So you might have noticed that I talk a lot about fashion and my personal style. This shouldn’t be too surprising considering that this is a fashion blog. But, where does the trendy Londoner, who is all dressed up and ready to mingle go for a drink at night? As bars and restaurants aren’t exactly my forte, I asked my friend Nina, founder and editor of Have You Heard Of It?, a fabulous online destination for everybody searching for recommendations of places to eat, drink, go, see and do – in London, New York and elsewhere, to hop on board of What Defines Us for a day and provide you, my lovely readers, with a curated list of her top five bars for fashionistas to enjoy cocktails in London. I hope you enjoy Nina’s article, and please don’t be shy to give us some feedback and your own reccommendations of places you like in the comment section below.
1. Talented Mr Fox
Located above One Leicester Street, between Chinatown and Leicester Square, you’ll find an expertly styled bar with the most experimental menu I’ve ever come across. With bright pops of yellow and Mid-Century Modern furniture, Talented Mr Fox is the brainchild of mixology celebrity Matt Whiley. With an in-house distillery for creating some seriously cunning flavours (think liquors infused with seaweed, pretzel and banana ketchup…), you can be sure your mind will be blown – in the most delicious way possible.
Talented Mr Fox
1 Leicester Street, London WC2H 7BL
Right on Sloane Square, The Botanist is a favourite hangout of the well-heeled and monied Chelsea set. A charming bar and restaurant, it’s worth a visit for the gorgeous interior alone. With glittering halo chandeliers hanging overhead and gorgeous leather seating, I recommend sitting up at the polished pewter bar for a late afternoon drink. Enjoy cocktails such as the Tea House Martini (with Earl Grey-infused gin and orange blossom water) or the exotic Lucky No.7 (fresh kiwi muddled with lemongrass vodka).
7 Sloane Square, London SW1W 8EE
Hoxley & Porter is an absolute gem on Upper Street, in Islington. Like stepping back in time to the 19th century, the bar is a colonial explorer’s sanctum. Entry is via a long train carriage-esque corridor, that opens up onto a bar furnished with sumptuous velvet furniture, potted jungle palms, low vintage lighting and accents of filigree gold leaf. Order reasonably priced cocktails from the waiting staff (who are suited and booted in period uniforms), and delight in stepping back to the age of steam in this timeless venue.
Hoxley & Porter
153 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 1RA
Located at the bottom of Rivington Street, Shoreditch’s trendiest avenue and home to fashion mecca, Start boutique, Callooh Callay looks fairly average at first glance. But average it is not. See that wardrobe at the back of the bar? I suggest you start channelling C. S. Lewis, open the door and go through the wardrobe… Your boldness will be rewarded as you enter cocktail Narnia – a cocktail lounge furnished in plush velvet and accented with vintage palm trees and retro chandeliers, where you can enjoy table service and order some of the best cocktails in the world (Callooh Callay has won countless awards, including World’s Best Cocktail Menu 2012 and 9th Best Bar in the World 2012!).
65 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3AY
Just a stone’s throw from Spitalfields and Petticoat Lane markets, down a dark and unmarked stairwell, you’ll find a rather fabulous cocktail bar. As the name suggests, this clandestine space was previously an old suit maker’s stockroom, and the recent makeover still features plenty of tailoring details – from the bar made out of an old cutting table to the mannequins dotted around the space, the dimly lit underground venue still evokes a 1980s suit shop feel. Cocktails are very reasonably priced, and served in wonderfully heavy crystal tumblers. Order from the menu, or request a bespoke cocktail – the bar staff will be happy to tailor drinks to your personal taste.
Discount Suit Company
29A Wentworth Street, near Spitalfields, E1 7TB