From tropical cocktail dens to underground jail cells, we’ve whittled down our pick of the best new bars, rooftop terraces and wine-filled watering holes popping up in the city this month, guaranteed to quench your thirst come Friday night.
Set across three floors of a mock-Tudor fronted former pub, Clarette is a charming, multi-level wine bar nestled in the heart of Marylebone. Heiress of the renowned Chateau Margaux wine estate is the brains behind the opening, so naturally the wine list is predominantly French, and exceptionally good. On the ground floor, you’ll find a buzzing bar and large communal table for wine lovers to discuss their favourite vintages, while the second floor has a cosier ambience, with soft banquettes and cushioned chairs set around an open brick fireplace. Wines are available by the glass from just £5, but there are plenty of pricier options to choose from, too.
44 Blanford Street, Marylebone W1U 7HS
If there’s one thing Shoreditch is known for, it’s eccentricity, so we weren’t surprised to hear its latest bar opening is housed inside the former cells of an East End magistrates’ court. The ex-courthouse has been transformed into a five-star hotel, The Courthouse Hotel, and within its Grade II listed walls sits the Jailhouse Bar, set in former cells, and styled to look like a swanky prison. Padded booths sit alongside graffitied brick walls, and original prison cell doors set the scene against the soft, industrial lighting. There’s a relaxed lounge for daytime drinks, and a late-night drinking den with live DJs setting the scene for a night of raucous revelry.
335-337 Old Street, Shoreditch EC1V9LL
Little Bird Battersea
Little Bird has landed in Battersea, and with it comes a cornucopia of tropical cocktails and a fusion of Asian and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Set to be one of the area’s coolest new hotspots, this causal hangout will inject a hint of spice to your summer cocktail sessions. Expect bright prints, hanging foliage and hand-painted wallpaper in this palm-laden tropical paradise. Pull up a pew at the cocktail bar where you can sample their delectable fruity delights, or, if the weather’s warm, hole up in the open-air courtyard to soak up the sun.
1 Battersea Rise, London SW11 1HG
A rooftop bar where you can escape the bustling crowds of Oxford Street is one thing, but one that has its own Negroni cocktail machine is quite another. Back with a new look for what was #NotchLDN last year, Sisu’s alfresco hangout has been transformed into a ‘utilitarian nature reserve’ crammed full of foliage with Scandinavian-inspired décor and lots of hidden crevices to explore. Escape the hordes of shoppers and hide away in this tranquil retreat; feast on street food – think Canadian poutine (chips with cheese curds and gravy); chicken waffles; miso aubergine tacos; and crispy squid with kimchi – and get Negronis on tap. There’s a coin-operated cocktail machine that dispenses ready-made Negronis and Old Fashioneds with the click of a button – pretty cool right? And if you’re worried about the weather, there are plenty of outdoor heaters to keep you warm and toasty, alongside a greenhouse dining space that’s under cover.
535 Rooftop Oxford Street W1
London’s smallest grand hotel, the newly opened Napoleon will be swinging open its doors to two shiny new drinking dens; Sack– a sherry bar; and The Devil’s Darling – a classic cocktail bar. Sherry lovers can indulge in sweet sherry and upbeat funk, whilst cocktail lovers can head upstairs to the hotel’s first floor, where an indie-glam rock paradise awaits. Take a seat on the retro-inspired swivel chairs and work your way through their inventive cocktail list, which will feature a small-but-sweet menu of three signature cocktails that change daily.
9 Christopher Street, Hackney EC2A 2BS
Formerly known as White Lyan, Super Lyan is the new opening promising to serve up a collection of “Bitchin’ Classics”. Seemingly familiar drinks have been upgraded – cocktails come in the form of Dog’s Nose Clover Club – a fusion of Chambord, gin sizzurp, lemon and Guinness; Queen’s Park – rum with avocado bitters; and Man on Fire – a whiskey and mescal sour – whilst the basement has retained its original look with brick walls, neon signs and rich, leather booths.
155 Hoxton Street, Hoxton N1 6PJ