LDNGuide

London’s New Bar Openings

From low-key wine bars to big-deal cocktail spots, these are the new drinking spots 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 bars in London’s luxury hotels to cool and casual dive bars that are perfect for a little Thursday night debauchery, these are London’s newest and noteworthy bars.

June 2022

Bar Daskal

££££

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. 


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The Lucky Club Camden

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. 


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The Little Scarlet Door

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. 


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Mr. Fogg's Apothecary

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. 


May 2022

Provoking our die-hard association with cute dogs. Very smart. A new rooftop bar with some entirely casual 360-degree views of London, it appears to be a serious cocktail situation. You know, the kind of place where the drinks have broody one-syllable names and distilled mint features amongst the ingredients. Judging from the drink’s list, they have a huge variety of spirits and there are crab sliders available in case you get peckish. Also, turns out a wagtail is a type of bird. Still cute. 


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Laurel's On The Roof

We salute the ambition of opening a poolside bar inspired by the Hollywood Hills in a city where it takes you six months to realise that you’ve lost your sunglasses. Anyway, Laurel’s on Curtain Road is London’s latest glam rooftop and in the interest of having The Best Summer Of Your Life, you should know that they’re serving up frozen spicy margaritas alongside live DJ sets. Open from 7am until 11pm, the pool does look very dreamy and they’ve also got a menu of 70s-inspired snacks. 


April 2022

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Nightjar Carnaby

££££

‘Nightjar is a speakeasy done right’. That’s what we said about the original Nightjar in Shoreditch, a cool little bar offering up live jazz, good times, and classy cocktails. Now, they’ve opened a second bar in Carnaby and they’re serving up the same combination of old-school glamour and vintage spirits. You can find their nightly schedule of live music here, but be sure to book ahead. We have a feeling it’s going to be just as popular as the original. 


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Soda & Friends

££££

In case you didn’t guess it from the name, this bar on London City Island is all about highballs. The menu has huge summer potential, with everything from a yuzu, gin, and burnt lemon soda to their ‘little colada’ low-ball around the £10 mark and under. FYI, it’s walk-in only. 


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The Thin White Duke

Congratulations to anyone who just really vibes bars that look like crypts, we’ve got a new Soho spot for you. The Thin White Duke has opened on Great Windmill Street and it’s got that whole exposed brick, low-lighting thing going on, as well as an oh-so casual recording studio. Inspired by David Bowie, they’re focusing on great music alongside absinthe and brandy-packed cocktails. 


March 2022

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Seed Library

££££

Mr Lyan, real name Ryan Chetiyawardana and the man behind Lyaness, is kind of like the Batman of cocktails, except that he’s fighting thirst instead of crime and his dutiful sidekick is a world-renowned martini. You can now try his cocktails in the swish basement of east London’s newest hotel, One Hundred Shoreditch. Seed Library is offering classics like the sancho leaf martini, a perilla gin and tonic, as well as a curated list of low-intervention wines and a diverse range of craft beers. Also, we are very much vibing the orange banquette seating.  


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The Umbrella Workshop

££££

The Umbrella Project are the people behind two of our favourite London bars, The Sun Tavern and Discount Suit Company. They also happen to be the people who kept us suitably inebriated throughout lockdown with their glorious assortment of cocktails from their online off-license. Now, they’ve got a brand new 12-seater bar in Shoreditch—CC: your next intimate date night drinks—with an assortment of rare whiskies and a cocktail menu that changes every single day. The best part is that their expert bottled cocktails are also available to take home so you can keep the party going at the end of your date, wink wink, nudge nudge etc.  


Theatre kids rejoice, because Notting Hill has a big brand new bar and it involves a whole lot of—insert jazz hands here—live theatrical performances. No two evenings at the bar will be the same with an all-singing, all-dancing programme of live events, including classic tunes sung by the bar staff and pop-up performances by the casts of London’s latest West End productions. When it comes to the drinks, expect sophisticated takes on your go-tos, as well as Indian-leaning snacks in case all of that high-energy entertainment makes you hungry. 


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Upstairs At The George

We really must salute English wine producers for existing. How you make decent wines in a climate that has all the consistency of a fuck boy armed with Tinder and the phrase u up, is beyond us but it’s all very impressive. You can find an extensive selection of the stuff at The George’s upstairs English sparkling wine bar, with over 300 bottles to choose from and plenty of British regions covered. If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, this upmarket pub in Fitzrovia is also serving drinks like smoked cherry kir royale and a classic dry gimlet from their little snazzy bar which is also home to a—swoon—vintage fireplace. 


Drop On The Common

The people behind The 10 Cases and one of our favourite places for a little fishy delight, Parsons, have headed south with a brand new spot on Clapham Common. Part-time shop, part-time wine bar, expect charcuterie, plenty of options by the carafe, and charming little doodles on the menu. 


February 2022

This new bar has a cocktail called the Frothy Boi which has immediately got us intrigued. Inside The Standard—deeply cool seventies wet dream that’s already home to Decimo and Double Standard—Sweeties is on the 10th floor and you’ll have to take their signature red pill exterior lift to get to your beverages. The aforementioned Frothy Boi includes rhubarb, gin, raspberry, pink pepper, and fermented amazake oats, and the rest of the cocktails are also all about those feelgood ingredients and ‘energising adaptogens’. Intriguing, very intriguing. 


We have very strong feelings for Milroy’s in Soho. Why are we talking about Milroy’s? Because this new bar inside the Pan Pacific Hotel is from the same people and that makes us excited. Unlike Milroy’s laidback feel, Silverleaf appears to be quite a serious bar situation. There are rare international spirits on the menu, an exclusive 12-person private room adjacent to the slick main bar, and the drinks are ‘divided by the elements’. We don’t really know what that means but we’re hyped to find out. 


Holy Bar in Knightsbridge is all about botanical cocktails, crystal therapy, and Tarot readings. Quite the mood, we agree. Each boozy drink is £12.50 and designed to represent a tarot archetype, but they’ve also got alcohol-free options and plant-based nibbles.


This new bar on Neal Street is serving big pirate dive bar energy. There’s a neon loveheart sign that says ‘lost without bru’, graffiti scribbles on the black walls, and a portion of the menu is dedicated to tarted-up shots. A Scottish import with bars already in Dundee and Glasgow, they’re open 12pm until 12am every day apart from Sunday and we have a feeling it will be loud. 


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La Magritte Bar

££££

The Beaumont Hotel is back and it’s even got a new bar. La Magritte has got a curated list of classic cocktails, a concise little menu of bar snacks, and importantly, lots of red leather chairs. 


From the people who brought us Pergola, The Prince, and some of the worst hangovers of our lives, Dear Grace is another big deal bar situation. An all-day coffee, cocktails, and casual dining spot in White City, they’ve got everything from avocado toast brunches to dinnertime pizza boards covered, but we imagine people will mostly be here for good times and coconut daiquiris. 


December 2021

Zoku imageoverride image

Zoku

££££
Hours:SUNDAY11:00AM to 10:00PM

Chinatown has a new late night underground bar and they’ve got a whole bunch of Japanese highballs on offer. Think toki suntory whisky with raspberry and ginger ale, soda, plum, and ki no bi numbers, as well as huge fizzy £40 sharers. There’s also plenty of sake available and a resident DJ. 


Where's Fred's

££££

Who is Fred? Where is he? Why are we incapable of reading anything without immediately turning it into an ITV crime drama starring Nicola Walker? Anyway, the point is, this new intimate wine bar in the City looks incredibly charming and has everything from espresso martinis to orange wine. Open Monday to Saturday on Frederick’s Place—oh hang on, as seasoned detectives we might have just figured out who Fred is—they’re open from 7.30am to late most days of the week.


November 2021

King’s Cross has got itself another canalside pub. The Gas Station has three bars set over two floors and—dun dun dun, get excited—a heated and covered beer garden overlooking the canal. From pints to palomas, all the classics are on offer here, as well as plenty of by-the-glass options that make it perfect for a round of post-work drinks. 


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Below Stone Nest

££££

Below Stone Nest is a new bar that’s perfect for anyone who ever went to an underground Parisian jazz bar six years ago and has never been the same since. Hidden beneath arts organisation Stone Nest on Shaftesbury Avenue it’s got distressed walls, live music, classic cocktails for under a tenner, and lots of candlelight. Oh, it’s also open until 2am Wednesday to Saturday. J’adore. 


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Booking Office 1869

££££+44 20 7841 3540
Hours:SUNDAYClosed

George’s Bar in King’s Cross was one of our all-time favourite places for a classic cocktail but they closed last year. Sadness, a few nostalgic tears, and now we have Booking Office 1869. The circle of life. Or something. From the people behind Chiltern Firehouse, they’ve given the grade one building a face lift and, importantly, they’ve brought in some big palm trees. That’s sexy. Open until 1am Thursday through to Saturday, you can expect new takes on classic cocktails as well as regular DJ nights. 


Three words. Red sequin door. Yes, this new female-led mezcal bar on Stoke Newington High Street looks like the result of chain-watching Ab Fab whilst also Googling ‘sexy pink trim’ and we’re into it. The brainchild of two long-term friends that started as a pop-up in 2019, this basement space has an extensive list of mezcals, a short menu of agave-based cocktails, and it looks like a must-visit for anyone who’s just really into margaritas. 


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Figaro’s

££££+44 161 791 0727
Hours:SUNDAY01:00PM to 10:00PM

If you currently have the Vitamin D reserves of a sewage rat then we would like to introduce you to Figaro’s. An immersive bar inspired by a picturesque fishing port in the South of France, you can expect lots of foliage, kitsch tablecloths, rosé, and old school classic cocktails. On Shaftesbury Avenue, they’re open from lunch until late from Thursday to Sunday.  


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The Barbary Next Door

££££

Confirming our theory that the only way to have the perfect neighbours is to buy the place next door, The Barbary have opened a kind-of-casual little wine bar next to their beloved original restaurant. An all-day situation with a short sophisticated menu of European wines and North African nibbles, they’re keeping a majority of their seats available for walk-ins so it sounds pretty perfect for your next last-minute glass of wine in Covent Garden.


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Amazing Grace

££££

London has a brand new music venue and it’s a real looker. Despite sounding like it might exclusively cater to fans of Songs Of Praise, it’s actually got a dance floor and a calendar of eclectic music events and DJ nights. Open Tuesday to Saturday on St Thomas Street in London Bridge, they’ve got you covered until 1am at the weekend.


October 2021

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Port Noire

££££

Alert alert, this is your official alert that Idris (Stringer Bell / DJ / eternally handsome London man) Elba has co-founded a wine bar. We’re obviously totally calm about it - LOVE YOU IDRIS - but what you really need to know is that it’s in King’s Cross and was inspired by a visit to a prestigious viticulture school in Champagne. Expect a cosy but sophisticated space with a cellar specialising in quality wines, and please, dear god, we can only pray that Elba will be working the bar.


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Hacha Brixton

££££

The original Hacha in Dalston made us question whether it was normal to have a massive crush on a margarita. Well, according to us and our long-suffering therapists, it’s absolutely a-okay to have romantic feelings for a bev when it’s as mind-blowing as their mirror margarita. Now, they’ve opened a second agaveria in Brixton with the same menu of top cocktails like a smoked citrus negroni, the mezcal spritz, and of course, that crystal clear signature mirror margarita.


Nest is all about cocktails for colleagues, clients, and anyone who finds themselves in the City at 2pm and is in desperate need of a craft beer. An all-day bar and kitchen that’s set over two floors, they’re open until 1am so your urgent one-last-drink needs are covered. Also, hot intel for anyone who is desperately pining for the glory days of freezing outdoor dining nights or is already making big plans for next spring, you should know that they also have a covered and heated outdoor area.


The people behind cool and casual mini-chain Kricket have now opened a bar in Soho. It looks like it’s got that whole moody minimalist thing going on with a short menu of creative cocktails. We’ve got our eye on the pickled mooli martini, a curry and kaffir leaf gimlet, and the kumquat and chaat masala margarita. You’ll find them on Denman Street and although you can book for big groups, walk-ins are very much welcome.


El Ta’koy

££££

This new bar in the basement of new Covent Garden eating and drinking space 3 Henrietta has a pineapple logo, and fruity daiquiris and pina coladas on the menu. The Cuban chef behind Hawaiian-inspired El Ta’Koy already has a restaurant in Miami and a pop-up in New York, so it’s probably worth checking out the bar menu of tacos, poke bowls, and other nibbles that’ll match the high-energy playlist. Heads up, they’ve also got some seating across the street out on the Covent Garden piazza.


September 2021

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The Painter's Room

££££

Eugh, classic Claridge’s opening up yet another eyesore. We’re obviously 100% kidding because their latest bar looks like the kind of place the Pink Ladies would go to once they grew up, invested in crypto, and started collecting Birkins. J’adore, darling. An ode to the artist haunts of Provence and Italy, this seriously stylish space not only has stained-glass artwork but also has a selection of refreshing, light cocktails. As you’d probably expect, the drinks here are wildly expensive - think £22 for an old fashioned - but it looks perfect for a special occasion.


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Downstairs At Morito

££££

Over in Hackney, Morito - famed for being ‘one of our favourite places to eat in London’ - has turned their downstairs storage area into a live music venue and bar. Marie Kondo, eat your bloody heart out. Also, importantly, it’s very good looking. Open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, they promise quality cocktails and regular ticketed Morito Music nights that will support local talent.


We have a big fat crush on P. Franco, a Clapton wine shop that’s so good that everyone wants to be a regular. Now, one of the chefs behind P. Franco has helped to set up a new ‘wine drinkers’ clubhouse’ in Haggerston and we sense another big ol’ crush coming. You can either swing by for a glass of something special from their cellar, go all out on a membership, or bring your date here to pretend you’re the kind of person who just really loves natural wine. Just don’t be surprised if the rest of London had the same idea too.


A casual 10-minute stroll from Kensington Palace, Percy’s is a bar that’s actually, erm, kind of casual. Rather than following suit with the local fancy schmancy drinking holes, this Kensington High Street spot has no guest list, no minimum spends, and no soul-destroying dress codes. Instead they’re opting for a house party feel with timeless tunes, £10 G&Ts, and stacks of decorative books that absolutely no one will read. Look out for their regular DJ events on their website.


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Moon Bar

££££

If an upmarket Chinese restaurant opens in Mayfair and it doesn’t have a bar, does it make a sound? Big philosophical questions aside, we’re here to tell you about Moon Bar, the red-red-and-more-red bar inside Mimi Mei Fair. Hidden down in the basement of this swish converted townhouse, ‘on descending downstairs you will be led to the atmospheric verre eglomise mirror-panelled Moon Bar’. We’re not entirely sure what that means, but it sounds quite lovely. Be warned, cocktails start around the £13 mark.


Good news for natural wine lovers and pyromaniacs everywhere, because this new low-intervention wine bar has a fireplace. Yes, we can’t quite let #cottagecore go either. From the people behind lovely Elephant and Castle wine bar Diogenes the Dog, this Battersea spot looks super cosy and has everything from bottles of accessible classics to those funkier numbers by the glass. FYI they’ve also got a ‘private snug’ that you can hire out for that next event, birthday, or entirely smug Big Wine Energy moment.


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Cherry Galore

££££

Cherry Galore is a new sexy basement bar doing sexy cocktails, with - presumably very sexy - DJs. On Stoke Newington High Street, their menu is packed full of incredibly subtle cocktails, like the Amaretto ‘Pop My Cherry’ and the double-rum ‘Le Freak’. We smell a hangover. That being said, all of their signature cocktails are under a tenner and it looks kind of perfect for your next evening of casual debauchery with mates. Also, they’re open until 1:30am at the weekend.


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Cave Cuvée

££££

Top Cuvée is a nice little wine bar that became online lockdown saviour, Shop Cuvée, and then opened an IRL Shop Cuvée in Bethnal Green. Are you keeping up? Good. Well, now everything has come full circle as they’ve opened a new wine bar called Cave Cuvée, aptly in the basement of their one-stop wine and goods shop. Open Thursday to Sunday, expect funky labels, an intimate feel, and some top nibbles.


Joshua's Tavern

££££

Joshua’s Tavern is an intimate neighbourhood tavern inside a luxury five-star hotel in Leicester Square. Confused? Us too, but let’s go with it. Inspired by a grand portrait painter who lived nearby way back when, they’re serving ‘gintonicas’ (intriguing), draught beers (classic), and small bites on their ‘bill of fare’ (in case you don’t speak Poldark, that’s a menu). Keep an eye out for their upcoming programme of live music that should be kicking off soon.


This place is all about champagne, baby. Another drinking spot inside luxury hotel, The Londoner, The Stage is a champagne bar that’s offering a champagne breakfast, champagne afternoon tea, and a ‘grand finale’ evening situation featuring, erm, champagne. We’re going to stop saying champagne now, and instead let you know that they have magnums for all of our high rollers out there, and live performances coming soon.


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8 At The Londoner

££££

A high-end rooftop bar and izakaya lounge at the top of The Londoner, 8 is serving us some serious Patrick Bateman energy. They have sophisticated Japanese-inspired cocktails on offer, like a vanilla and umami bitters Manhattan, a jasmine and yuzu margarita, and a Hakashu barrel-aged old fashioned. That being said, we’ve got our eye on their truly excellent list of sakes. Prices are high, but their Shima Garden really is quite the looker.


August 2021

Do we like the look of this new cocktail bar because we love a frozen daiquiri or because we watched Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights one too many times as teenagers? Well, it’s a little from column A and a little from column B, but this 1950s Havana inspired spot does look like a lot of fun. Outside of rum cocktails, they also have regular live music and a whole lot of pic-worthy foliage.


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The Lord Napier Star

££££

Hackney Wick has got itself yet another big, boozy venue in the form of this party pub. A revamped old public house, the front is covered in graffiti and there’s a bright pink staircase that’ll take you up to their pint-ready rooftop. They’ve also got a garden, a residency from Thai pop-up Krapow, and hefty drinks packages that have got you covered for birthdays.


If your prime requirement from a cocktail bar is sunset porn content for the ’Gram, then Skylight should be on your radar. This rooftop bar in Peckham has panoramic views across the city, as well as everything from a south London iced tea to an old cuban on their cocktail menu. Look out for their £20 mix-and-match two cocktail deal, non-alcoholic bevs, and £10 hot-desking memberships too.


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The Top Hat

££££

Ah, Monopoly, the game that taught us the magic of capitalism and spawned countless family fights every single Christmas. Now, you can relive all those beautiful memories at this Monopoly-inspired cocktail bar on Tottenham Court Road. Signature cocktails include the edible gold and champagne-heavy Mayfair - see what they did there. By our estimations, you’ll need at least 10 of them before heading to their immersive ‘Monopoly Lifesized’ game.


July 2021

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Martinez

££££

If you have a spare £300 knocking about and are currently in the market for a new member’s club - deeply relatable, we know - then look no further than Martinez. Named after a classic sweet vermouth cocktail that has kind of fallen of the drinking radar, Martinez on Greek Street is offering a carefully curated menu in consultation with The Cocktail Lovers magazine. Think high-end revived classics, popular modern numbers like the paloma, and oh-so casual lobster nibbles.


The people behind Spitalfield’s spot, Crispin, have opened a new wine bar on Soho’s Kingly Street. One for all the natural wine fans, they’re focusing on small scale producers and rare grape varieties, all curated by their in-house sommelier. Yes, plenty of those favourite regions are available here, including Loire, Beaujolais, and the Jura. FYI if you find yourself around Soho circa 9pm and are trying to avoid the bright lights of All Bar One, know that Bar Crispin is open until 11pm Monday to Saturday.


June 2021

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The Duchess Of Dalston

££££

In a surprise to no one, The Duchess Of Dalston is a new cocktail bar in Dalston. It’s got that whole casual drinking den thing going on and is decked out with two-person banquette booths, exposed brick, and a dark navy bar that looks perfect for a lean-and-drink after work. All of their cocktails are £10 and you can expect twists on classics like their cherry-blossom Hana Highball and a rum-packed take on the negroni.


Another day, another London wine bar has opened. But we’re particularly excited about this one because it’s from the people behind Hill and Szrok and importantly, looks charming af. A daytime café and bottle shop in De Beauvoir Town, this place becomes a full sit-down wine bar and small plates situation come Thursday nights. It’s walk-in only but look out for any and all upcoming wine events on their Instagram.


May 2021

If you’re Irish, or a proud fan of Guinness, or Irish and a proud fan of Guinness, then chances are you’ll like Homeboy. The second site from the Irish duo behind award-winning Homeboy in Islington, they’ve brought their selection of spiked coffees, £10 classic cocktails, and pints to the Embassy Gardens development - yes, home of the Sky Pool - in Nine Elms. Oh, and they’ve also got a big terrace.


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