Sometimes flawless food and amazing cocktails just aren’t enough. We want it all and because we like excuses to hit the town nightly, we need to pull more tricks outta the bag to keep things interesting. Like a friend with benefits, these bars are giving us the best of both worlds.
Get dialled in
Head down to the London Cocktail Club on Goodge Street and take advantage of their awesome Monkey Shoulder phone booth, complete with a street lamp post and a phone book that doubles up as a menu. The best part?!… The cocktails are poured through the PHONE… Insane and f*cking cool. Plus it’s free to hire this beast… DO IT.
61 Goodge Street, London W1T 1TL
Beers out of a gas pump
This preppy East Coast American beach club style bar is in the heart of Covent Garden and gives us a bit of everything. It serves seriously tasty pizza, great American-themed cocktails and has Hampton’s beach party vibes throughout its wood panelled space. What’s really got us hotting up are the hamburger phones on each table that you can use to chat to the next table - friendly - and the wardrobe in the corner that you can use to get up close and personal with some hottie - SUPER friendly. Team that with beer served from a vintage gas pump and you’ve got some novelty action all night long.
33 Earlham Street, Seven Dials, London, WC2H 9LD
Cosmic healing and chilled vibes
This friend offers pretty much anything. If it were human, it would probably be one of those extracurricular mates who makes you feel bad about yourself, but in bar terms we love it. They have stuff on every day of the week from film nights, jazz nights, dance classes, poetry sessions, cosmic healing (sure), open mic nights and more. Spoilt rotten.
1 Richmond Rd, London, E8 4AA
A shoe-in for footwear repair
When your favourite pair of heels need some sole love they usually get chucked in the back of the wardrobe to the sound of tears and regret, but the Fox and Pheasant have a goddamn cobbler so getting those babies repaired can be done over a pint. You’re not gonna get ‘em back straightaway though so remember a spare pair or it’s the barefoot walk of shame home.
1 Billing Road, Chelsea, London SW10 9UJ
Bring Your Own Tunes
A night out needs good music so we love Duck Soup’s “Bring Your Own Vinyl” sitch. We’re so over bring your own booze, this rule makes things way more interesting. Anything goes: blues, rock, dance, classical, maybe even a Disney ballad will get involved. Get our your guilty pleasures and hold back the judgey face, someone’s gotta like Bieber.
41 Dean Street, London W1D 4PY
Play dress up
What’s better than a hidden bar in a block of flats to keep out the riff raff? Fancy dress, that’s what. Once the doorman has decided whether you’re worthy or not, jump in and dive into the dressing up box. Batman outfit, anyone? Hands off the leather lederhosen though, that’s got our name written all over it. Who doesn’t love a bit of role play…
Chelsea Cloisters, London, SW3 3DW
Bowling and boozing
So this one’s a little obvious but bowling and drinking go hand in hand. Plus we usually find that drinking actually helps to hit those lucky strikes. Take a big group, embrace the 50’s vibes and hit that massive bourbon list.
Tequila-fuelled football fun
Not only is this Mexican haven hidden under Wardour Street’s Wahaca but they’ve chucked in a couple of football tables to make things interesting. Tequila teamed up with table football totally gets two thumbs up from us. Everyone can play, everyone can drink tequila. Winning.
80 Wardour Street, Soho, London, W1F OTF
Fan of the theatre but couldn’t get tickets to Mamma Mia? Then this is the place for you. When your cocktails arrive, sit back and wait because your waitress is probably about to break into “I Need a Hero”... Thought she was a bit cocky when you were ordering? Now it’s all becoming clear, these are no ordinary bartenders, these guys got musical.
3-4 Archer Street, Soho, London, W1D 7AP
Booze, balls and boobs
Clue is in the title. If you like paying pub prices, watching the footie and t*ts in your face, this one’s for you. Beats the local, right?
30 Dean St, London, W1D 3SA
Wreck the mic
Karaoke: you might love it or you might hate it, but here they have leather seats, a disco ball and an added booze button. Yes, a booze button. So clear your vocal chords, get singing and when you get a bit of a dry throat don’t hesitate to press that button for your next boozy boost of liquid courage.
19 Kilburn Lane, Kensal Green, London, W10 4AE
Can’t afford the ski trip this year? Not a problem. Head to Regent Street, and enter this total igloo bar for a quick drink. You’ll be fleeced with a fur-hooded, padded poncho with the world’s thickest (probably) mittens then shuffled into this frozen haven where practically everything is made of ice, from the chairs to the glasses. It’s pretty cool. Pun intended.
31 Heddon Street, London, W1B 4BN
Bowls with booze
If you’re not really into all things French, you may not have heard of Pétanque before… but think bowls on gravel (you chuck ‘em rather than roll ‘em) and you’re pretty much there. Grab some mates and book yourselves in. Grab some food, get stuck in with their awesome cocktails and get down with bowls comme les Français.
115 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1PP
Bring your own baby
The bar where you bring your own booze… for real. Pick your poison before you arrive and then hand it over to your personal bartender and let them get on with it. They’ll make you all sortsa cocktails with their own supplies and fill you up with as much as booze as you can fit into your two hour slot. Awesome.
28 Bedfordbury Street, Covent Garden, London WC2 N4BJ
Concert seats without the aggro
This bowling alley has a few perks up its sleeve. Sure you can bowl as you drink, whatever, standard. BUT, you can also watch whoever’s rocking the O2 stage whilst they stream the whole show. Screw getting a ticket in the nosebleed seats, this is way better.
The O2, London, SE10 0DX
From karma to korma
This Tooting cocktail haven is bringing the Indian-raj vibes to the south for an all day spot that will make you feel pretty damn good. Head over in the morning for coffee and a yoga sesh then stay ‘til dinner time when you can use their retro phone to order in a curry.
14 Trinity Road, London SW17 7RE
Pay me by the hour
This is Westbourne Grove’s friendliest local with the added bonus of fresh cocktails, booths, great food and DEALS… Hell yeah, we love ourselves some of them. Head down here for their “beat the clock” sesh between 5 and 8pm. Order up a cocktail and you’ll pay whatever the price of whatever time it is, eg order at 5:15pm and pay £5.15. Sprint after work and you’ve got yourself a nice little discount!
65 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 4UJ
They have an otter taxidermy with a huge rubber dildo attached. What do you mean that’s not a benefit?
343 Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9RA
From AM to PM
These guys have WiFi and free coffee refills during the day… we say make it your office then stay for the after work mayhem!
5 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8AA
A f*cking bucking bull
Not only do they have three different floors of cocktails and food madness, but on Mondays they have a BUCKING BULL. Arrange a meeting with a client and let that all important deal hang on who lasts the longest. Same applies for date night. Plus Monday’s also have ribs and shrimp for £16.95. Monday is the new Friday.
147 Leadenhall Street, London, EC3V 4QT
Mind the gap
Looking for some wartime meets TfL nostalgia? Track down the “to the train” signs in Kingly Court then get underground, chat up the ticket inspector then step aboard the original 1940s tube carriage. All the drinks are based on rationed ingredients and are garnished with Oxo cubes and pear drops. There’s an air raid shelter booth too, you know, because.
Kingly Court, Carnaby Street