As summer segues into autumn, there’s never been a better time to visit to some of the best new bars in London. The capital has played host to a flurry of exciting openings over recent months, from glamorous cocktail bars and hot rooftop spots to natural wine bars. Whether you’re planning to book into the majestic Gothic Bar at the Midland Grand or keep things low key at the latest Noble Rot outpost in Mayfair, there’s no shortage of drinking destinations to add to your list. Here, we’ve rounded up the best London bars to be seen in this season.
new bars in London
Shoreditch Arts Club
When it comes to the best new bars in London, the bar at the Shoreditch Arts Club is right at the top of our list. Creatives have been flocking here ever since its doors first opened in March, thanks to its thought-provoking art collection and cultural events. But it’s also become known for its destination bar, which is helmed by award-winning mixologist Walter Pintus. There, the cocktail offering is as eclectic as the artworks that line the walls, with inventive drinks like Cheeky Thyme, made with Patron Reposado, lemon thyme, Fino sherry, verjus and pink grapefruit soda, on the list.
Alongside these you’ll find a range of low intervention wines, kombuchas and CBD-infused wellness drinks, for those looking for more laidback alternatives. Naturally, the bar has been designed in keeping with the rest of the club, so instead of a typical back bar you’ll find a huge sculpture by Joey Holder in the place of bottled alcohol and glasses, made up of driftwood, a 3D printed object and silicone sculptures.
6 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DD
The Midland Grand Dining Room at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in King’s Cross has been one of the most hotly anticipated openings of the year, and with it the arrival of its atmospheric Gothic Bar. Helmed by bar manager Jack Porter (formerly of Booking Office 1869 and Library Bar at The Ned), the bar was named in honour of the building’s Gothic Revival style and features suitably opulent décor, with frescoed ceilings, velvet furnishings and marble table tops.
In keeping with the heady atmosphere, the cocktail list centres around the potent flavours of Eau de Vie, a pure, clear and unaged brandy, distilled in fruit. Top tipples include The Menagerie, made with asparagus Eau De Vie and Vermouth topped with soda, and the Eau de Martini, which sees X Muse (the first blended barley spirit from Scotland) combined with a grand vermouth blend and a choice of Eau de Vie profiles to be spritzed on top. Alongside the cocktails you’ll find a hand-picked selection of absinthe, resurrecting the 19th-century favourite for a new audience.
Euston Road, King’s Cross, London NW1 2AR
Noble Rot, Mayfair
Renowned wine bar Noble Rot already has locations in Soho and Bloomsbury, and now it’s added a third outpost in Mayfair. Located just off Shepherd Market, the new spot follows the same formula as the others, serving up seriously good wine alongside excellent French-inspired plates of food – think warm boudin noir and pickled apricot, roast veal chop with sauce charcutiere and strawberry clafoutis.
Of course, while the food is good, it’s all about the wine here – die-hard devotees swear it’s the best wine list in London. And it should be, considering it runs to 41 pages. On there, you’ll find everything from picks from England and Wales to French beauties and vin doux naturel sweet wines, but if the thought of reading through it one by one feels overwhelming, ask one of the knowledgeable members of staff to pick out something you’re bound to love.
5 Trebeck Street, Mayfair, London W1J 7LT
This new night spot in Fitzrovia bills itself as a ‘sophisticated and eccentric underground cocktail bar’, where potent drinks are paired with delectable dim sum dishes. The bar takes inspiration from the 1957 novel The World of Suzie Wong by Richard Mason, which tells the story of a heady romance in 1950s Hong Kong. In keeping with the theme, the cocktail list features plenty of old classics with inventive Asian twists, like the Cherry Blossom Manhattan, which combines Goji infused Maker’s Mark bourbon, Courvoisier VSOP Cognac, Mancino Sakura vermouth with cherry bitters and goji berries.
The sultry subterranean spot plays host to live music on weekday evenings, with Soho showgirls, top pianists and jazz artists all part of the regular line-up (much of the entertainment has been curated in keeping with the bar’s retro inspiration). Come the weekend and it’s all about the DJs, with big names coming to spin the decks until the small hours.
33 – 34 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1JN
The recent opening of 20 Berkeley has got London restaurant lovers all abuzz and has garnered rave reviews from critics, but now all eyes have turned to Nipperkin, the restaurant’s underground bar, which is very much a destination in its own right. In keeping with 20 Berkeley’s ethos, the bar follows the same English country manor house vibe, with plenty of cosy nooks to while away the evening in.
The menu, curated by bar manager Angelos Bafas, is a celebration of the best of British produce and features more than a few unusual ingredients. Standout creations include the ‘Aged’ Kelp, a blend of seaweed aged for half an hour, paired with fresh Norfolk mint alongside roasted Kent hazelnuts, and the Black Mustard, a gimlet blended with Dorset wasabi distillate and Cotswolds apple eau de vie. Inventive and unexpected, it’s the antithesis of a flashy Mayfair cocktail bar, in the best possible way.
20 Berkeley Street, Mayfair, London W1J 8EE
You may have already heard of Kwānt. When the bar was first opened by award-winning bar industry veteran Erik Lorincz (who was head bartender at The Savoy’s American Bar for eight years) in 2019, it swiftly landed a number six spot on the prestigious World’s Best 50 Bars list. The pandemic forced its closure, but now it’s back after an 18-month renovation, having moved from its original Heddon Street location to Stratton Street. The new design is stunning, with a huge island bar dominating the centre of the room and three individual bar stations, where guests can enjoy a chef’s table-esque experience, seated right next to the bartender.
And trust us when we say you’ll want to be as close as possible when you see these concoctions being created. Skillful mixologists are on hand to knock up enticing and unusual drinks, like the Gonzales, made with tequila, guava, makrut lime, 30/40 eau de vie and CO2. Bar bites are just as eclectic, created by top chef Joni Ketonen, who’s worked at The Fat Duck, Jason Atherton and St John. We have a feeling it won’t be long until they find themselves right back on that list again.
52 Stratton Street, Mayfair, London W1J 8LN
If you’re a fan of Sager + Wilde, you need to get yourself down to Equal Parts, which was founded by the same team behind the perennially popular wine bar. The Hackney Road spot started out as a wine and coffee shop but has now transformed into an Amaro and Aperitivo bar. Housed in a distinctive avocado-green tiled building, it’s already become a firm neighbourhood favourite since opening in the spring.
The interiors are pleasingly retro, with an old fashion record player behind the bar and vinyls stacked on the shelves. There are plenty of brilliant cocktails to choose from, including ice cold Martinis and cleverly balanced wine cocktails, but the main draw here is the seasonal negronis, made with infused Campari. One time it could be blended with Jerusalem artichoke, another time with strawberry and fig leaf – it all depends what’s in season and what catches the bartender’s eye.
245 Hackney Road, Hackney, London E2 8NA
New Brazilian hot spot Bossa has caused quite a stir since opening in Marylebone, and its underground lounge and bar, Maroto, is destined to be just as popular as Alberto Landgraf’s restaurant upstairs. This is a late-night spot in the truest sense of the word – on Thursdays it’s open until 3am, while on Fridays and Saturdays closing time doesn’t come until 5am, where you’ll see revellers emerging into the dawn light from the moodily-lit subterranean bar. The striking interiors combine Art Deco styling with authentic Brazilian flair – the low-lit bar is complemented by strikingly patterned wallpaper, while guests drink and dine on marble tables from plush sofas.
The well-executed cocktail list features drinks with an unsurprisingly Brazilian twist, with highlights including the Basilao, a mix of Zeca de Mato Cachaça, apple, egg white, basil, lime, and orange, and the Oba Oba, a potent blend of Fernet Branca, JW Black Label, Ketel One, Mezcal Amores Espadin, Cointreau, coke, and lemon. The bar snacks are just as elevated, ranging from crab pastel with açai dip to Bossa’s signature pan-fried scallops with Tucupi sauce from the Amazon. But, above all, this is a place to come and let your hair down, with a stellar line-up of DJs curated by Shane Mac, who’s worked with the likes of Calvin Harris and Beyoncé, in conjunction with DOC Records Brazil.
4 Vere Street, Marylebone, London W1G 0DH
Bar Antoine at Four Seasons Hotel at Park Lane
London is full of splashy new restaurant openings right now – case in point, the arrival of Pavyllon London at the Four Seasons Hotel at Park Lane, multi-Michelin-starred French chef Yannick Alléno’s first ever restaurant in the capital. And where there’s a great new dining spot you can bet there’s also an equally brilliant bar, which here takes the form of Bar Antoine. Designed as a place to celebrate, converse and connect, it was created as a beautiful tribute to the joyful spirit of Chef Yannick’s late son, Antoine.
The cocktail list was created as a collaboration between the culinary team and head mixologist Michele Lombardi (who formerly headed up the bar team at The Ritz), and features a series of reinvented classics, like a Smoky Negroni and a Pear Sidecar, sitting alongside complex original creations, including Chef Yannick’s signature Allenotics (the reinvented Gin & Tonic) and his innovative spirit-free extractions. We recommend booking on a Thursday, where you’ll be treated live music from some of London’s most sought-after jazz musicians.
Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, Hamilton Place, Mayfair, London W1J 7DR
3’6 at Fortnum & Mason
Earlier this year, beloved department store Fortnum & Mason unveiled their brand-new third floor, revolutionised to include an experiential hub dedicated to all things food and drink. Also on the third floor you’ll now find their newly revamped bar, 3’6. Pronounced ‘three and six’, the name is a nod to the historic cost of hiring Fortnums to host a cocktail party in a guest’s home, and the space certainly has that intimate, homely feel, with rich velvet sofas to sink into and patterned lampshades lending it a cosy air.
By day it’s a spot where weary shoppers can refuel with coffee and cake, but by night it transforms into a speakeasy-style cocktail lounge, where guests can mix their own drinks as part of a special ‘Made to Measure’ section of the menu. If you’d rather leave that job to the professionals, you can choose from six signature drinks from the bar, including The Tesseract, a twist on the Vieux Carré, or a selection of classics. Art aficionados will also like the fact that the walls are being used to host rotating art exhibitions, the first being a series of works by street photographer Allan Schaller.
181 Piccadilly, Piccadilly, London W1A 1ER
Paradise: After Dark
By now, you’re probably familiar with Paradise, the buzzy Sri Lankan restaurant in Soho that opened to critical acclaim in 2019. Now Dom Fernando is taking on the nightlife scene by transforming the restaurant into a late-night spot every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Come 10pm, the lights go down, the dishes are swept away and all eyes turn to the brutalist stainless steel bar in the centre of the room.
Here, head bartender Erin Mulkerrin-English concocts unique Sri Lankan house batched cocktails that have already garnered a cult following. Packed full of flavour, popular choices include the Rhubarb and Rose Manhattan, blended with Regal Rogue rosé vermouth and Kimbula Kithul, and the Rambutan and Curry Leaf Daquiri, made with coconut rum.
61 Rupert Street, Soho, London W1D 7PW
When famed nightclub The Cross reopened earlier in the year it caused quite the buzz, and mid-May saw the launch of Wild, the club’s standalone restaurant on the first floor, as well as its ground floor bar. The vibe here is distinctly cool, with décor to match – think exposed brick and steel, stripped back floors and vintage leather furniture sourced from various fashion houses in Italy.
The cocktail list is made up of a range of signature drinks and there’s also a well curated selection of biodynamic and low intervention wines available. But really, it’s all about the music here. As you might expect, the bar will be playing host to an ever-changing roster of big name and up-and-coming DJs – next up, award-winning British DJ/composer KosmetiQ will be taking to the decks.
2-4 Wharfdale Road, King’s Cross, London N1 9RY
Tucked away under the railway arches in Forest Gate you’ll find this charming natural wine bar, which has already become a firm favourite with the locals. The team here learnt their trade at Noble Rot, Pidgin and Planque and are deeply knowledgeable about wine, particularly those from small producers. The selection on offer is pleasingly broad, from easy-drinking piquettes to more elegant classics.
The intimate space is a bustling hive of activity come sundown, with friends catching up over crisp glasses of white and seasonal small plates on candlelit tables. The well-curated menu of nibbles is just as inviting as the wine list, with an ever-changing selection that might include beetroot, cherries and lardo one week, Cornish mackerel and peas the next.
353 Winchelsea Road, Forest Gate, London E7 0AQ
If you’re venturing to the chef’s table restaurant Counter 71 in Shoreditch, make sure you pay a visit to their newly-opened underground bar, Lowcountry. Inspired by the American South and named after the area which spans from Mid-coast Georgia to North Carolina, famed for its Bourbon and Rye, it’s headed up by Savannah-born mixologist Ryan Sheehan and features a menu that highlights American whiskey and its prominence throughout the ages. The cocktail menu is split into three sections – ‘Signature’, ‘Historical’ and ‘Classic’ – and all the drinks are made using surplus produce from the Counter 71 kitchen, in a bid to eliminate unnecessary waste.
The bar’s ‘Signature’ cocktails in particular will incorporate a range of complicated techniques, including fat-washing, maceration, gelling and infusions, to create new flavour sensations. Standout tipples include the Hot Tomato, made by combining tomato water, jalapeno-infused tequila and basil oil with salt, and the Fat-Fashioned, a concoction of bacon-washed Bourbon, maple syrup and creole bitters. They’re all accompanied by lowcountry-inspired light bites devised by Counter 71 chef Joe Laker, which include pimento cheese rarebit, shrimp and grits and fried okra.
71 Nile Street, Shoreditch, London N1 7RD