The Best Places to Drink in London
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
Tea, coffee, or something stronger . . . there are multiple ways to wet one's whistle in this town.
35 St James's Pl, St. James's, London SW1A 1NY, UK
You can only drink two martinis at the hotel bar at Dukes Hotel in Mayfair. The bartenders won’t serve you any more—that’s how potent they are. This is the place to come in London if you secretly wish you were a member of a...
63 Worship St, London EC2A 2DU, UK
This dark, downstairs bar intimately recreates the gin palaces of the early Victorian era. And while the Whistling Shop's decor is faithful to the era, the cocktails offer a modern twist on the old classics: there's even an in-house steampunkish...
10 Shepherd Market, Mayfair, London W1J 7QF, UK
Kitty Fisher’s is the antithesis to the New York exposed brick brand of cool. Named after a Georgian courtesan, this tiny restaurant in Mayfair is rather a wood-clad room flickering with candles and exuding a intimate, “make yourself...
129 City Rd, Hoxton, London EC1V 1JB, UK
The cocktails at the Nightjar are as spectacular as anything you’ll get in London—wittily designed creations like Beyond the Sea, which arrives in a giant seashell with a side of yuzu salt, or the Toronto, which comes with a stick...
20 Sherwood St, Soho, London W1F 7ED, UK
Looking for a late-night speakeasy? This one's a charmer. The Bar Americain's fairly hidden from the street, but when you get down there, it's like going back in time. You find a 1930s, art deco wonder, with white-jacketed cocktail waiters and an...
43 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 4QL, UK
Inspired by the fussball bars of northern Spain, Café Kick is a local’s favorite and a place to blow off some steam at the end of your day by violently propelling a small white ball between rows of wooden men. Situated in the lively...
44-46 Cranbourn St, London WC2H 7AN, UK
Drinks in London's West End rarely come cheap. Even less so in the crowded environs of Leicester Square, but if you find yourself in the area, there's a quiet, reasonably priced refuge known as the Cork and Bottle. It's a basement level wine...
1C Portland Pl, Marylebone, London W1B 1JA, UK
On weekend nights, The Palm Court at the Langham Hotel, London’s classic spot for afternoon tea, transforms into a speakeasy-style gin bar. Sipsmith’s Jared Brown (featured in the October 2012 issue) worked with the Langham’s mixologist, Alex...
47 Chandos Pl, Charing Cross, London WC2N 4HS, UK
London is famous all over the world for its thousands of pubs. In fact, there are so many of them, it can be hard to pick out the lousy ones from the ones that are absolutely fantastic. The Harp is the latter. It's small, it's intimate, it's...
18-20 Bedford Hill, Balham, London SW12 9RG, UK
This lovely coffee shop in the mostly-residential area of Balham in South London is really more than a coffee shop. From poached eggs on top of corn bread with marscapone, to fresh soups of the day and fruit-flavored waters that are free of...
Victoria Embankment, Temple, London WC2R 2PH, UK
The Temple Bar Restaurant is located in the Temple Tube Stop and is a great place for a grab'n go breakfast. Just across the road, Victoria Embankment has benches and lots of little nooks and crannies, and is the perfect place to eat your...
29 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 5DH, UK
While everyone and their mother (and aunt and grandmother) are on the waiting list to have afternoon tea at Brown's or Claridge's some time next April, head to Soho for the no-longer-a-secret-but-still-unknown tea room inside the Coach &...
6-7 Chandos Pl, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4HU, UK
Do you fancy tootling around London on a classic double-decker bus whilst sipping tea and eating pastries? Of course you do. BB Bakery adds wheels and a French twist to the tradition of afternoon tea. A uniformed driver zips past London's iconic...
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London WC2N 5DN, UK
Delicious scones with clotted cream, cucumber sandwiches, cakes, mint tea...these are just a few of the goodies you will receive during this affordable (less than 17£) and delicious afternoon tea. It's the perfect place to relax after...
1C Portland Pl, Marylebone, London W1B 1JA, UK
Ah, The Langham for tea? Excellent choice. You've dressed up, of course, and the top-hatted gentleman nods his approval before opening the door to a most glamorous afternoon tea. Tea in the Palm Court is an elegant affair. A jazz pianist provides...
Westminster Abbey, Deans Yard, The Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P 3PA, UK
Situated in a cellar at the very grounds of Westminster Abbey Cathedral in Central London, is the very delicious Cellarium Tea Room. Rather you are in London for one day or one week, I would advise you make tea your first priority. You'll never...
Carlos Pl, Mayfair, London W1K 2AL, UK
In 2007, the Connaught was incorporated into the Maybourne Hotel Group, which injected more than $100 million into the century-old building and brought the once-reclusive hotel in line with its more welcoming sister properties, Claridge’s...
14–16 Leather Ln, London EC1N 7SU, UK
The people behind the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs don't just love their coffee, they love people too. They've got locations throughout London, as well as Bristol, Manchester, and now Chiacgo—including Carnaby Street and Tonic...
1 Granary Square, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AA, UK
Caravan coffee is some of the strongest you'll try. Even inveterate coffee drinkers come away from Caravan with a slight tremor and a tendency to talk too fast. But if you think you can hack it, then get along to this popular haunt in Kings...
26 Hanbury St, Shadwell, London E1 6QR, UK
The name Nude Espresso might suggest something more racy than you find when you enter this Brick Lane coffee shop. However, if a perfect cup of coffee does it for you, then your pulse may race anyway. And not from the caffeine. Nude takes the...
100 Wardour St, Soho, London W1F 0TN, UK
Carom at Meza has opened a gin garden where you can not only sip delicious Tanqueray cocktails, but forage for your own ingredients. Dotted around the colonial-style interior, under the conservatory skylights, are pots of herbs and spices that you...
58 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 7NR, UK
Some of the most intriguing cocktails in London can be found at Jason Atherton's bars in Soho: Social Eating House, Pollen Street Social, and the newly opened Newman Street Tavern. That's thanks to Gareth Evans, officially crowned the best...
22 Great Chapel St, Soho, London W1F 8FR, UK
Julia Forte turned the Star At Night pub, an old fashioned boozer in the heart of Soho, in the London Gin Club in 2012, when she decided to start specialising in her favourite tipple: gin. Now, her bijou bar is home to 350 premium...
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