Top 5 London speakeasies
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, Spitalfields
Surprise the diners at The Breakfast Club in Shoreditch as you casually wander in and announce you’re there to see the Mayor. Guests are ushered through the ostensible Smeg fridge to descend into a darkened drinking den. The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is inspired by New York’s finest speakeasys and serves a mean cocktail; the Red Lady was our favourite and the Bloody Marys are to die for, as are the diner-style snacks including chilli fries and hot dogs. When you leave, you’re taken back in through The Breakfast Club through the My Little Pony loos to keep this place as secret as possible – also handy if you’re pulling a fast one from a bad date.
69 Colebrook Row, Islington
Quite simply the best cocktails we have ever had; it’s a bit of a struggle to find 69 Colebrook Row, but if you see a lantern above a door, then you’re in the right place. Heavily influenced by Prohibition-era style US bars, this place is an exclusive (read: very small!) but brilliantly executed bar, designed for cocktail connoisseurs . Unique ingredients and recipes are showcased in their ever-evolving cocktail menu, but the classics are mouth-tinglingly good too.
The Fourth Wall is Bourne & Hollingsworth’s mystery bar, designed to keep people guessing and challenging guests to find it. Sign up to the email and you will be sent a map, crossword or the co-ordinates to find this transient bar, which sets up a new residency every Friday and Saturday night. Once you have solved the puzzle and found the bar, expect great cocktails and kitsch vibes with music and dancing thrown in too. It’s like a modern-day treasure hunt, with cutesy décor and cocktails served in teacups as your reward.
When it comes to decadence, the Experimental Cocktail Club is where it’s at. Located through a bouncer-manned but otherwise unremarkable door on Chinatown’s Gerrard Street, this intimate speakeasy-style establishment is French opulence embodied. With waiters in waistcoats and a delicious and varied list of old-school drinks & cocktails, not to mention the full-fledged piano bar upstairs, this is a must-visit for anyone with a penchant for decadence (and a generous disposable income).
Milk and Honey, Soho
Yes it’s a private member’s bar, but here’s a tip – call early in the week and ask nicely, and you might just get a table. It’s not for nothing that this is regularly voted one of the best bars in the world – the cocktails are, quite simple, unsurpassable. Don’t know what you want? The cocktail waiter will whiz you up something you didn’t even know existed. Art deco influences abound amongst beautifully candle-lit tables and a sense of total exclusivity without pretension make this a seriously special spot.
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