Ever wondered where the capital’s best bartenders go to get their favourite tipple? Read on for ten recommendations, courtesy of Phaidon’s latest book release Where Bartenders Drink

Chiltern Firehouse Hotel

Opening hours: Open 7 days
Reservation policy: Not accepted for drinks
Credit cards: Accepted
Price range: Affordable
Dress code: Smart casual
Style: Restaurant bar

“Beautiful people, beautiful decor makes you feel like you’re in The Great Gatsby. Once you’re in you completely lose control of time. Great bar snacks from Hugo Mendes and drinks made by the professional bar team impeccably dressed in white jackets.” — Erik Lorincz. 1 Chiltern Street, London W1U 7PA, Marylebone, United Kingdom
+44 20 7073 7676

chilternfirehouse.com

Artesian

The most recommended bar in this book by far by bartenders from around the globe, Artesian has won numerous industry awards and was voted #1 on the prestigious World’s 50 Best Bars list an unprecedented four years in a row (2012-2015).

It also won Best International Cocktail Bar in 2015 and World’s Best Cocktail Bar in 2014 at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards.

Opening hours: Open 7 days
Reservation policy: Not accepted for drinks
Credit cards: Accepted
Price range: Expensive
Dress code: Smart casual
Style: Cocktail bar

“When it comes to bars, there’s really no one that does it quite like Artesian. The bar is elegant and quite posh, but as soon as you get inside, they greet you like an old friend. It’s always such a treat coming here, and their innovative takes on drinks are sure to blow your mind! Do try the Colada, or the Langham Martini.”—Monica Berg

“Well, having won the title of World’s Best Bar more than once, you know that something special is going to happen when you visit the Artesian. Not only is it beautiful, it’s almost like watching a painting in real life. The energy, the chitchat, the ballet that takes place behind the bar, it is just a sensory experience. And that’s all before you even take a sip of the modern art in a glass that will inevitably end up in front of you. Just simply exceptional.”—Jamie Jones. 1C Portland Place, The Langham, Marylebone, London W1B 1JA +44 2076361000

artesian-bar.co.uk

Trailer Happiness

Opening hours: Open 7 days
Reservation policy: Accepted
Credit cards: Accepted
Price range: Affordable
Dress code: Smart casual
Style: Tiki Bar

“Good atmosphere and friendly people. If you are in the city for business and are going out alone for a drink, this is definitely the best neighborhood bar.”
—Hasse Bank Johansen. 177 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2DY, United Kingdom, +44 2070419833

trailerhappiness.com

Punch Room

Opening hours: Open 7 days
Reservation policy: Required
Credit cards: Accepted
Price range: Affordable
Dress code: Smart casual
Style: Cocktail bar

“I have always found the atmosphere and drinks perfect. I’ve had quite intimate nights in there, and raucous parties. Reservations are essential.”—Stu Bale. 10 Berners Street, The London Edition, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3NP, United Kingdom, +44 2079087949

editionhotels.com/london

Milk and Honey

Opening hours: Closed Sunday
Reservation policy: Accepted
Credit cards: Accepted
Price range: Expensive
Dress code: Smart casual
Style: Cocktail bar

“Always a good bar to go to with impeccable service. The guys there know how to make you comfortable. There is a real dedication and passion about the way things are done at Milk & Honey.”—Guillaume Le Dorner. 61 Poland Street Soho, London W1F 7NU, United Kingdom, +44 2070656800

mlkhny.com

 

High Water

Opening hours: Open 7 days
Reservation policy: Accepted
Credit cards: Accepted
Price range: Affordable
Dress code: Smart casual
Style: Cocktail bar

“High water was our first project back in London and we love that little bar.” – Mia Johansson. 23 Stoke Newington Road,  Stoke Newington, London N16 8BJ, United Kingdom +44 2072411984

highwaterlondon.com

69 Colebrooke Row

Another frequent listing on the World’s 50 Best Bar list, owner Tony Conigliaro is an icon in the cocktail world. The only sign is a numbered lantern outside. Commonly referred to as “69 Colebrooke Row”, officially the bar has no name. The cocktails are a full sensorial experience, like the Prairie Oyster, that looks like an oyster, served in a shell, made with a tomato “yolk.”

Opening hours: Open 7 days
Reservation policy: Accepted
Credit cards: Accepted
Price range: Affordable
Dress code: Smart casual
Style: Speakeasy

“Tony Conigliaro was one of the first to apply molecular science to libations. All the research is done in his lab above the bar, so cool. What’s better than sitting down in a room inspired by a 1950s Italian café, and sipping on a champagne cocktail that has somehow reconstructed the famous Chanel No. 5 scent.”—Vincent Stipo

“It’s the kind of place where you can have all these drinks that have gone through the rotovap . . . and yet there’s a tranny band playing, or a honky-tonk piano guy. And I like that, I like a good bit of fun mixed in with mysterious.”—Dave Arnold. 69 Colebrooke Row, Islington, London N1 8AA, United Kingdom +44 7540528593

69colebrookerow.com

White Lyan

White Lyan is the brainchild of Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka “Mr. Lyan.” The inventive cocktail list features house spirits and ingredients, eschewing ice, perishables and brands. You can also purchase off-menu cocktails to take home. At the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, Chetiyawardana was named International Bartender of the Year in 2015 and White Lyan won Best New International Cocktail Bar in 2014. The bar has also been included in the World’s 50 Best Bars list since it opened.

Opening hours: Open 7 days
Reservation policy: Accepted
Credit cards: Accepted
Price range: Affordable
Dress code: Smart casual
Style: Cocktail bar

“Unique concept, unique flavors, only perfect drinks.” —Oliver Ebert

“A really interesting, almost revolutionary view at making drinks … their experiments will determine what other bars will do in the next decade.”—Ivar de Lange. 153-155 Hoxton Street, Hoxton, London N1 6PJ, United Kingdom +44 2030111153

whitelyan.com


Sager + Wilde

Opening hours: Open 7 days
Reservation policy: Accepted
Credit cards: Accepted
Price range: Affordable
Dress code: Casual
Style: Wine bar

“Whenever I have a night off in London, this is the most likely place you’ll find me. I love the relaxed atmosphere and the amazing wine by the glass menu, which changes daily. They always have very interesting selections, and should you feel hungry, they do great bar food as well.”—Monica Berg. 193 Hackney Road, Hackney, London E2 8JL, United Kingdom +44 2081277330

sagerandwilde.com 

Happiness Forgets

Opening hours: Open 7 days
Reservation policy: Accepted
Credit cards: Accepted but not AMEX
Price range: Affordable
Dress code: Casual
Style: Cocktail bar

“Hands down, my favourite cocktail bar.”—Ryan Nightingale

“A real hidden gem. The setting is casual and relaxed, with low lighting and just a handful of seats and bar stools, but the cocktails are truly excellent.”—Ago Perrone

“The first time I went, I felt like I had discovered a secret nobody else knew about. It reminded me of a locals bar in Spain or France. Exposed brick walls, not an over- filled back bar, just select, great bottles of liquor. Drinks are simple and elegant, and damn moreish. Too moreish.”—Jamie Jones. 8-9 Hoxton Square, Hoxton, London N1 6NU, United Kingdom

happinessforgets.com  

Where Bartenders Drink available from Phaidon, £16.95

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