London restaurants with great cocktail bars
In our travels seeking out the best private dining rooms in London and beyond, we often come across some seriously amazing bar spaces. So here’s our run-down of some of London’s best restaurants with great bars & amazing cocktails.
Bars to see & be seen at
We have to start with Buddha Bar – the iconic and uber-funky Knightsbridge venue not only has a lengthy supercool bar but a wealth of fabulous nooks and crannies ideal for more secluded events and gatherings. To learn from the masters ask about their regular mixology masterclass events. House signatures include BB Belini (with yuzu), Little One, So Be @ Miami, Kiwi Kukama and Zombie.
The new bar at The Ivy is another cracker. If there was a people-watching restaurant award surely the Ivy would scoop it every year and their latest renovations capitalise on this with a massively extended central bar where guests can dine and be voyeurs simultaneously. Cocktails are amusingly classified as roaring twenties, boom & bust and Brave new world – so take your pick!
For top glamour Aqua Shard’s rectangular bar and amazing views – from the 31st floor – overlook the lights of London & are sure to impress even the most jaded Londoner. Signatures include City Jungle, Devil’s Advocaat and Clear Colada.
Michelin Star Bar
Atul Kochhar’s Michelin-starred Benares has stunning lowly-lit evocative bar area that exudes understated Asian elegance and refinement. Indian inspired signatures include the Passion fruit chutney Martini, Benhatten, Bollywood and Masala Sour – perfect before or during some of his irresistible gourmet delights.
For champagne bars, design-wise Zara Hadid’s champagne bar at no 21, Home House’s annex is really one of a kind as the modern structure dominates elegant Georgian room, while The Andaz also mixes modernity with tradition in its many different rooms. But for old school Soho chic Kettners is still a hard one to beat for a cheeky coupe or bottle of fizz whether at the champagne bar or one of its other gorgeous private areas.
Our go-to comfort zone
At the back of Bond Street Hush is our go-to post-shopping recuperation provider and there’s even a penthouse private room with standalone bar for exclusive events. Motcombs in Belgravia with its timeless buzz and The Sign of the Don in the City with its carved-cork bar also tick the box for un-pretentious bars that serve great, well executed drinks in comfortable surrounds.
Or finally, for a bar with a chilling difference why not try Below Zero at IceBar – where the bar, glasses and walls are made – ta dah! – out of ice! Signature cocktails include W1, Suicide Blonde and a warming Rum blazer.
To make the most of London’s bars don’t forget to pencil in London Cocktail week’s dates – 5-11 October 2015.