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Written by Mae Bristow - 23 November 2023

Our 11 favourite Leicester Square bars

Gomorrah. Dis. Pandæmonium. Leicester Square. Few places strike fear into the heart of the humble traveller more than these loci of hell and despair.

Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but the advert-drenched, heavily populated churn of London's hectic heart can be bewildering at best. Ask us, and we say there are few better ways of getting out of the crowd than perching up on a cosy bar and swirling a well-made drink slowly in your hand.

For all the many sins of Leicester Square, it is blessed with a litany of great drinking spots. From quiet dens of vice to uproarious music bars that offer private hire, here are some of our top picks of Leicester Square's best bars.

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exterior of the blue posts leicester square london bar
interior of the blue posts leicester square london bar

1. 300 years of classic pints: The Blue Posts

Leicester Square, London

Just round the corner from China Town, The Blue Posts is an original Georgian pub serving drinks since 1739 inside a Grade II listed building. It has a traditional pub on the ground floor and upstairs is The Mulwray, a wine bar with a weekly changing wine list by the glass.

But having two bars isn’t enough for The Blue Posts. It is also home to Evelyn’s Table, the pub's 12-seater counter dining experience and a Michelin star recipient since 2022.

All three spaces in The Blue Posts are available for private hire with a capacity for 50 guests in the wine bar and 60 guests standing in the pub.

2. A themed Leicester Square bar: Opium Cocktail Bar & Dim Sum Parlour

Leicester Square, London

Step out of Leicester Square to taste some 1920’s Shanghai at Opium’s themed Cocktail Bar and Dim Sum Parlour in the heart of London’s Chinatown.

This wonderful venue is split across two floors, housing three oriental-themed cocktail bars-within-a-bar. The Academy bar is located on the top floor and is split into two sections, the ‘Attic’ which has a more lounge feel with lower coffee tables, sofa seating and quirky booths and their signature ‘Bartender’s Table’ where you can drink around the bar and enjoy watching their bartenders.

The Apothecary bar is located on the second floor, with higher tables and chairs on one side facing the Tea Parlour. There’s also their hidden Peony bar located behind the red curtains on the second floor. The space is perfect for private functions accommodating up to 30 people seated and standing.

Circus Leicester Square bar 1
Circus Leicester Square bar 2

3. A glamorous bar near Leicester Square: Circus

Leicester Square, London

Circus is a unique experience. A fusion of modern pan-Asian dining with jaw-dropping performances at the cocktail bar. Situated in the heart of London’s beautiful Covent Garden you are sure to stay entertained with every meal and if you like a cheeky brunch on the weekend then look no further.

Guests are kept guessing as the details of the performances are kept under wraps but be assured to see nothing short of extraordinary from acrobatics, burlesque, contortionists and fire-breathers. A great experience. Open every Wednesday - Saturday for dinner and Saturday brunches.

The Piano Works Leicester Square bar 2.
The Piano Works Leicester Square bar 3

4. A bar near Leicester Square for music lovers: The Piano Works West End

Leicester Square, London

If you have a song you just can’t get out of your head and your are looking for something more rich than just the version on your phone then head over to The Piano Works.

Located near London’s Leicester Square and with non-stop live music, cocktails and bottomless brunch you can grab yourself a request slip and scribble down that song which has been on your mind.

Sit back and watch the 6-piece house band bring it to life. Enjoy the 2 piano vocalists and accompanying musicians play a non-stop repertoire of music decided only by you the audience.

Horizons casino leicester square bar 2
Horizons casino leicester square bar 2

5. A Leicester Square bar for big spenders: the Horizons Casino

Leicester Square, London

Feeling lucky?

Then try your hand at the games Horizons has to offer. From roulette to baccarat, blackjack and three-card pokes. There's a plethora of options.

You'll find a premium bar (with premium prices) packed with all the drinks you could wish for, alongside a dinner menu offering red and white meat, fish and vegetarian options.

Found in Leicester Square, the home of nightlife, Horizons is a place which caters to everyone, so don’t be shy. Gamble responsibly, obviously.

The alchemist leicester square bar
The alchemist leicester square bar

6. Leicester Square's mixologist bar: The Alchemist London - St Martins Lane

Leicester Square, London

The bubble bath, the cherry poppins, the popsicle and lightbulb moments: just a few of the eye-popping cocktails you will see smoking away at The Alchemist at St. Martin’s Lane.

Get in on the act with the ‘Bath Bomb’. Drop a concoction of dark fruits into a fruity medley of rhubarb and apple gin. Watch as your drink fizzes away and takes you back to your chemistry class.

The venue provides an all-day dining experience with an Alchemist touch on classic dishes. So, the next time you’re in Covent Garden head over to The Alchemist you are sure to be bedazzled, then drunk, very drunk.

interior of hovarda leicester square london bar
cocktail at hovarda leicester square london bar

7. Cocktails, wine, and small plates fit for the Odyssey: Hovarda

Leicester Square, London

With a central location near Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus, the Lounge Bar at Hovarda consists of super stylish and chic lounge tables, sofa chairs, and stools for guest to enjoy Aegean-inspired dishes and contemporary cocktails and wines.

The sleek and modern interior design is dominated by an illuminated cocktail bar and overlooks the restaurant floor and DJ booth. With the mood lighting, decor, drinks, and Aegean dishes, we like the Hovarda for a swish little private dining experience for celebrations this festive season or just to pop in for a cocktail or two and some small plates.

interior of perception in the w hotel leicester square london bar
people at perception in the w hotel leicester square london bar

8. Lights, colours, and great drinks: The Perception at W London

Leicester Square, London

The Perception Bar at W London is a swish cocktail bar with the vibe of a club. Enjoy your drink at the ultra-modern bar lit up with all the colours of the rainbow or at one of the many comfortable lounge spaces.

Perception has an endless list of signature cocktails named after films, but our favourite has to be the Role Models made with Belvedere, hazelnut liqueur, coffee, caramel and cheesecake foam. The drinks and atmosphere at this Leicester Square bar are all you need for a proper night out.

Perception and all its different lounge spaces are available for private hire.

views of lsq rooftop leicester square london bar
interior of lsq rooftop leicester square london bar

9. Drinks, views, and great vibes: LSQ Rooftop

Leicester Square, London

On the ninth floor of Hotel Indigo London is LSQ Rooftop, a cocktail bar serving drinks and stunning panoramic views of central London. Escape the hustle and bustle on the open-air terrace with a drink in your hand and wind in your hair.

The signature cocktails are named after iconic London landmarks — all within view at this Leicester Square cocktail bar. Try the Shard made with vodka, strawberry syrup, and passion fruit Purée, or perhaps the St Paul’s made with gin, Martini Rosso, Cherry Heering and maraschino cherry liqueur.

The full venue is available for private hire and can accommodate up to 60 guests seated and 150 standing.

wine at cork and bottle leicester square london bar
interior at cork and bottle leicester square london bar

10. Wine, wine and more wine: Cork & Bottle

Leicester Square, London

Cork & Bottle is a wine bar and restaurant whose founder, Don Hewitson, is credited with popularising New World wine consumption in London during the ‘70s and ‘80s. It has an intimate atmosphere with brightly painted walls, colourful wine artwork, and seating arrangements inside all the different nooks and crannies.

There are plenty of wine options at this Leicester Square bar from all over the world. Sample it by the glass or opt for the entire bottle if you would like. And if wine isn’t your cup of tea, Cork & Bottle has a good-sized selection of cocktails and beers, too.

exterior of brewmaster leicester square london bar
interior of brewmaster leicester square london bar

11. You can’t go wrong with a classic: Brewmaster

Leicester Square, London

Brewmaster is a classic pub just steps from Leicester Square serving British pub staples like cask ales and cocktails. The traditional aspects are continued with the pub’s decor — wooden planks on the walls, wooden furniture, and wood flooring. It might seem like too much, but it's just the right amount to make this pub warm and inviting for all. As for drinks, this Leicester Square bar has the usual — beer, all sorts of wines, a decent amount of cocktails, and spritzes.

Check out the best bars in Leicester Square

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

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Your ultimate guide to hiring a bar in Leicester Square, London

In the heart of London's West End, hiring a bar for an event in Leicester Square offers a vibrant and iconic setting. With its bustling atmosphere, famous theatres and vibrant nightlife, Leicester Square is the perfect place to host a memorable event. In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you through everything you need to know about hiring a bar in Leicester Square, including pricing considerations, seating options and more.

1. Search for bars in Leicester Square:

Start your search for the perfect Leicester Square bar with thorough research. Use HeadBox to explore the different bars in the area. Choose from a list of venues known for their ambience, drink offerings and event hosting capabilities.

2. Define your event requirements:

Before contacting bars in Leicester Square, clearly define your event requirements and objectives. Determine the type of event you're hosting, the estimated number of guests, the preferred date and time, budget constraints and any specific amenities or services you require from the venue. Having a clear understanding of your event needs will help you find a bar that matches your vision.

3. Contact bars for availability and pricing:

Contact bars in Leicester Square to enquire about availability and pricing for your preferred date and time. Provide detailed information about your event, including the estimated number of guests and any special requests or preferences you may have. Request a quote for venue hire and enquire about any additional services or amenities offered for events.

4. Understand pricing and packages:

Prices for hiring a bar in Leicester Square can vary depending on factors such as the location, size, facilities, day of the week, time of day and duration of the hire. Some bars may offer package deals for private events, while others may charge a flat fee for venue hire.

5. Explore seating options:

Consider the seating arrangement that best suits your event and the needs of your guests. Bars in Leicester Square typically offer a variety of seating options including bar stools, high tables, lounge areas and outdoor seating. Depending on the nature of your event and the number of guests, you may opt for a cocktail style arrangement with high tables and bar stools or a more formal dining arrangement with tables and chairs.

6. Evaluate amenities and facilities:

Evaluate each bar's amenities and facilities to ensure they meet your needs and enhance your guests' experience. Look for bars with features such as a well-stocked bar, knowledgeable bartenders, speciality cocktails, audiovisual equipment and restroom facilities. Make sure the bar has sufficient staff and services to support your event, such as servers, security and cloakroom services.

7. Check catering options:

Check the catering options available at each bar in Leicester Square. Some bars may have an on-site kitchen and offer a varied menu of starters, small plates and gourmet snacks prepared by their culinary team. Others may allow outside caterers or provide recommendations for trusted caterers in the area. Discuss your culinary preferences, dietary restrictions and menu choices with the bar's catering team to create a customised dining experience for your event.

8. Confirm logistics and services:

Once you've selected a bar for your event, finalise the logistical details with the venue's management team. Coordinate set-up and break-down times, access for vendors or decorators, and any special event requirements. Confirm arrangements for bar service, beverage options, glassware and any additional services or amenities you may require.

9. Review contracts and policies:

Before signing a rental agreement with the bar, carefully review the contract terms and policies to ensure you understand and agree to all terms and conditions. Pay close attention to details such as the venue rental fee, deposit requirements, cancellation policy, liability waiver and any additional fees or charges. Clarify any uncertainties or concerns with the venue management before proceeding with the booking.

10. Plan a memorable event:

On the day of your event, arrive at your chosen Leicester Square bar prepared and ready to host a memorable gathering. Communicate effectively with venue staff, suppliers and event attendees to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for all. Monitor the event closely and deal with any unforeseen issues promptly to ensure the success of your event.

Leicester Square event bar hire provides a dynamic and exciting venue for your event. By following the steps outlined in this guide and working closely with the venue management team, you can create a memorable event experience that exceeds expectations and leaves a lasting impression. Here's to an unforgettable event at a lively Leicester Square venue!

Frequently asked questions

It's advisable to book a bar for your event in Leicester Square as early as possible, especially for popular dates and times. The area is known for its bustling nightlife and high demand for venues, so securing your preferred venue well in advance will ensure availability and peace of mind.

Many bars in Leicester Square offer bespoke drinks menus for private events. You can work with the venue's bartenders or beverage manager to create a bespoke selection of cocktails, mocktails, wines and beers that reflect your event theme or preferences.

Some bars may have guidelines or restrictions on decorations and entertainment to maintain the ambience and safety standards of the venue. It's important to discuss any decoration or entertainment plans in advance with the venue management to ensure they are in line with the venue's policies.

Some bars may have a minimum spend requirement as part of their hire agreement. This minimum spend usually applies to the purchase of food and drink during the event and may vary depending on the venue and event details. Be sure to discuss any minimum spend requirements with the venue management when booking your event.

Many bars in Leicester Square welcome site visits or tours for prospective clients. A site visit allows you to see the venue in person, assess the ambience and facilities and discuss your event requirements with the venue staff. It's advisable to arrange a tour before booking to ensure the venue meets your expectations and event requirements.

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