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Written by Mae Bristow - 11 June 2024

Our favourite cocktail bars in London

A city of multitudes, London's cocktail bar scene is something to marvel. The basements, penthouses, rooftops and everything in between have been a-churn with mixologists and drinkers negotiating their way to that perfect drink.

We took it upon ourselves to order, gulp and stagger our way across the metropolis in search of London's best cocktail bars.

You can find our top picks below.

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Lucky Pig cocktail bar London hire
Lucky Pig cocktail bar London hire

1. Make your own cocktails, expertly: Lucky Pig

Fitzrovia, London

Whilst the thought of shaking, mixing and pouring your own cocktails may seem like a crafty marketing trick thought up to reduce labour costs, it actually works.

Lucky Pig is an underground bar in the shadow of the iconic giant sonic screwdriver (AKA the BT Tower). Descending beneath Cipstone Street, you'll be met by a sort of neo-Victorian meets 1920s speakeasy complete with velvet upholstered couches, travel trunk tables, exposed brick and purple walls. It's intimate and tasteful and proves a seductive space to drink the inky London night away.

The draw, though, has to be their genuinely excellent cocktail masterclass. These classes aren't exactly a rare breed in London – you'll find versions of them across the city. Lucky Pig stands out purely through the excellence of their instructions and the quality of the drinks. An experienced bartender will take you through the motions of crafting 3 drinks of your choice. We went for the simple but deadly Martini, followed by a chilli-infused margarita and finishing on a classic negroni infused with dehydrated rosemary smoke. There's a lot of shaking, smoking and, of course, drinking.

Your only difficulty is listening attentively on the third drink. A perfect outing for friends or work.

2. Say ‘oui’ to this East London bar with a Parisian attitude: Coupette

Bethnal Green, London

Want to cross the English Channel this weekend without the lengthy train ride or nausea inducing ferry? Coupette, situated in the heart of Bethnal Green, promises to drop you in the streets of Paris with its French-inspired tapas and artisanal cocktail offerings.

If you’ve ever thought “boy, this drink needs more squid ink,” Coupette’s Ombre is the tipple for you — combining malt whiskey, vermouth, carob, balsamic and squid ink to give your glass that moody, goth aesthetic.

Fit for your 90 closest friends, test out the whole drink menu for an unforgettable, alcohol-filled journey.

interior of three sheets in dalston in london
interior of three sheets in dalston in london

3. Prepare to be three sheets to the wind by the end of the night: Three Sheets

Dalston, London

A super compact London cocktail bar, Three Sheets features a polished interior with a minimalist design that focuses on clean lines and a neutral colour palette.

The cocktail menu at this bar is an impressive study of the classics. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic martini or something more adventurous, like the Peaches (a mix of peaches, cloud tea, bourbon, and soda), there is a variety for everyone. The cosyness of it makes it a top date spot.

interior of funkidory peckham bar london
cocktails at interior of funkidory peckham bar london

4. It's all Hunky Dory at Funkidory

Peckham, London

Funkidory lives up to its name as a retro-like London cocktail bar with natural wine and vinyl records in addition to great cocktails. Their drink menu includes local ingredients and twists on classics — like a Paloma transformed into a frozen delight with the addition of rosé wine for a refreshing sip.

The Funkidory bottle store lets you grab some of their popular cocktails or a bottle of natural wine to bring home.

Its retro and cosy atmosphere is welcoming for those elevating their after-work pint or for friends getting together on a weekend. Funkidory is the type of bar where the regulars know the regulars.

tt liquor
TT Liquor London Cocktail Bars

5. Hide away in the liquor cellar of your dreams: TT Liquor

Shoreditch, London

If a wine cellar is not your vibe, you may prefer TT Liquor’s Cellar Bar filled with spirits and highly inventive cocktails. Enjoy the greatest hits of their seasonal cocktail menus, including the Groglet from their ‘British Culture’ menu — mixing tea, lime marmalade and gin never sounded so right.

The London cocktail bar boasts one of the finest roof terraces in Shoreditch, cocktail-making masterclasses, and a bottle shop to boot.

trailer happiness notting hill cocktail bars 2
trailer happiness notting hill cocktail bars 1

6. The ultimate tiki bar: Trailer Happiness

Notting Hill, London

Trailer Happiness is the Notting Hill tiki bar you never knew you needed. Check out their array of rum-forward cocktails with an extensive selection of daiquiris, citrus tipples and sharing cocktails to split between up 2-5 friends.

The whole London cocktail bar is available for private hire for up to 110 guests, so the next time the unrelenting grey of London gets you down, plunk yourself down in the kitsch tiki surroundings of Trailer Happiness and whistle the tune to Harry Nilsson's "Coconut".

nine lives London bridge London
nine lives London bridge London

7. A perfect playlist and even better drinks: Nine Lives

London Bridge

Tucked away down a cobbled street in London Bridge is Nine Lives. They care as much about their music as they do about their cocktails, with a custom sound system for top-quality playback.

The drinks menu is just as curated as the Nine Lives playlist is, with shareables, classics, and signatures. Nine Lives is the type of bar that epitomises SE London with its potted plants and trendy wicker lampshades from which soft cocktail lighting emanates. Tunes, tacos, and cocktails. Done deal.

cocktails at supermax kings cross cocktail bar london

8. Dancing, cocktails and pizza in an underground London cocktail bar: Supermax

Kings Cross, London

Situated beneath Happy Face Pizza in Kings Cross is the not-so-secret haven of cocktails and music, Supermax brought to you by the good folks behind Spiritland.

The Supermax cocktail menu features vermouth-forward creations accompanied by a soundtrack of Italo, Disco, Funk, House, and the like.

9. A no-frills cocktail spot with stellar drinks: Little Mercies

Crouch End, London

Move over Negroni Sbagliato, Little Mercies house cocktails include a new take on the classic — their Black Beet Negroni features beetroot gin and beetroot & blackberry vermouth.

When your drinks are this good, you don’t need all the bells and whistles in the bar itself. Nothing embodies that like Little Mercies. There is also a selection of takeaway cocktails if you want to continue the rose-tinted tipsy shenanigans at your flat.

Full hire of the London cocktail bar fits up to 80 guests.

discount suit company shoreditch cocktail bars 1
discount suit company shoreditch cocktail bars 2

10. Hang up your jacket and have a drink at this speakeasy: Discount Suit Company

Spitalfields, London

Inside an old tailor’s shop, the Discount Suit Company has reinvented the space for a speakeasy-style bar with brick and wooden interiors. The dimly lit space creates an intimate atmosphere, and the soul and old-school rock & roll soundtrack keeps the bar lively.

Cocktails here are far more reasonably priced than what a suit will run you these days, so drink up! The Shing-a-ling features two types of rum, sweet potato shochu, chestnut and ube soda and the signature cocktails come recommended with an "If you like [insert classic cocktail]" to help you choose a cocktail.

It gets quite busy in the little space so we highly recommend booking a table in advance.

the camden london
the camden london bar

11. The late-night party party cocktail bar: Legacy Camden - The Camden

Camden Town, London

Cosy, intimate cocktail bars with dim lighting is fine and all but sometimes you just want to throw a party, fill up a dance floor, and open a tab for Porn Star Martinis. You need a late-night party spot, room to dance, and plenty of neon lights. Legacy Camden has all of the above with a decadent taste in jewel-toned decor to boot. The more the merrier here, with a capacity of 350 guests, the ground floor reception area is a top pick for party, party, party.

cocktail trading co
cocktail trading co

12. £12 goes a long way at this bar-lovers haven: Cocktail Trading Company

Shoreditch, London

The Cocktail Trading Company is the creation of three friends and life-long bartenders who wanted to go into the business of running killer bars. Their rotating cocktail menus ensure that innovative creations are always at your fingertips.

Past cocktail creations have featured concoctions like the Navigator, smoked salmon gin, sesame & black pepper, lemon and cream cheese (a combination of alcohol and breakfast components we couldn’t have dreamed up in any world, but who knows).

Don’t be fooled by their descriptions, this bar is serious about their craft and is a cocktail enthusiast’s dream.

13. Swift's Shoreditch outpost

Shoreditch, London

We love the Swift bars for offering that old-school cocktail bar charm and the Shoreditch outpost is no different. The cosy, dimly lit space is dominated by Swift's white marble bar from which aperitivo and cocktails are served from afternoon until late.

Bookings are always recommended even though they try to leave space for walk-ins, and its intimate size makes Swift Shoreditch a great little spot for private hire.

14. Tequila lovers rejoice at Brixton's agaveria: Hacha

Brixton, London

The younger sister of their original Dalston location, Hacha in Brixton offers a Mirror Margarita bar and bottle shop and an upstairs agaveria (as the name suggests, there are a plethora of agave-forward cocktails) lounge and kitchen.

The concept of a ‘mirror’ margarita was foreign to us, before gazing into the crystal-clear liquid that looks nothing like the classic, citrus-clouded tipple. Another Hacha brainchild is their award-winning Reforma, a tequila cocktail with toasted rice syrup, sherry and rhubarb bitters.

Hacha is available for full hire and offers interactive events like a tasting session or margarita workshop.

cocktail at happiness forgets in hoxton london
bar at happiness forgets in hoxton london

15. Sip cocktails over candlelight in this Shoreditch basement bar: Happiness Forgets

Shoreditch, London

This basement cocktail bar creates top-floor-level cocktails. In Happiness Forgets you’d be remiss not to savour every drop. The underground, grungy interiors let the drinks do all the talking.

One standout on their menu is the Racketeer with Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, umeshu and amaro.

Enjoy a rotating cocktail menu and inspired creations at this London cocktail bar where the only thing you're bound to forget is your phone after having one too many.

Nightjar headbox hackney bars 1
Nightjar headbox hackney bars 2

16. Shoreditch’s answer to the jazzy, speakeasy cocktail bar: Nightjar

Shoreditch, London

There's no need to brave the crows of Central London for a Nightjar experience. Enjoy top-class cocktails, an old-school jazzy cocktail bar atmosphere and live music at Nightjar's Shoreditch outpost, one of the most popular London cocktail bars.

17. Coffee in the morning, cocktails in the evening: Bar Termini

Soho, London

Bar Termini is a coffee and aperitivo bar that brings the traditional bar culture of 1950s Italy to the heart of Soho. With vintage Italian posters, checkered flooring, and the ever-favoured exposed brick wall, you’ll feel like you’re at a retro Italian spot.

In true Italian style, small plates of cheeses and charcuterie, paninis, and carpaccios are offered. There are six authentic Italian coffees to choose from, and even more cocktails. Try the Marsala Martini, a delicate blend of beefeater gin, marsala dolce, dry vermouth, and almond bitters.

The Connaught Mayfair bars 2
The Connaught Mayfair bars 3

18. One of the best cocktail bars in the world (and London): The Connaught Bar

Mayfair, London

The award-winning Connaught Bar was named the fifth-best bar in the world by The World’s 50 Best Bars in 2024. That’s right… no.5. Situated in the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair, the bar features Cubist-inspired wood panelling and grand mirrors.

Try any of the masterpiece cocktails – Faraway Collins, Good Fellas, Wayfarer – the ones that have made this bar legendary.

the bloomsbury club bar
the bloomsbury club bar

19. Free your mind at this mystical tipple scene: The Bloomsbury Club Bar

Bloomsbury, London

Aptly named after the intellectual supergroup, The Bloomsbury Club Bar defies all rules of what a bar should be creating an atmosphere straddling the lines of academic and esoteric.

With drinks inspired by a special tarot deck, The Bloomsbury Club’s 14 cocktails correspond to 14 states of mind or body. For those feeling particularly guilty, try the Fallen Angel which mixes gin, pineapple vodka, vermouth, orange zest extract and grapefruit tincture. Their menu assures this tipple will clear your mind of all negativity.

This is the perfect place to escape from the real world and delve into a bit of old-world whimsy. The Bloomsbury Club fits up to 35 people, a great London cocktail bar for hire for celebrations of any sort.

The Last Talisman Cocktail Bars
The Last Talisman Cocktail Bars

20. An Asian-inspired Bermondsey Street cocktail bar: The Last Talisman

London Bridge

The Last Talisman is a short walk from London Bridge Station. Grab a drink at the bar to enjoy what the heart of Bermondsey Street has to offer: beautiful artwork, natural lighting and a wide variety of drinks. If you’re looking to try one of the Talisman signatures, we’d opt for their peach, raspberry and vanilla infusion. Topped with prosecco and goji berries, the Talisman #1 Bellini is a pretty decent version of the Italian classic.

With a standing capacity of 300 people, there’s enough space for you and, well, 299 others.

21. Feel right at home, without having to go back to your parents with this quirky Central London hangout: FAM

Marylebone, London

This swanky Central London locale curates an eclectic and cosy atmosphere. With a vinyl wall, a jukebox and a ‘fam’ photo wall, this homey bar is perfect for catching up with friends.

FAM does not keep it casual with their cocktails, however, one of their signature drinks, Operation Neptune, combines cider brandy, ginger liqueur, peach bitters and more with an absinthe mist to send you out of this world. There are also FAM classics to please the less adventurous.

Available for private hire, the London cocktail bar fits 50 guests, perfect for an intimate gathering with friends.

The best cocktail bars to hire in London

Finding the perfect London cocktail bar shouldn't be a chore. Let us bring you the very best London has to offer in beautiful cocktail bars available to hire. From rooftop bars to underground venues, hidden speakeasies to famous cocktail bars with the best mixologists – hire out your own room, or even the entire venue, without any hassle. London has an unbeatable cocktail scene and a range of stunning venues to enjoy. Take a look at the top selections below, or let us know what you're looking for and we'll make sure the perfect cocktail bar venues reach out to you.

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Guide to hiring a London cocktail bar

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to hiring a cocktail bar in London. Whether you're planning a corporate event, a private party, or a special celebration, the right cocktail bar can add a touch of sophistication and excitement to your occasion. London, renowned for its vibrant nightlife and world-class mixology scene, offers an array of options to suit any taste and budget.

This guide aims to simplify the process of finding and hiring the perfect cocktail bar for your event. From understanding what to look for in a venue to navigating the logistics of booking, we provide you with all the essential information you need to make an informed decision. Join us as we explore the best that London has to offer, ensuring your event is not only memorable but also impeccably stylish.

Define your event

The first step in hiring a cocktail bar in London is to clearly define your event's purpose. Are you hosting a formal corporate event, a themed birthday party, a romantic date night, or a casual get-together? Understanding the nature of your event will help you select a bar that complements your vision.

Set a budget

Determine your budget for the event. London offers a wide range of cocktail bars, from budget-friendly to upscale venues. Knowing your financial constraints will help you narrow down your options and make cost-effective choices during your planning process.

Online platforms

There are an endless amount of websites that will provide you with a rundown of the best cocktail bars in London. It can often feel overwhelming to search through these sites. That’s why at HeadBox we work with the best venues and will circulate your event details directly to them. You’ll hear back from trusted venues that have availability and cater to your event. If only it was always this easy.

Location matters

Hackney encompasses a variety of neighbourhoods, each with its unique character. Consider the location carefully. Do you prefer a cocktail bar in Shoreditch for its trendy vibe or a more relaxed spot in Notting Hill or Bermondsey? Location can affect accessibility for your guests.

Capacity and space

The number of guests you expect to attend is crucial when choosing a cocktail bar. London's cocktail bars come in various sizes, so pick one that can comfortably accommodate your group. Consider indoor and outdoor spaces, especially for events during different seasons.

Amenities and services

Identify the amenities and services you need for your event. Some cocktail bars in London offer private rooms, professional mixologists, tailored cocktail menus, live entertainment, and more. Ensure your chosen bar can cater to your specific requirements.

Ambience and theme

The ambience and theme of the cocktail bar can set the tone for your event. Whether you desire an intimate, rustic setting or a chic, modern environment, Hackney's bars offer a wide spectrum of styles. Choose a venue that aligns with your event's theme.

Cocktail selection

Cocktail bars in London pride themselves on their craft. Explore the bar's cocktail menu to ensure it matches your guests' preferences. Some bars offer unique signature cocktails, while others emphasise classics and custom creations.

Entertainment options

If you want to add entertainment to your event, inquire about the bar's offerings. London cocktail bars often host live music, DJs, and themed events. Make sure your chosen bar can accommodate your entertainment choices.

Licensing and regulations

Understand the licensing and regulations associated with hosting events in London cocktail bars. Check for any specific rules regarding opening hours, music volume, and compliance with local regulations. Ensuring you meet these requirements is crucial for a successful event.

Reservation and booking

After finding the ideal cocktail bar for your event, get in touch with the venue as early as possible to secure your reservation. London's popular bars can be booked well in advance, especially for weekend dates and peak seasons.

In conclusion, hiring a cocktail bar in London can transform your event into an unforgettable experience. By considering the various factors outlined in this guide, such as location, ambience, menu options, and budget, you can find the perfect venue to meet your needs. With London's diverse and dynamic cocktail scene, you're sure to discover a bar that not only matches but enhances the vision for your event. We hope this guide has provided valuable insights and practical advice to help you make your celebration truly spectacular.

Frequently asked questions

Most cocktail bars in London are equipped to serve non-alcoholic beverages and mocktails. It's a good idea to check with the bar about their non-alcoholic options, especially if you have guests who don't consume alcohol.

Many London cocktail bars offer the option to customise the cocktail menu for your event. Discuss your preferences and requirements with the bar's mixologists to create a tailored experience for your guests.

Most cocktail bars in London allow you to decorate for your event. However, it's important to discuss your decoration plans with the bar management and adhere to any guidelines or restrictions they may have.

The amenities and services included in the hire package can vary between bars. Common inclusions may consist of access to the bar area, seating arrangements, bartenders, cocktail menus, and audio-visual equipment. Always inquire about what's covered in your rental agreement.

It's advisable to book a cocktail bar in Hackney as early as possible, especially if you have a specific date or a popular venue in mind. Popular bars can get fully booked several months in advance.

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