Looking for a good night out in London town? From fancy cocktail bars to uber-hip industrial sights, nightlife in London is filled with possibilities. To stop you getting lost in the sea of bars, clubs and venues in the capital, we’ve compiled a rundown of the 5 best London bars and hotspots to visit and make a night to remember!
Where: 177 Portobello Road, W11 2DY
Tel: +44 20 7041 9833
Nearest station: Notting Hill Gate
Marked by a yellow fish above an otherwise nondescript doorway on Portobello Road, time travel back into the groovy 70’s for an evening at Trailer Happiness’ subterranean tiki lounge, one of the best cocktail bars in London. Adorned with hula girl memorabilia and other emblems of retro Polynesian kitsch, don’t be fooled by the bartender’s Aloha shirt – the staff here are true mixologists and specialize on putting inventive twists on rum classics. They’re also known to perform a fire show at times, blowing alcohol to the ceiling and setting it aflame while everybody cheers. Quiet chatter in the early evening gradually transforms into a vibrant dance party as the night progresses and the DJ brings the funk classics.
Where: 9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG
Tel: +44 20 7659 4500
Nearest station: Oxford Circus
Straddling a fine balance between ritzy and trippy, WOW factor prevails during your visit to sketch. You’ll bypass several mind-boggling tearooms that seem to conjure an Alice in Wonderland of the future, and pause upon entering an oversized white capsule resembling a UFO. So what happens at this intergalactic party? Fashionable ladies and debonair gents of the London it-crowd mingle over electro jams and sip funky cocktails around a circular bar. This intimate space offers night owls a sophisticated alternative to the nightclubs nearby.
Where: Compton Terrace, N1 2UN
Tel: +44 20 7226 1686
Nearest station: Highbury and Islington
Even the most committed atheist will experience an epiphany at this heavenly live music venue – a nonconformist church that’s eclectic and welcoming to all.The setting, in an atmospheric Gothic chapel dominated by a glorious Victorian organ, is a quirky venue for in-the-know gigs. And the superb acoustics mean that whoever’s on – Roseanne Cash or Billy Bragg, world music bands or stand-up comedians – they all get the chance to shine.All profits go to maintaining this beautiful historic building. Come, settle down on a wooden pew and enjoy your own spiritual awakening.
Where: 21 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3JQ
Tel: +44 20 7460 4459
Nearest station: Notting Hill Gate
Notting Hill, the shabby 1960s domain of bohemians, beatniks and dissolute rock stars, is a different creature today. A tad twee, perhaps – maybe even a little staid. And while Notting Hill, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, went too far in its saccharine fairy-tale rendition, it painted a picture of foppish fun that somehow stuck.
At the Notting Hill Arts Club you can return to the area’s edgier roots, and have a great time to boot. Hosting up-and-coming live bands, open mic and club nights in a steamy basement room, this electric arts centre feels genuinely creative and gratifyingly folksy. You’ll hear anything from Latin to grime, and you’ll dance till your feet are sore. Those bohemians of yore would be proud.
Where: 100-106 Leonard Street, EC2A 4RH
Tel: +44 20 7684 8618
Nearest station: Old Street
Shoreditch’s shabby-chic aura is captured well by The Book Club. On a side street splattered with art murals, its daytime cafe culture gives way to a mob of partygoers as the sun goes down. Framed by whitewashed brick walls and anchored with table tennis, the main lounge is a social spot that’s amplified by a playlist from buzzy new bands. Bartenders blend right in with their stylishly informal clientele while serving cocktails with names sure to awaken your humour. But if you’re looking to knock back a few rounds on a big night out, head downstairs to the basement party. Hip-hop and house hit a blast over a hyped crowd, so you can dance ‘til you sweat.
Angela from StayPlanet