London’s New Bar Openings
From low-key wine bars to big-deal cocktail spots, these are the new great places to have a drink that you should know about.
It’s all well and good going to a bar ‘where everyone knows your name’ but then chances are they also know about the time you tried to climb out of a window when your Hinge date mentioned marriage. No, sometimes it’s worth mixing things up and heading to somewhere new, exciting, and completely free from memories of hangovers past. That’s where this guide comes in. From shiny, show-stopping cocktail spots in London’s luxury hotels to cool and casual joints that are perfect for a little Thursday night debauchery, these are London’s newest and noteworthy bars.
The Dorchester has links to James Bond—it’s namechecked in the books and Ian Fleming dined here. Now the Park Lane hotel has named its revamped ground floor bar after 007’s drink of choice. Vesper Bar is suitably glitzy, with touches of green velvet and gold, and its signature drink is, naturally, a vesper martini—shaken, not stirred.
If you walk into a bar and see Liberace’s glittering piano, it really sets the mood to ‘glamour’. And that’s most certainly the theme at Artists’ Bar, another new drinks spot within Park Lane’s The Dorchester hotel. There are shiny, reflective surfaces to easily admire your fabulous self, champagne cocktails to sip, and oysters to snack on.
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Crouch End is the latest place where Humble Grape has opened a wine shop, bar, and restaurant. The space is bright and warm, with bottles lining exposed brick walls, and come summer, there’ll be a terrace out front. Like the other five locations around London, tastings and masterclasses will be on offer too.
photo credit: @lateef.photography
Notting Hill is currently home to some of London’s best new restaurants, and there’s a new cocktail bar to check out pre or post dinner. Viajante 87 describes itself as a ‘zero-waste’ bar, with leftovers and off-cuts repurposed and recycled. Expect classics alongside a focus on agave-based cocktails.
For a slice of Portugal in the City, head to Bar 1790. With the exception of a champagne and an English sparkling, the wine list is entirely Portuguese and there’s an extensive selection of port. Enjoy alongside tapas like salt cod croquettes and slivers of ibérico ham.
As well as being one of London’s best Italian spots, Trullo has opened an intimate wine bar next door to its Islington restaurant. As reported by Hot Dinners, the tiny, candlelit space serves a changing list of bottles alongside snacks like chicken liver crostini and focaccia.
For us, Covent Garden’s piazza triggers memories of dodging street performers and getting lost because it’s a Google Maps black spot. But we’re tempted by the sound of Stereo to brave the tourist crowds. It’s part bar, part restaurant, and part live music venue, so you can stay for a drink, for a bite, or the whole night.
Power up and refuel at Control Room B, inside the recently refurbished Battersea Power Station. They’ve gone all out to embrace the bar’s location, with restored control panels and equipment, and themed drink names. Rum-based Battery Licker or vodka and ginger High Voltage, anyone?
A ceiling carpeted in a floral installation, flower patterns on the chairs, plus marigold and lavender syrup in the cocktails. If you hadn’t guessed from the name, Florattica, London’s latest rooftop bar is big on flora. Grab your favourite plant person and head to the 11th floor of Canopy by Hilton London City in the Minories now.
Choose your own adventure at The Wealthy Beggar in Kensal Rise. Slip into a booth and sip creative cocktails in the upstairs bar, or head to the downstairs space which hosts DJs, quiz nights, and live music. There’ll also be small bites like wagyu tartare with truffle miso, and cheeseburger dumplings.
Denmark Street is synonymous with music and its latest watering hole, The Lower Third, stays true to those roots. The intimate bar is attached to a gig venue, but as much thought has been put into the cocktails as the line-up. There’s also a list of ‘Boilermakers’—a half pint paired with a shot, like Budweiser and Jack Daniel’s or Guinness and Laird’s apple brandy.
We have a big fat restaurant crush on Caravel, a floating barge in Islington that utterly charmed us with chicken liver pâté and a blood orange jelly that made our inner 10-year-old feel entirely seen. Now, the people behind Caravel have opened a bar on the adjacent barge, serving natural wines, classic cocktails, and new smoky mezcal creations. Plus, the bar is named after one of the founders' dogs and frankly, that's adorable.
The man, the myth, and the legend behind Dukes' infamous martini has opened a gorgeous—yes, we said gorgeous—bar inside the Corinthia hotel. There is so much velvet present we honestly don’t know whether to go there for a cocktail or the cosiest nap of our lives. The luxury champagne bar is inspired by the roaring ‘20s and the long cocktail list includes everything from a marmalade breakfast martini to a £23 truffle sazerac. Bottoms up darlings.
In the name of Mad Men and walnut lamps, we do declare Alma to be a very fit bar. A suave basement cocktail bar, it looks exactly like the kind of place where you could brood while sipping a whisky and umeboshi preserved plum cocktail. Find this new moody looker on Soho’s Great Marlborough Street.
We’d like to formally apologise to the letters ‘g’ and ‘e’, but we’re powerless in the face of orange wine. Kooky spelling aside, you can expect Catalonian whites, low ABV Jura reds, and of course, a whole lot of ‘oranj’ at this new cool and casual Shoreditch spot. A ‘pub for wine drinkers’, it’s from the people behind the lockdown-born, online natural wine shop of the same name. You can experience it IRL at 14 Bacon Street, behind Brick Lane.
If you’ve ever sampled Swift’s Solstice cocktail—the passion fruit and blood orange vermouth sbagliato that was hot before all the other sbagliatios—then you’ll be excited about this intel. London, we’ve got another Swift. The third location of this award-winning bar has opened in a two-storey space on Borough High Street, with a bright no-reservations ground floor and a more intimate ‘high-concept’ cocktails area downstairs. Oh, and the classic £7 aperitvos before 7pm deal is also available.
What is a sassy negroni? Short of envisioning a Jennifer Coolidge-infused Campari, we have no idea but that’s one of the cocktails being served at this new bar inside the Great Northern Hotel in King’s Cross. Next to the new Rails restaurant, there’s also vintage-look wallpaper, snazzy coupettes, and plenty of French wine to soften the blow of being this close to the Eurostar without an impending trip to Paris.
London, we have a new hotel bar and this one just so happens to be inside the Bow Street police station where Oscar Wilde was held, presumably for being an absolute legend. Over in Covent Garden, you’ll find ‘avant-garde cocktails’ inside the NoMad London hotel. Having snuck down to the subterranean lounge for a nosy peek when we visited NoMad’s other bar, Side Hustle, we can tell you that the space is deeply charming. One for fans of pink fringing and fancy light fittings.
A bar that specialises in axe throwing. What could possibly go wrong? A new boozer on Fitzrovia’s Eastcastle Street with quite the, erm, feisty USP, this place has colleague group party activity written all over it. Maybe don’t invite any disgruntled employees but when it comes to the bevs, you can expect an exciting assortment of pale ales, draught Whistle Punks lager, and a concise list of cocktails.
Technically this Mayfair pub has been open for over 200 years but it’s just had the ultimate face lift. Outside of pints and quaint bar snacks, The Audley’s new buzz word is ‘art’, with an impressive number of commissioned original pieces from famed artists. Basically, it sounds exactly like the kind of place you take someone for a third date when you’ve lied about knowing who Damien Hirst is and a little wine-sponsored culture is in order.
When you Google the name of this new speakeasy, you’ll find the TFL Lost Property Office complete with some deeply sensational and entirely apocalyptic Google reviews. It’s enough to make you fancy a drink so instead direct your attention to this speakeasy hidden inside BrewDog’s Waterloo location. It's from the man behind Scout, one of those bars that had the rep of being the best in the booze business, so you can expect creative takes on the classics with an avocado-infused mai tai, red wine foams on the sours, and an intriguing ‘martini roulette’. Fingers crossed you don’t end up having to contact the other Lost Property Office after your visit.
We are very sophisticated people—stop laughing, it’s rude—so we can say with great authority that Cavita in Marylebone is a gorgeous restaurant. Now, this new Mexican spot also has a basement cocktail bar and mezcaleria that looks just as date-night worthy as the restaurant. As you might have guessed, there’s a lot of high-quality mezcal available but we’re also very interested in the espresso and seven-year-old rum Black Mayan cocktail and the signature tequila blanco Cavita margarita.
Big up Zorro for pulling off capes long before Stormzy hit the Met Gala looking like the world’s most handsome tablecloth. And big up Uncle Zorro for providing the good people of Covent Garden with natural wine. A new intimate basement bar hidden beneath the daytime cafe of the same name, it’s got a 1970s look, a curated biodynamic wine list, and a ‘snug vault’ that sounds pretty perfect for your next group catch-up.
Small Beer specialises in crafting lower-alcohol beers which is fantastic news for anyone who has woken up to discover that last night’s pints have turned into today’s nightmare. More fantastic news: you can now hit up the brand new taproom inside Small Beer’s Bermondsey brewery for draught beers, board games, and live entertainment.
If you’re into that whole bar that looks like your coolest friend’s flat thing, then we have a feeling you’re going to be into Roxanne. A ‘hip hop speakeasy’ from the people behind Dirty Bones, this Shoreditch bar has 1980s New York loft energy alongside a manzanilla sherry house martini and classic cocktails. In keeping with the NYC theme, there are also pretzels and a take on—whispers in Jersey accent—street-cart dogs.
The people behind Barrafina have opened a new bar in Borough Yards. And London, it looks charming AF. Think high wooden stools, terracotta tiles, and gildas to nibble on between swigs of Spanish wine. First and foremost, it’s a sherry bar and, stunning news for those of us of the spontaneous persuasion, it’s walk-in only.
North London has got a new roof terrace and if you’re not a fan of rattan, you’re about to be. The Lucky Club has got that whole Ibiza beach club look going on and—whisper it—swing chairs. When it comes to the drinks, the focus is margaritas, including the frozen variety. Also, if you come during ‘Lucky Hours’ and roll a seven, your cocktail is on the house. Danny Ocean, eat your heart out.
The Little Red Door? Sounds like the latest daytime home makeover show sponsored by DFS. The Little Scarlet Door? Sexy, dangerous, somehow inexplicably linked to pirates in our minds. From the same people behind The Little Yellow Door, The Little Blue Door, and The Little… well, you get the idea, you can expect a faux house party feel. Find the bar on Soho’s Greek Street and try the Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. It involves pink gin, obviously.
If floral wallpaper is your interiors kink, then boy oh boy do we have the bar for you. From the people who brought us Cahoots, Bunga Bunga, and Mr Fogg’s—herein known as Mr. Fogg’s the first—this bar is located opposite Claridge’s and serves ‘restorative’ cocktails that involve absinthe, chilli-infused agave syrup, and… cough syrup bursting bubbles. No comment. For now, it’s open Tuesday to Saturday from 4pm until midnight, but we imagine those hours will push later if its other spots are anything to go by.