution. Settle in under the arches with a glass, and nibble on some charcuterie to keep you going.
Nearest station: Embankment
15. Cellar Door
This former public toilet is now a lively cocktail bar and cabaret club. And they’ve got the coolest address in London – Zero Aldwych.
Nearest station: Covent Garden
16. Nordic Bar
This is a party bar (as evidenced by the shot wheel) so it’s not one for a quiet drink. But where there’s giant Jenga, Finnish beers and plenty of cider, you’re sure to have a good night.
Nearest station: Goodge Street