During this visit, I’ve only spent a few days in London but we did pack in quite a few spots. We went to more than what’s on this list but not all of it was quite as good of an experience and I will not send you where I will not go again myself. Here are my favourite bars and restaurants in London, UK.
75-77 Marchmont St, London WC1N 1AP, United Kingdom
Beautiful restaurant that has a brunch and all-day menu. Come here for dinner, try the garlic snails or cured salmon. Indulge in a prawn linguini or barbecue chicken with a chimichurri sauce. Bon Vivant has a lush cocktail selection with expertly made martinis poured at the table. But there is also a fantastic wine list with a long selection of bubbles. The space gets packed quickly so make sure to make a reservation ahead of time.
East London Liquor Company (ELLC)
Bow Wharf, Unit GF1, 221 Grove Rd., Old Ford, London E3 5SN, United Kingdom
Distillery, bar, and restaurant with a wonderful outdoor space. Located in London’s East End this is a popular spot with a fun vibe and a fantastic drink selection. They distill gin, vodka, and whisky while rums are imported from Jamaica and Guyana. ELLC offers distillery tours for those interested in looking behind the scenes. The cocktail menu is a selection of carefully crafted drinks with simple names like “Gin + Asparagus” or “Tequila + Pumpkin”.
12 Old Compton St, London W1D 4TQ, United Kingdom
A classic spot in Soho with an upstairs bar and a basement den. The upstairs is an airy and open space with a rich selection of cocktails beers and wine. Swift is also known for their scotch selection which includes over 300 options from around the world. The downstairs at Soho has a very cool menu, one drink per page, each dedicated to a different celebrity. This menu is fittingly titled “Legends”. The cocktail selection is really interesting, for example, the ode to Hemingway is “Eden” a silky and rich rum-based cocktail. Snoop Dog’s bevi, on the other hand, is a tropical and refreshing vodka cocktail called “Long Beach”. Swift is included in the world’s top 50 best restaurants.
The Proofing Room Cocktail & Rum Bar
76 Commercial St, London E1 6LY, United Kingdom
Ok, so this is a cool concept. On the street level, it is Milroys of Spitalfields liquid shop that serves cocktails. Downstairs is a dark, intimate, stone and metal rum bar. This space used to be a pre-war bakery-proofing room, hence the name. The bar team is really friendly and if time permits will spend time going over the menu with you. Get a classic rum drink like “Old Man and the D-aiquiri,” rum twists on the classics (like “Apple Old Fashioned” and “Express-o Martini”), or something fun and fruity like “Jungle is Massive”.
17B Kingsland Rd, London E2 8AA, United Kingdom
This is an entire complex. There is a rooftop terrace, a small cinema, and my favourite – a cellar bar. The cellar bar is a maze of rooms with leather sitting, each in a way private for your group. The building is an old converted Victorian police station so each booth used to be a cell. The menu includes seasonal cocktails, all very unique. In the words of their lead bartender Saša Ruvidić “The inspiration behind this menu comes from the idea that gemstones, much like cocktails, are greater than the sum of their parts”. In addition to seasonal drinks are a rotating cast and guest menus. The vibe is also amplified by soulful music and occasional live sessions.
Bonus: The Toucan
19 Carlisle St, London W1D 3BY, United Kingdom
If you like Guinness, this is the place to be. Pouring more fresh Guinness daily than all of downtown Toronto the Toucan is an institution. Small little pub with an equally small area outside this pub spills out onto the street with tipsy patrons clutching on to dark pints.
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Also see My favourite bars and restaurants in Glasgow and My favourite bars and restaurants in Edinburg.
In the gear bag: Fujifilm X-T100 with an XF50mmF2 R WR lens. To see the trip on Instagram look up #xouk22.