Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Welcome to London

        London is a busy, vibrant and exciting city; as culturally rich

and socially electric as they come. From the glossy, celebrity-

magnet clubs of Kensington and Chelsea to the edgy urban hang-

outs in the east, every taste is catered for, and whether your idea of

 a good evening out involves chic hotel bars, old school cocktail

 lounges or, of course, the good old British pub, you won't be 

disappointed. The restaurant scene is one of the most eclectic and

 progressive on the planet, the theatres, museums and galleries are 

world-leading, and there are more music venues than you'll ever be

 able to visit.



55-61 Tabernacle Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 4AA.
Telephone: (020) 7036 9229
Definitely named after a certain Steve - images of the star of The Great Escape adorn the walls at this slick Shoreditch bar and restaurant located on the site once occupied by The Tabernacle. The main bar area is all polished wood and exposed brick work, a black and masculine space, while the basement has been transformed into a suitably moody, brooding space with comfy booths and a small stage. On Thursday night it’s ‘Secret Rendezvous’ which brings together the worlds of circus, burlesque and cabaret. There’s a theatrical quality to a lot of the design and the music policy suits the venue’s retro styling. Cocktails are taken seriously and executed with care and attention. The promised kitchen is now open and serves a well thought out selection of Modern European dishes.

Icebar London

31-33 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, W1B 4BN.
Telephone: 020 7478 8910
We will try and complete this review without resorting to puns about how chilled or cool this venue is but it will be a struggle. The Icebar London is exactly what you think, a bar constructed entirely out of ice. The only permanent ice bar in the UK, it’s kept at a constant minus 5 degrees. The ice is imported from Sweden and has been turned into bar form in a hidden spot behind Regent’s Street where visitors are required to wear silver capes and gloves to keep warm. Ice stools circle ice tables in front of ice art while ski suited barmen make vodka cocktails which are served in ice cube glasses. There’s a cover charge but that includes your first drink. The ice bar phenomenon may no longer seem as unique as it once did - the idea has been reproduced at a number of locations around the world - but it’s still a potent experience, a memorable night out and something you’ll be telling your friends about for days, if not weeks, to come.

Lost Society

697 Wandsworth Road, London.
Telephone: +44 0207 652 6526
This historic two-storey 16th century barn was once a Manor House that hosted a banquet for Queen Elizabeth I. Now it's a decadent, opulently designed restaurant-bar that's easy to get lost in along with the rest of Clapham high society. The building contains a Conservatory, Library Bar, Black & White Room, Crystal Ballroom, Oriental Lounge and - most appealing in summer - a Secret Garden, a shaded nook that you wouldn't know existed from the street. The ghost of a flower seller is said to haunt the halls, but drink away any fear you have by choosing from an array of potent cocktails that would make the most decadent Elizabethan flush. You'll hear no ghostly cries but - Thursday to Sunday - you will hear new DJ's spin funk, hip hop, house and retro beats. Get Lost Society yourself.

Bassoon Bar

Corinthia Hotel London, Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2BD.
Telephone: 020 7231 3000
The Corinthia Hotel is one of the newest additions to London’s luxury hotel market, a glittering palace of a place with views out over the Thames. Located just steps away from Whitehall, it’s packed with airy, stylish public areas, with one exception – the hotel’s Bassoon Bar is a low-lit, musically inspired space, the kind of venue one could while away an evening listening to piano music with a martini at one’s elbow. Designed by the ubiquitous David Collins Studio, it’s glossy in an understated way – vintage jazz art, lots of gleaming dark wood - it doesn’t shout, but still manages to exude a definite sense of glamour. The signature Bassoon Martini is an immediate winner, a complex, grown up drink (and the antithesis of their super-sweet Bubble Gum Martini). They stock a particularly varied range of vermouths, and an array of champagnes as befits a venue of this calibre. Prices are in keeping with the luxury surroundings.


16 Inverness Street, Camden Town, London, NW1 7HJ.
Telephone: +44 20 7424 9527
This stylish Thai bar and restaurant on busy Inverness Street is split over two levels. Upstairs Zensai boasts an attractive and comparatively tranquil dining area, complete with water feature, while downstairs there’s a hip, low-lit bar. The drinks don’t particularly reflect the zen theme of the restaurant area though that’s not necessarily a bad thing as they serve a seriously good cocktail (their Breakfast at Tennessee with whiskey and Grand Marnier packs a real punch). The food is well above average for a London Thai joint, full of fresh and inventive flavours; there’s a degree of attentiveness in the cooking that can be lacking in other, similar venues. The bar downstairs is laid back during the week but starts jumping on weekends, their club nights proving popular with an eclectic Camden crowd.

The Loft

67 , Clapham High Street, London, SW4 7TG.
Telephone: + 44 020 7627 0792
Not all that exciting from the outside, this is nonetheless a welcome addition to Clapham High Street. Once through the doors the appeal becomes clear. The brainchild of the people behind Brixton’s Plan B, the designers have gone for a New York vibe – very Lower East Side – with exposed air vents, candlelit tables, comfy leather sofas and large expanses of bare stone wall. The crowd is eclectic; trendy but casually so. The music is sharp, with on-the-money DJs, though there’s no dance-floor as such. Despite this, the atmosphere is always lively. The impressive selection of drinks helps considerably; the cocktail menu is particularly hefty with over 50 drinks. One of Clapham’s best.


35 Earlham Street, London, WC2 H9LT.
Telephone: +44 20 7240 2662
Stylish subterranean bar with long spiral staircase taking you way, way down to the seating area, which is divided into little capsules that all link up. Quirky but intimate, with a busy bar filled with bright young things on their way up. Hefty bar prices and the food is hardly free, although it is very good, so we forgive them.

Montgomery Place

31 Kensington Park Road, London, W11 2EU.
Telephone: +44 20 7792 3921
Imagine a world where alcopops had never been invented and where bars weren't awash with Red Bull. Now stop. Montgomery Place is a haven for the mature and sophisticated. Rising above such childish fripperies, it takes its inspiration from the halcyon days of the Ratpack. Think Sinatra in Vegas. Think Dean Martin trading quips with Sammy Davis Junior. Think old school at its best. MP has an extensive and broad-minded wine list on which you can find representatives from far-flung Brazil, Mexico and indeed Morocco. All deserve comment. As you lean against their dark oak bars, the colour of sherry barrels, why not treat yourself to supper from their small but perfectly formed menu? If you are lucky, you might see the ghost of Old Blue Eyes himself.


3 Chapel Market, Islington, London, N1 9EZ.
Telephone: +44 0871 223 5486
Close to the Elbow Room near hip Chapel Market, this tiny cocktail bar is big on style and oozes class. The creation of Irishman Niall Donnelly, the name is Gaelic for "life and soul" and you get plenty of both when you wander in. The modern-meets retro design includes a fish tank set between the men's and women's bathrooms and a glass floor in one section to look down on the red basement lounge bar below. In-the-know Londoners come to chill out to funky sounds played by name DJs and to sample drinks that are the real star of the show. Concoctions include the gin-rich Saigon Mistress with cucumber, and a Dr Strangelove masterpiece that's a smooth mix of bourbon with port and saké, topped with caramel. A rare London bar that treads its own path.


45 Buckingham Gate Westminister, London, SW1 E6BS.
Telephone: +44 0207 379 9797
Just a stone's throw from Victoria is the home of Europe's longest bar and some 36 metres is devoted to the art and science of seriously stylish drinking. This long yet intimately designed bar is complemented by a private dining room and splendid conservatory with a comfortable, polished modern feel, and is as great a venue for breakfast as evenings. The only problem is deciding the optimum position along the bar as you deliberate over your next classic cocktail...

Bar Red

5 Kingly Street, London, W1B 5PF.
Telephone: +44 0207 434 3417
Red by name and by nature. This Soho favourite bosts some seriously sexy décor, Spread over two levels, upstairs it's all plush private booths and chandeliers, an ideal spot for lounging with a coctail. For a livelier night hit the low-lit downstairs bar where live DJs play on most nights and the ambience is vibrant and fun. The crowd is Soho-stylish and laid-back, and the bar staff deliver the goods when it comes to drinks.


9 Conduit Street, London, W1S 2XG.
Telephone: 0870 777 4488
Heavily hyped on opening - much was made of the sky-high prices in the Lecture Room restaurant - this unique complex is also home to a tea room, gallery space and an excellent bar which has blossomed into one of the most distinctive drinking spaces in London. Fetchingly attired in neon pink and white, the West bar adjoins the vast East Bar lounge area, which you could mistake for the grand hall of a stately home were it not for the white leather walls and expertly mixed martini in your hand. Each area has its own stylish atmosphere, right down to the memorable egg-shaped toilets. Cocktails are slickly executed and as intoxicating as the design.


66 Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DS.
Telephone: +44 20 7930 0066
The Scots are coming and you can check out the classiest London-Tartan creations at Albannach, a whiskey, cocktail and fine-dining lounge right on Trafalgar Square. Spread over three floors, the décor has a plush member's-club feel, with oak floors, luxurious sofas, antler-chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling windows, and shots of Scottish landscapes on the walls. Try Scottish beef or Highland Lamb in the restaurant, or any of the 200 Scottish malts and whiskeys in the dark-hued downstairs lounge. There are also 40 cocktails to choose from. The bar has a mobile whisky trolley from which a sommelier offers tasting sessions, and there are five private downstairs booths kitted out with their own LCD screens to get cosy in. In short - the sleekest Scottish restaurant bar in the city.

Oxo Tower

Riverside Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, London, SE1 9PH.
Telephone: +44 20 7803 3888
Unmissable from the outside, comfortingly expensive inside, and worth it for the panoramic views of the Thames and London. The bar at the OXO Tower on the 8th floor has been revamped by Shaun Clarkson ID. It's a stylish, very contemporary space with a slight trace of camp. There's a curved white bar and the space is striking without detracting from the views, which remain the stars of the show. The cocktails are well-executed, crisp and clean, and it's at its best after dark when the city lights up and the bar fills with London's bright young things. We reccomend reserving one of the covetable tables by the window for a truly memorable night.


101 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 0SJ.
Telephone: +44 845 305 8337
Victoria’s Grosvenor Hotel is currently undergoing a massive £20m refurbishment care of the Guoman group. And it’s about time – this once grand railway hotel had been allowed to get distinctly shabby over the years. One of the first things to be completed (though scaffolding remains in place elsewhere), is the attractive Reunion, a chic champagne and cocktail bar with a shiny, shiny, chequerboard floor, both intimate and stylish and the kind of thing any traveller would want to come across at the end of their journey. The classic cocktails are all very well executed and they do a nice line in fizz.

The Collection

264 Brompton Road, London, SW3 2AS.
Telephone: 020 7225 1212
The Collection occupies a spot that’s housed a number of fashionable nightspots in the past. Accessed via an illuminated walkway and revelling in a coveted Brompton Road location, traces of this are evident in this new incarnation. The interior exudes New York chic, with a Tom Dixon-designed dramatic light fitting and a 60-foot bar to draw the eye. There are sumptous black velvet booths in which to sink with a drink and the cocktails are suitably stylish. The menu is south European in influence and well worth exploring.

Bar 45

45 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K1PN.
Telephone: +44 207 629 4848
The extremely stylish cocktail bar above Wolfgang Puck’s Cut restaurant exudes an understated Park Lane glamour. The interior is undeniably luxurious but also faintly masculine, with lots of polished wood and soft leather in earth tones. There are Damian Hirsts on the walls and an air of exclusivity. The drinks are as impeccable as you’d expect from a Mayfair bar of this calibre (the prices reflect this too). The seriously smooth Samurai Sword blends Japanese single malt whisky with honey and ginger; if you’re after something with more of a kick, try the Dragon’s Fire, with tequila, Cointreau, jalepeno and red grapefruit. To make the obvious pun, this place is a cut above.

Milk and Honey 
61 Poland Street, London W1F 7NU
020 7065 6840
The British incarnation of the legendary New York bar Milk & Honey has set itself some particularly high standards in terms of its décor, atmosphere and clientele but such attention to detail is also applicable to the expertly trained barman; not only are all fruit juices here freshly pressed even the number of shakes of the cocktail shaker have been specifically calculated and prescribed…it’s also no surprise that the ice for your drinks doesn’t come from a chugging machine in the corner but rather from a large block of frozen mineral water from which your ice-cubes are cut away by hand with a small ice pick! The bar staff have everything well and truly in hand so your only problem is how to get in. Non-members are permitted to drink there until 11pm, after which time the club is only open to members who have, of course, announced their intention to drop by first. But as a small consolation, at least you have the chance to visit London’s Milk & Honey at all; after all, the main bar in New York is exclusively for the use of members.

The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner
Telephone: 020 7259 5599
Apsleys - this is the first restaurant of celebrity chef Hines Beck, he created outside of Italy.Though he had a German, but in Italy he was able to achieve the impossible - open in the country La Pergola restaurant received three stars Michelin. The maestro himself calls hisculinary creations of the "air kitchen with a taste of the Mediterranean." Location of the restaurant speaks for itself - it is located in the premises of the famous hotel The Lanesborough, that a stone's throw from Hyde Park.
The restaurant offers two rooms, and two tasting rooms with an impressive list of wines, manyof which are available not including the glassThe chef promises Seen Apsleys - it's not justdinner and a little culinary adventureThe basic rate is to make Italian dishes with seafood, butthey is not all. The host institution also emphasizes the special atmosphere of the restaurant, which is created by the dim light and comfortable sofas.

Diva Beach
222 Fulham Road
SW10 9NB

A simple look into Diva Beach and you may have mistakenly thought you walked into an ice bar, which you partially have as the frosted Diva Beach is full of shining illuminated mirrored sights.  This may partially attribute to the name, as you will feel like a Diva simply by strolling into the cool limelight of the Diva Beach nightclub.  Fittingly the tunes are mostly funky dance beats and electronic techno mixes that will make you feel alive once you enter the same beach that Camilla Rutherford and Kelly Rowlands frequent from time to time.  Point of side interest, the house DJ is a favorite of both Prince William and Harry: Sam Young.


Ministry of Sound
103 Gaunt St, The Borough, London, SE1 6DP, 44 (0)20 7378 6528
Of course the world-famous Ministry has to appear on any list of London’s best clubs. This legendary venue has hosted a list of top international music stars that would fill a telephone book. The Ministry is usually the first stop for the club-savvy visitor to London.

77a Charterhouse Street, London, EC1M 3HN, 
44 (0)20 7336 8898
A strong contender to dethrone the mighty Ministry, Fabric is a hardcore, overwhelmingly intense experience that some critics have called the best club in the world. Fabric’s management is aware that the intensity of the place might be too much so they have equipped the chill-out rooms with full sized leather beds!

Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP

The London Sky Bar, is part of the Altitude London complex sits at the top of the Millbank Tower in the heart of Westminster. 

The bar offers  360º views over London and open Friday and Saturday from 6.30pm until late, guests can relax in elegant and minimalist surroundings whilst listening to the world’s best DJs and artists.
The London Sky Bar has harnessed the talents of some of the world’s top mixologists to create a range of drinks designed to stimulate or relax the senses. Signature cocktails include prescriptions such as Lavender Margarita, a beguiling blend of Tequila, fresh cucumber, fresh pineapple and hibiscus infused orange liqueur, and East & West which combines Bloom gin, fresh lemon grass, fresh ginger and lemon grass syrup.

Cirque du Soir London

12 New Burlington St London 

Cirque Du Soir opened in London at the end of 2009 and has been vibrantly glowing with its multi-coloured neon signed entrance in the heart of Mayfair. Guests are paraded with live circus performances from the Cirque Du Soir’s cast, which ranges from snake charmers and dwarfs, to contortionists and stilt walkers to name but a few. Along with an extravagant team of mixologist, performers and fancy dress all contained in a seductive burlesque atmosphere. Cirque Du Soir has indeed offered a new insight into the London, if not International club scene.

Bungalow 8

St Martin's Lane Hotel, 45 St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4HX
Bungalow 8 is the sister venue to Amy Sacco's notorious New York hangout of the same name. Housed in the big glass box that is the fashionable St Martin's Hotel, it's a members club that attempts to be as unashamedly exclusive as the original, courting celebrities and setting itself out as a party hotspot. As such, things don’t get going until a suitably late hour (post premiere, post product launch) and getting in can be a tricky exercise. But the drinks are well-made and some thought and care has gone into the interior – not always the case when the main aim of a place seems to be packing in the famous names. And of course, there's no VIP area, because the whole joint is aimed at VIPs. Doesn't quite have the same insane buzz as the New York equivalent but is probably more appealing as a result.

Bond Club 
24 Kingly Street, London, W1B 5QB
The concept of the club offers the latest refinements of modern technology. It is in Bond you will find the world's first interactive bar that allows you to always be in the spotlight, inwhatever part of the institution you are.
How does it work? Now, to order a drink, do not try to shout over the music or waving his arms- just touching the bar, and a ray of light appeared bartender will understand that you need his attention.
Special computer designs on the walls of light images, thanks to which the club is transformedinto a catwalk, then into a pit of fire. Projections themselves are sensitive and responsive to your touch. In short, the interior of the club - it's a canvas on which can be painted whateveryour heart desires.
The dress code of the club can be described in two words - bright, catchy and stylish, but what about music, the sounds are mostly house and R'n'B.

3 New Burlington Street
Luxx Club with capacity for 200 guests, showcases a spectacular glass runway of light which stretches through the front to the back of the club. Interiors include leather bench seating and black lacquer walls embedded with frosted glass and LED lights. There is also a private, walled garden. General Manager of Luxx, Andreas Jansson, previously at Cuckoo Club, oversees the wine, Champagne and eclectic cocktail list. The music offering is cutting edge, featuring established DJs from around the world on a state of the ATC sound system.

12 Acklam Road - Notting Hill
W10 5QZ
Opened at the beginning of December 2009, supper club London combines the many avant-garde, risqué and occasionally provocative elements that have made the original site in Amsterdam world-famous and inspired so many other concepts across the globe. Whether it be the food and drink, unique eating style, music, performances, DJs or visual art, supper club London is every bit as innovative, unique and daring as those who have visited the site in Holland, opened 17 years ago, would expect.  If you just want to look you should go to the theatre, at supper club, you make the experience.

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