With Christmas fast approaching, Absolutely seeks out the best party venues across London
BEST FOR A chic night out in Chelsea.
WHY? Known on King’s Road for its extravagant cocktails, JuJu has become the jewel in the crown of Chelsea’s nightlife scene. Celebrate a special occasion by sampling quality cocktails and a unique tapas menu.
STYLE Exclusive cocktail bar.
SIGNATURE COCKTAIL Chelsea Country Garden
316-318 Kings Road, SW3 5UH. 020 7351 5998; jujulondon.com
BEST FOR An authentic Mexican fiesta.
WHY? After eight years of always using the best Mexican ingredients, local produce and local suppliers where possible, chef-patron Fernando De la Cruz invites you to taste the most authentic Mexican food this side of the Atlantic. This Christmas, celebrate in the heat of a latin night.
STYLE Friendly and relaxed with weekend DJs spinning South American beats.
SIGNATURE COCKTAIL Classic Margaritas.
299 Portobello Rd, London W10 5TD. 020 8968 4590; santolondres.com
BEST FOR Abusing the expense account.
WHY? You’re sipping exquisite champagne on floor 52 of The Shard, looking down at the city’s skyline as it shimmers below after a indulgent meal. Only to follow it up with special Christmas cocktails to get you in the mood for the festive season and also the hangover the next day.
SIGNATURE COCKTAIL Shanghai Martini.
Level 52 The Shard, 31 St Thomas Street, SE1 9QU. 020 7234 8208; hutong.co.uk
BEST FOR Classic Swedish meatballs and Akvavit.
WHY? The menu boasts Nordic staples such as full Swedish breakfast (eggs any style, ‘prins’ sausages, avocado, Västerbotten cheese and crisp bread) and koldolmar (white cabbage, red lentils, mushrooms, onions, garlic, herbs and boiled new potatoes).
STYLE Whitewashed walls adorned with posters from the 1922 Swedish prohibition referendum.
SIGNATURE COCKTAIL Swedish Mary.
305 Portobello Road, W10 5TD. 020 8964 8293; lisasportobello.com
Beach Blanket Babylon
BEST FOR A hot date or an intimate dinner party.
WHY? This gorgeous Georgian mansion boasts sexy interiors with eclectic chandeliers, cosy nooks by imposing fireplaces and a buzzy bar. The 120-seat restaurant serves excellent modern British and European food while bespoke banqueting caters for up to 350 guests.
STYLE Baroque and rococo meets French chateau.
SIGNATURE COCKTAIL Porn Star.
45 Ledbury Road, W11 2AA. 020 7229 2907; beachblanket.co.uk
Eight Over Eight
BEST FOR Pan-Asian tapas and Asian-inspired cocktails.
WHY? This local favourite is as reliable as the day it opened. The sharing menu includes superb dim sum, curries, stir-fries and salads – think chilli salt squid, gyoza dmplings, BBQ Korean lamb with kimchi, and of course, black cod in sweet miso.
STYLE Modish black-and-cream interiors pointed up with Oriental screens.
SIGNATURE COCKTAIL Passion Fruit & Cinnamon Martini.
392 King’s Road, SW3 5UZ; 020 7349 9934; rickerrestaurants.com
BEST FOR Traditional wood-fired pizzas and Sunday roasts.
WHY? This independent public house and hotel offers classic dishes and an expertly crafted drinks list, plus stunning events spaces for hire, whether for cocktails and canapés or private dinner parties.
STYLE A lively ground floor and a bright first floor with views over Orange Square.
SIGNATURE COCKTAIL Cubitt Mojito.
37-39 Pimlico Road, SW1W 8NE. 020 7881 9844; theorange.co.uk
Paradise By Way of Kensal Green
BEST FOR Impressive food and partying.
WHY? This gastropub, bar and live music venue is a fab all-rounder, with a restaurant headed up by Cat Ashton and a line-up that includes special guests such as DJ Yoda, Norman Jay, art shows and supper clubs.
STYLE Decaying glamour with a hint of country house charm.
SIGNATURE COCKTAIL White Negroni.
19 Kilburn Lane, W10 4AE; 020 8969 0098; theparadise.co.uk