Top 5 bars in… London

17th April, 2018 by admin

A pioneer in the world’s cocktail scene, London has it all – high-end hotels, hidden speakeasies and experimental bars that constantly push the envelope. James Lawrence hails a black cab and investigates.

*This feature was originally published in the December 2017 issue of The Spirits Business

The sheer diversity inherent to London’s bar scene – not to mention the constant wave of new openings – would astonish any city dweller returning after 10 years away from home. So too would the rise of 1920s speakeasies, the transformation of local pubs into gastronomic havens, and the amount of raw talent and innovation on display.

Yet despite this radical transformation, the capital’s historic hotels still play an important role in maintaining excellence – the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel was voted World’s Best Bar in October 2017, ensuring that three London venues (including Dandelyan and The Connaught) made it into the top five on the list. However, this is not to suggest that all the excitement and innovation resides inside the four walls of London’s most exclusive hotels.

The past 10 years have witnessed a meteoric rise in American-­style speakeasies and secret bars, many of which are situated outside of Zone 1. It makes perfect sense: as formerly maligned districts such as Dalston and Shoreditch have been gentrified, so too has the investment poured in, making East London the hottest ticket in town right now.

If you’re looking to avoid the popular grind of London’s busiest venues then these hidden gems are ideal, although finding them often involves delving into fridges or stepping behind mirrors. But persevere, as the best of this new firmament are unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.

Click through the following pages to discover the top five bars in London, England.

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