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Written by Mae Bristow - 20 December 2023

The top bars in Clapham

We’ve heard the slurs.

“Clapham’s for people who were in their university rugby team.”

“It’s for people who like Infernos.”

“Clapham’s just a sea of gilets and girls with ice lattes.”

So you’re right. Clapham is this. But it’s also got bars – and some good ones at that. So, if you’re wanting a drink in the locus for uni grads everywhere, take a look below and choose your favourite. Warning: Infernos will not be featuring.

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The Little Orange Door clapham bar
The Little Orange Door clapham bar

1. A Clapham bar that is home from home: The Little Orange Door

Clapham, London

Whoever thought up the theme of having a bar kitted out exactly like a well-to-do London home is probably having a very comfortable life. The ‘Little Door & Co.’ group has now expanded to four venues across London. Little Orange Door mimics the layout of a single-floor flat, offering homely decor from hanging pots and pans to well-cushioned 70’s style sofas. It’s an unapologetically kitsch place to meet friends.

Admittedly, the drinks come second to the instagrammable aesthetic. In this instance you have film-inspired cocktails with the standout being the Top Gun – a mix of Toti rum, Wray & Nephew and Banana rum served in a jar wrapped in a banana leaf. Yes, we like bananas.

The Clapham bar can be hired out for all types of events, from birthdays and photoshoots to dry hire or Christmas parties.

upstairs terrace at no 32 the old town clapham bar london
cocktails at no 32 the old town clapham bar london

2. The eye-catching bar in Clapham Old Town: No 32

Clapham, London

No 32 The Old Town is an all-day bar and restaurant in the heart of Clapham Common. It’s a picturesque two-storey establishment with a bar and restaurant on the ground floor and an upstairs bar and leafy terrace on the second floor. The entirety of No 32 is designed and decorated in a laid-back and easy manner that we look for in a good bar.

We love this Clapham bar for its transitions – it’s a sweet spot in the morning for coffee and brunch and an equally great spot for a nightcap. It offers twists on classic cocktails, is committed to sustainability across both its food and drinks menus, and offers one of the prettiest terraces in Clapham. The upstairs bar and terrace is one of our go-to spots for celebrations if you’re in the market to book a private party.

Lost Society clapham bar
the lost society best bars in battersea 1

3. A Clapham bar worthy of Zelda Fitzgerald: Lost Society

Clapham, London

Lots of bars in London throw the phrase ‘art deco’ around, with the reality being a symbolic gilded mirror or drinks cabinet thrown in as an afterthought. Lost Society, found between Clapham and Battersea Park, really does the term justice.

They’ve gone all in on the aesthetic, with the furniture, tiling, bar and even the bathrooms recalling early-century glamour. Like so many bars on this list, Lost Society feels very much it was designed with Instagram in mind. It’s hard not to take a photo that doesn’t look good in a considered way.

The Lounge bar is a dedicated private space with its own bar. It can accommodate up to 100 guests and has its own access to the garden. You can choose all manner of drinks from their menu – our pick is the Mexican Coconut & Lychee Martini, a pleasant twist on the flapper girl classic.

wine and meal at soif wine bar and shop clapham bar london
exterior of soif wine bar and shop clapham bar london

4. The natural wine bar & bistro: Soif

Clapham, London

Just west of Clapham Common, in the borderlands of Battersea, Soif is a natural wine bar, shop, and bistro popular with the SW locals. It’s the definition of cosy – something you always want in a wine bar – decked out in French wine graphic prints framed on the walls.

Soif sources many of its French wines from small-scale winemakers that produce natural, organic, and biodynamic wines. This standout curated wine selection is complemented by the usual suspects – cheeseboards, and charcuterie, and when the bistro is open, expect a menu of French fare that tastes as good as it looks and is very much Instagram-worthy in presentation.

Blame Gloria clapham
Blame Gloria clapham bar

5. A Clapham bar for those who like patterns: Blame Gloria

Clapham, London

A well established name across the city, Blame Gloria’s proposal is simple – a bar decked out in bright floral patterns, creating a distinctly glam and party girl vibe to your night out. We’re talking disco balls, platform pumps and drinks so sweet your blood sugar levels might never recover.

The whole venue can be hired privately. Blame Gloria Clapham caps out at 220 guests, though that might be a tight squeeze. They’re not fussy about the kind of books they’ll take – from corporate pirates to hen dos. They’ll let you do a meeting, if you like your bar graphs with a side of neon lights.

cocktails at venn street records clapham bar london
interior of venn street records clapham bar london

6. Live music, vinyl records, and cocktails: Venn Street Records

Clapham, London

Venn Street is all about the music and is brought to you by the same team behind Old Street Records, so expect neon signage, exposed brick, a display of vinyl records, and live music almost every night of the week. This is the Clapham bar for the folk who like their craft beer and cocktails with a side of live music rather than the chill spot to catch up over a pint – there’s nothing wrong with the latter, it’s just sometimes you want a good gig.

It’s a great spot for private hire and the bar doesn’t charge a hire fee but it asks for a minimum bar spend. It’s just around the corner from Clapham Common Station making it an ideal spot for travel to and from the SW. There’s not much to complain about when there’s live music or a good DJ set, beer, and cocktails – Venn Street Records keeps it simple and does it well.

The King of Ladies Man clapham bar
The King of Ladies Man clapham bar

7. Clapham’s 70’s shag pad bar: The King of Ladies Man

Clapham, London

Thought we'd run out of Clapham bars with a 1970's theme? Thinks again!

The King of Ladies Man is nestled just south of the river and seeks to fulfil every cliche that exists surrounding trending London bars. A secret entrance that is hidden behind a conspicuously mundane exterior? Check. Dark wood-panelled interior, lit by low-hanging vintage lamps? Check. Polaroids behind the bar? Check. Cocktails with obscene names? Check.

When you eventually make your way through the 'secret' laundrette entrance (please, bars of London, hasten the return of the normal entrance, we beg you), you'll want to perch yourself on one of the stylish stalls and order the signature 'Sand in Your Pants' cocktail. You'll get a drink of vodka-based Taboo, blue Curaçao, Xante pear liqueur, lemon and Prosecco. It's a lot but it works.

Behind all the hidden entrances, nonsensical names and shag carpets, The King of Ladies man is a solid choice for a good drink in Clapham.

Sugar cane bar clapham bar
Sugar cane bar clapham bar

8. A bar in Clapham straight from the South Pacific: Sugar Cane Bar

Clapham, London

Standing out amongst the usual suspects of bars in Clapham, this Polynesian-themed bar claims to bring the natural beauty and tropical atmosphere of the south pacific to the greyscale terraces of Clapham Junction. Stepping inside, you''re confronted with a multitude of colourful orbs suspended in fishing nets,, paper lanterns and a lot of palm trees.

It being a Tiki bar, there are some absolute musts when it comes to ordering drinks. Classics like the Zombie and Mai Tai will get you merry in the most delicious fashion possible, whilst the flaming Tonga Punch will draw the attention of the whole bar and should be shared amongst friends unless you're planning on getting well acquainted with the floor.

The whole bar can be exclusively hired for up to 300 guests, whilst three separate areas also provide an exclusive area for groups of 30-60. You can make full use of Sugar Canres DJ and food is provided if needed. The menu is a standard roster of burgers, sharing platters and tapas-style food. Really, though, it's all about the drinks.

 The Cocktail Club - Clapham bar
 The Cocktail Club - Clapham bar

9. A Clapham bar for those who like a mixed drink: The Cocktail Club Clapham

Clapham London

Another classic that has washed up on the shores of Clapham, The Cocktail Club adds Clapham to their 16-strong location list across the UK. The Cocktail Club specialises, believe it or not, in cocktails. All the classics are here, from your Reggae Rum Punch to an oreo-topped espresso martini. Honestly, you've probably had better cocktails elsewhere. What marks out The Cocktail Club is their frankly insane cocktail hour policy: every day until 9 am it is 2-4-1 on every single cocktail, spirit and prosecco. Yes, really. It's a bit chaotic, as you'd expect, but it's well worth it if you want to drink cocktails all day without breaking the bank,

The whole venue can be hired, fitting 130 guests in its basement bar. The vibe recalls the glitzy dinge of 90's Hollywood, evoking Tarrantion in every plush stool, mirrored surface and lively atmosphere.

Girlfriend clapham bar
Girlfriend clapham bar

10. A very pink Clapham bar: Girlfriend

Clapham, London

Girlfriend in Clapham lays a strong claim to making some of the best cocktails in SW4. Sure they look good on your feed and come with enough floral garnish to start a boutique flower shop. But they also taste pretty good. Take the 'Aviation': Sapling gin, maraschino liquer, violet liqueur, lemon juice and powdered param violet rim. Our favourite, though, has to be a Sangria sour – it's something we had never seen before, and now can't get enough of.

The decor is predictably pink, with doctored images of famous women on the walls (think girl with a pearl earring blowing bubblegum). Private hire is available for 35 seating, 80 standing, minimum spend applies.

The whole bar is very Clapham, and in the best possible way.

Check out the best bars in Clapham Junction

We've put together the best bars in Clapham Junction for you to find and book. From activity bars for a corporate day out to cosy pubs to swanky cocktail bars, Clapham Junction is full of amazing bars for you to explore. Take a look at all our bar venues in Clapham Junction. Alternatively, tell us exactly what you need and we'll make sure the very best Clapham Junction bar venues respond to your enquiry.

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