From kitsch tequila bars to sunny riverside terraces, if you’re after a new place to go with the girls on Friday night, we’ve whittled down our pick of the city’s best new bars, cocktail haunts and summer-themed pop-ups, guaranteed to quench your thirst…
For no-nonsense tacos and killer cocktails, hole up at Clapton’s latest watering hole, Del 74. Interiors are as ‘70s kitsch as they come – expect leather bar stools, neon lighting and every colour under the sun – this is Cuban chic if ever we saw it. Mexican drinks feature heavily on the menu, so expect frozen margaritas and smoky mezcals to wash down with your sautéed tilapia tacos.
87 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney E5
Tipped to be one of the most exciting bar launches of the summer, the team behind The Dead Rabbit in New York – which came top of the World’s Best Bar’s List last year – are bringing their quirky cocktail creations to the heart of Mayfair, with Gregory Buda (The Dead Rabbit’s head cocktail creator) at the helm. Housed in Corrigan’s Mayfair, Dickie’s Bar is set to be London’s hottest new drinking den, open until the early hours and with seasonal ingredients sourced from Richard Corrigan’s private garden and farm in Cavan.
Open 21st June, 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, Mayfair W1K 7EH
Whisky fans are in for a real treat this summer with Liverpool Street’s latest boozy offering. Nestled in the quaint courtyard of Devonshire Square is Kaleidoscope – a specialist whisky bar that boasts an ever-changing menu of single malts and distinctive flavours. With over 200 whiskies to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice, particularly with the wide selection of rare SMWS single casks and inventive cocktail creations. If you’re not a big whisky drinker, there are plenty of beers, spirits and wines to quench your thirst instead, and plates will be served up from Scottish foodies, Mac & Wild.
9A Devonshire Square, Liverpool Street EC2M 4YN
Montague’s Beach Bar
Flip-flops at the ready, Bloomsbury will be bringing the beach party vibes to the heart of London this summer, as The Montague on the Gardens transforms into a sunny seaside sojourn. Enjoy a sprinkling of island living at this exotic urban beach bar, where you can bask atop the golden sands and work your way through the tropical cocktail list. BBQ delicacies will be served up in the ultimate of Bahamian settings – think palm trees and beach-hut style thatched roofs – with Caribbean tunes getting you into the summertime spirit.
Open until 24th September, 15 Montague Street, Bloomsbury WC1B 5BJ
Pergola Paddington Central
London’s hottest rooftop bar has opened a new outpost in Paddington, with a shiny new pop-up for parched, sun-seeking guests. Pergola Paddington Central promises the same fun and frolics as its sister venue in White City, but is set over two floors and showcases a handful of London’s best dining spots. Restaurant residencies popping up in the alfresco dining space include Patty & Bun, Raw Press and Decatur, alongside cocktails, beers and wines, with DJ and live music sets, too. Plus, register online to bag a free drink.
Open until 1st October, 5 Kingdom Street, Paddington W2 6AE
With an outdoor riverside terrace that seats up to 200 people, The Bothy is set to become West India Quay’s hottest summer drinking spot and a must-visit whether you work in Canary Wharf or not. Relaxing amongst beautiful British blooms, take sanctuary beneath the huge, shaded umbrellas and tuck into classic cocktails – the London Spritz with Tanqueray gin, cucumber, elderflower, apple, mint and soda comes highly recommended – and a selection of small seasonal dishes including crayfish flatbread; half roast chicken with chimichurri sauce; and hot smoked salmon with watercress, poached egg, garlic croutons and lemon dressing.
16 Hertsmere Road, West India Quay, Canary Wharf E14 4AX
The General Store at the Garage
Islington’s favourite music venue has undergone a bit of a makeover of late, with the launch of a brand-new bar. Promising food by day and cocktails by night, the General Store’s quirky, diner-style setting is the ideal pit stop for pre-gig cocktails. Be sure to try the Sweetshop Surprise with rhubarb, raspberry and Prosecco served in a giant sweet jar or the Electric Lemonade, with grapefruit gin and a fizzy sherbet tang served in a glowing General Store light bulb. Other quirky cocktail vessels include Cornflakes packets and Campbell’s soup tins.
20-22 Highbury Corner, Islington N5 1RD