15 Stylish Cocktail Bars in London You Really Need to Try Over the British Winter

Do architects hibernate? 

We do, thanks for asking. When temperatures drop, we wrap ourselves in the best and softest fabrics, delight in some good and expensive winter shopping and comfort ourselves with a stylish cocktail from time to time. All that on top of being unsociable, of course.

After a day spent trying to save the world – or yourself from being the moody little Grinch you really are – stopping off for an evening hideaway might be the best way to quench your thirst, or temper for the same matter. But worry not Archie friend, London has a lot to offer in this field. The long, dark and cold nights of winter can be transformed into warm and glamourous encounters, if one knows where to look.

Swift BarSwift Bar

Today we bring to your attention the snazziest drinking dens across London. In these locations – and specifically in winter –  celebratory drinks, an afterwork tipple with a friend or a much needed chill time cocktail with yourself while reading a book, never felt better. So if you’re after the classy, cosy and tasty, look no further. As you know, we value the juices as much as the atmosphere and interior design, meaning these places are outstanding in all aspects.

London might be the capital of Britain but one thing is for sure, it is definitely the capital of drinking too 😉

South Bank & London Bridge

1. Lyaness

Lyaness London

Located in the Sea Containers building, Lyaness is the brand new bar from the award-winning Mr Lyan and team. The iconic space overlooking the Thames has an inventive cocktail menu that uses seven (and quite funny) ingredients such as ‘King Monkey Nut’ and ‘Purple Pineapple’ to create memorable drinks. Interior design by Lore Studios is also a highlight. The pale blues and soft greys are accentuated by chic 1920’s and 70’s retro.

What cocktail should you try? Tropical Martinez
Price of cocktails: £13.5

Location: 20 Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PD (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Southwark

2. Nine Lives

Nine Lives London

Nine Lives, a subterranean drinking den on Holyrood Street, bases their cocktails on a zero-waste ethos. Cocktailing maestros behind Sweet&Chilli (a specialist drinks agency) created an inspiring menu that is sustainable. For example, they re-use lemon pith to create essential oils for the bar’s liqueurs and they compost waste to help nurture an herb garden. The décor? They describe it as ‘Tropicalifornication’.

What cocktail should you try? El Tigré
Price of cocktails: £14

Location: 8 Holyrood St, London SE1 2EL (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: London Bridge

3. Oblix

Oblix The Shard

Oblix is not only a great place for cocktails, but also a place to admire London’s beauty while sipping one. Located on the 32nd floor of The Shard, Oblix is is the latest and very original creation from Rainer Becker, chef and restaurateur of Zuma Restaurant. Food is also amazing. So we are big fans of this place because one can stay for dinner too (although better have a reservation).

What cocktail should you try? Coconut
Price of cocktails: £13.5

Location: The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: London Bridge


4. Callooh Callay

Callooh Callay

Callooh Callay, a quirky but classy hideout, opened in November 2008 and it serves some of the best cocktails in east London. Flick through the Bar Manual cocktail menu, which by the way is housed in an empty cassette case and enjoy a lively and good times bar. You’ll be surprised by the expertly crafted drinks. Exposed brick walls and soft tealights ensure a cosy atmosphere. However, the place is rather small, meaning it’s best experienced at off-peak hours.

What cocktail should you try? Rust & Oil
Price of cocktails: £10.5

Location: 65 Rivington St, Hackney, London EC2A 3AY (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Old Street

5. Cocktail Trading Company

Cocktail Trading Company

The Cocktail Trading Company in Shoreditch is the new bar off Brick Lane after the original one in Soho closed its doors to the public. This venue has wood-panelled walls and retro decoration. The superb skills of the bartenders and the amazing look of all their creations will make you return to this place.

What cocktail should you try? Intercontinental Punch
Price of cocktails: £9.5

Location: 68 Bethnal Green Rd, Shoreditch, London E1 6GQ (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Liverpool Street / Whitechapel


6. Swift

Bar Swift

Divided into two areas – Upstairs and Downstairs – we recommend you start with the buzzy and more casual bar on the ground level. Upstairs has a short and effective drinks menu that you might want to pair with some food – oysters are amazing here. The look is faintly Italian and the bird thematic has to do with who runs the bar: Bobby and Mia Hiddleston, who collaborate with the Nightjar and Oriole, which we also like frequenting.

What cocktail should you try? Sgroppino
Price of cocktails: £9

Location: 12 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 4TQ (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Leicester Square / Tottenham Court Road

7. Blind Pig

Blind Pig

Hidden above the Michelin-starred restaurant, the award-winning bar The Blind Pig, offers creative cocktails as well as fine wines and beers. The vibe is nostalgic: Antique mirrored ceilings, reclaimed wooden chairs and a copper-topped bar help to the low-lit vintage atmosphere. The cocktail menu is inspired by children’s literature giving you the chance to travel through your favourite childhood stories.

What cocktail should you try? Queen Bee
Price of cocktails: £12

Location: 58 Poland St, Soho, London W1F 7NR (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Oxford Circus

8. Disrepute


We know, we know
, Disrepute is technically a member’s bar but we couldn’t resist. Non-members walk-ins are possible but not without a high level of door and admission postureo. In summary, it’s better to book in advance. We love this place because of its nonsense opulence that faintly looks like a modern version of Scarlett’s bedroom in Gone With the Wind. The cocktail list is surprisingly fun to read and delightfully awkward too.

What cocktail should you try? Al Fresco Ambush
Price of cocktails: £13

Location: 4 Kingly Ct, Soho, London W1F 9RR (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Oxford Circus / Piccadilly Circus


9. Kwānt


Kwānt (the phonetic spelling of 'Quaint') is the bar of Momo Restaurant, a North African and Mediterranean gastro brasserie in the heart of Mayfair on Heddon Street. Erik Lorinkz, the multi-award winning bartender who helped bring The Savoy’s American Bar to the number one spot at The World’s 50 Best Bar Awards in 2017, is behind it. There are about 24 drinks on the menu plus five non-alcoholic.

What cocktail should you try? Our Gimlet
Price of cocktails: £15

Location: 25 Heddon St, Mayfair, London W1B 4BH (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Piccadilly Circus

10. Mr Fogg’s

Mr Fogg’s

Named after the Victorian explorer, all adventurous venues by Mr Fogg’s have the same theme and their objective is to transport you back to the Victorian era. The place is decorated with the explorer’s artefacts from ‘around the world’. Every wall is covered with hunting rifles, stuffed animals, weathered flags and maps. The cocktail list is an exploration itself, fun to read and discover and even better to taste.

What cocktail should you try? Dragon Fountain
Price of cocktails: £15

Location: 25 Heddon St, Mayfair, London W1B 4BH (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Green Park

Bloomsbury & Fitzrovia

11. Fitz’s Bar

Fitz’s Bar - Architectour Guide- Cocktail Bars in London

Located inside the Kimpton Fitzroy London, the former Hotel Russell by architect Charles Fitzroy Doll, Fitz’s Bar is an extension of that dazzling decor. Last year, Tara Bernerd & Partners revamped the interiors and the result couldn’t be any fanzier, I mean, look at it! Full-on Jazz Age glamour, an inventive cocktail menu and pretty clientele makes this place perfect for forgetting about winter.

What cocktail should you try? Bloomsbury Cup No.1
Price of cocktails: £14

Location: Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 5BE (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Holborn

12. The Punch Room

The Punch Room

Another superb bar in another superb hotel: The Punch Room at The London Edition, also one of our favourite places to have afternoon tea (check page 304 of our London Guide). This fumed-oak paneled den inspired by nostalgic manor house libraries resembles a nineteenth-century London's private club. Arguably, you have the same feeling by visiting Ralph Lauren’s New Bond Street shop, for free. But the shop won’t provide a cocktail named 57 Shades of Grey (wink, wink).

What cocktail should you try? 57 Shades of Grey
Price of cocktails: £14

Location: 10 Berners St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3NP (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Tottenham Court Road

13. Waeska Bar

Waeska Bar

Though you’ll never find us here in summer – or worse, in daylight – this outrageous bar is there to entertain and delight. Mirror-topped tables, floral-print chairs and and the best: A gazelle skeleton dressed in peacock feathers above the marble bar. In case you’re wondering, no, Damien Hirst had nothing to do with it. All these factors combined with superb cocktails add up to a fun and entertaining experience. If the peacock thing left you hungry for more, try another of our recommended restaurants.

What cocktail should you try? NUTMEG – Mirystica Fragrans
Price of cocktails: £15

Location: 20-21 Newman St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1PG (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: Tottenham Court Road

King’s Cross

14. Permit Room

Permit Room

Housed within a Victorian industrial building of King’s Cross, The Permit Room is a handsome cocktail location. The King’s Cross branch of Dishoom – the popular London chain of Bombay cafes with branches in Shoreditch and Covent Garden – has a drinks list focusing on old-school cocktails.

What cocktail should you try? Tehmul’s Tangle
Price of cocktails: £10

Location: 10 Argyle St, Kings Cross, London WC1H 8EG (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: King’s Cross

15. Double Standard

Double Standard

The Standard's first UK hotel opened this summer inside a
Brutalist building in King’s Cross. Double Standard is the bar of The Standard, London Hotel. For an after-work tipple, the hotel’s street-facing bar Double Standard pours craft beer, wine and cocktails. The atmosphere is New York City dive-bar style fare and you’ll certainly be transported to America for as long as you keep sipping your cocktails.

What cocktail should you try? Chocolate Stout Martini
Price of cocktails: £10

Location: 5 Stable St, Kings Cross, London N1C 4AB (Google)
Nearest Tube Station: King’s Cross



These and other amazing locations on Architectour Guide of London

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