10 July 2017

10 London cocktail spots this summer

My little blog profile image came about almost by accident. I was chatting to a Kiwi cartoonist one day on Instagram who offered to use me as a practise subject (his name is James Espie, check him out) and he, given a few of the few photos of me on the blog, drafted up my cool little avatar. Cocktail in hand.

So, in essence, I blame him for this habit.

10 of the best London summer cocktail bars Adventures of a London Kiwi
Nb: Post contains a couple of blogger invites, marked with*
but I've been back to all of these on my own dime.

The habit of meeting good friends in delicious bars around the London. Ok, ok, who am I kidding. It's a labour of love that I greet with glass in hand. It's quite a London thing - with commuters living in all corners, a well planned or last minute (there aren't many in between) catch-up somewhere lovely is one of the pleasures of living in London.

All of these bars and restaurants are elegant or curious - and often a mixture of both. They are places to celebrate, to commiserate and to make excuses to return often.

Rooftop bar/restaurant, Selfridges
Underground station: Bond Street

Need I really share any more details? A top the infamous shopping mecca, perches an everchanging bar and restaurant. I've been up a few times, and every time that we visit the cocktails are great, the service a little spotting and the company is always excellent. Definitely one for visiting after shopping, not before - well, unless you want to melt the credit cards with a visit downstairs!



The Zetter Hotel * & Zetter Townhouse
Underground Station: Farringdon

Two very different bars, just across a square from each other, compliment each other beautifully. The modern, chic Zetter Hotel has a really interesting wine cocktail list (the White Sangria was incredibly tasty) whereas the Zetter Townhouse is a funky parlour of English eccentricties (and some altogether naughty 'grown up chocolate fudge' which should be banned it is so moreish - see a full Zetter Townhouse review here). The first is perfect for celebrating with colleagues, the second for people who really know you.

10 of the best London summer cocktail bars Adventures of a London Kiwi

Dalloway Terrace, Bloomsbury Hotel
Underground Station: Tottenham Court Road

I feel like I would be breaking blogger code by not including Dalloway Terrace in this list, but I really do genuinely enjoy popping back as a paying customer - on summer evenings for cheeky gin and tonics, or winter hot chocolates - and down to the Dalloway Club for cozy evenings. This is a spot perfect for escaping the rush of Oxford Street, or literally any other excuse.

10 of the best London summer cocktail bars Adventures of a London Kiwi

Underground Station: Temple/Covent Garden

Technically we didn't try the bar as we had tabled restaurant lunch plans, but the rhubarb bellinis that we enjoyed were absolutely top notch - and worth every terrible pun that you have coiled up in the repertoire. Sorry, but I'm not even sorry. The fare is ever changing, based on the seasons and the surrounds are a restored 19th-century drawing room within Somerset House. Superb.


Underground Station: Kings Cross/St Pancras

The award for most beautiful cocktail surrounds has to go to the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. From the moment you walk up the curving drive and spy the red brick arches to sitting down, it almost doesn't matter which bar you end up sitting in. Oh, and the famous Wannabe (Spice Girls) staircase is just beautiful (and when you're finished, there are so many delicious restaurants to eat in around Kings Cross - full post here.) Perfect for wasting precious time and full of zigazig ah.

10 of the best London summer cocktail bars Adventures of a London Kiwi

Underground Station: North Greenwich

Tucked away behind the O2 Millenium dome, the 18th floor Skybar is a perfect spot for watching the sun set over the financial district. It was an unlikely 'girl's night' catch-up spot with my good friend, and one that we keep returning to. And sending people to. Definitely one for making an excuse to head to East London for.

10 of the best London summer cocktail bars Adventures of a London Kiwi

Aqua Shard * / Aqua Kyoto* and Nueva
Underground Station: London Bridge / Oxford Circus

I wish I didn't have to share these discoveries. Basically, Aqua Shard has incredible views and an inventive cocktail menu to back them up, and both Aqua Kyoto and Nueva have gorgeous terraces that make you feel like you are a world away from the chaos of Oxford Circus. Oh, and the cocktails are brilliant - my particular favourite is the passionfruit martini, a summer sparkler comprising of vanilla vodka, passionfruit sorbet and sparkling wine. One for out-of-towners, guests to impress and to hide from the intense summer days we have had.

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Underground Station: Oxford Circus

Shrouded in mystery and 1940s glamour, a new stop on the London Underground has quietly opened up. It's not somewhere that will get you from A to B, but rather provides a place to spend those "tube minutes" (commuters will know the ones I mean - they say 'next train in 3 minutes' but actually take 12 hours to arrive - well, that's how it can feel when you're running late) Full post here. Well worth missing your train for, though I would recommend pre-booking.

10 of the best London summer cocktail bars Adventures of a London Kiwi

Underground Station: London Bridge

The 180-year-old neo baroque edifice, which once housed the St. Olave’s Grammar School, is now unveiled as The LaLiT London. This is a corner of London Bridge where two cultures meet, and so deliciously. We were trying out a few of their new gin-based cocktails on the terrace, overlooked by a statue of Lord Ganesha, the God of prosperity, fortune and success. What more do you need to know?

10 of the best London summer cocktail bars Adventures of a London Kiwi

Underground Station: Hyde Park

Despite the name, the Secret Garden is definitely no longer a mystery, hiding in plain sight on Park Lane. This is a summer pop-up and is perfect for relaxing in with a good friend. And when you realise your shoes match the delicious cocktail? Shoefie perfection.


Where are your favourite cocktail spots?

Ps. An honourable mention has to go to the rum cocktails of Cottons Restaurant in Nottinghill.
Pps. I would also add in the view from the Trafalgar Hotel rooftop bar, but alas it's closed for refurbishment at the time of writing. The bartenders make a beautiful Pear cocktail that I need to return for.
Ppps. Drink responsibly kids.

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10 of the best London summer cocktail bars Adventures of a London Kiwi

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