The best bars in Soho
From tucked-away saloons to backstreet gems serving unusual concoctions, here's our round-up of the bars worth knowing about in Soho.
Vibe: Cosy cocktails
A favourite among literary types, Greek Street stalwart The Pillars of Hercules has recently been transformed into a ‘cocktail pub’ simply named Hercules. The decor has been spruced up but remains traditional – note the swanky copper bar top and rows of colourful pre-mixed drinks – whereas behind the scenes, a high-tech mixology laboratory has been built. Make sure you try its curiously clear version of a Bloody Mary.Read more ...
Vibe: Early ’til late
The team behind the Daisy Green Collection – famed for their Aussie-style brunches and floating restaurant designed by Sir Peter Blake located on the Grand Union Canal – have opened a whopping all-day hangout on Noel Street. The two-floor joint serves brunch, lunch and dinner before turning into a trendy late-night disco. Like its sister venues, the walls are lined with bright contemporary artworks and, naturally, the wine list is a winner.Read more ...
Vibe: A members’ club without the pretension
You can apply for a membership at Milk & Honey without needing contacts, they just ask that you ‘act like a grown up’. Non-members are also welcome before 11pm, but only with a reservation. Set over three floors, there’s a games room for hire and a grazing menu featuring simple favourites such as a burgers, fries and a cheese board. Most people go for the outstanding cocktails though. Plus, they won’t allow a juice on site that hasn’t been freshly squeezed on the premises!Read more ...
Vibe: French and familiar
At the beginning of the year, Soho House Group reopened Cafe Boheme at its original location on Old Compton Street. The interior is delightfully French, as is the menu, which is available late into the evening. We recommend ordering a Soho negroni or a Boheme spritz and people-watching from one of the most interesting corners in London.Read more ...
Vibe: Secret whisky cellar
There’s nothing more thrilling than a hidden bar, especially one that you enter via a bookcase – like The Vault at Milroy’s, even if isn’t so much of a secret anymore. The whisky connoisseurs whip up cocktails using the finest bourbons, scotches and rye, all of which are available to buy in the shop upstairs. The wood-lined, basement speakeasy is the perfect spot for chillier evenings or a secret rendezvous.Read more ...
Vibe: Intimate and Italian
This tiny all-day Italian bar is named after the Termini train station in Rome and is fitted with relaxed, 1950s-style features. From its coffee and cornetti to its numerous versions of the popular but potent Negroni, Bar Termini reaffirms the notion that when it comes to most things in life, the Italians do it better.Read more ...
Vibe: Posh pub
At the end of last year, the owners of The Palomar (the lauded restaurant on Rupert Street inspired by the cuisine of modern Jerusalem) took over the traditional pub, The Blue Posts, just down the road. The boozer has been given a 21st-century revamp, offering craft beers and ciders and hosting jazz sessions on Sundays. Head upstairs to The Mulwray and sample the unconventional cocktail menu that includes concoctions such as Lucky in Kentucky (a winning combo of bourbon, spiced syrup and aromatic bitters) and Linda Evangelista 51 (Rittenhouse rye whiskey, Palo Cortado sherry, Evangelista ratafia and dry curaçao).Read more ...
Vibe: Magical mixology
Just next to Milk & Honey is another exceptional (and discreet) cocktail bar. The Blind Pig is located unobtrusively above Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House, yet its drinks menu is far from modest. The elaborate creations are based on children’s stories: for example, there’s Peter Rabbit’s ABC Fizz and Harry Potter’s Best Bottle Butter Bitter – each one comes with an edible element, too.Read more ...
Vibe: Old school glamour
Kettner’s has been a Soho staple since 1867, and has welcomed the likes of Oscar Wilde, Winston Churchill and Agatha Christie. Now under the ownership of Soho House Group, Kettner’s Townhouse – a hotel, restaurant and champagne bar – stylishly celebrates the building’s Georgian heritage. The Champagne Bar dazzles in its 1920s finery, which includes a mosaic floor and walnut bar. If the occasion calls for champagne, then Kettner’s is the place to go.Read more ...
Vibe: Gloriously Gatsby
Just one of the très magnifique offerings within one of London’s best-loved establishments, Brasserie Zédel, is Bar Américain. The Art Deco bar serves traditional cocktails and is the perfect place to snuggle up in a dimly-lit corner, or enjoy a pre-dinner drink before heading along to the Parisian brasserie.Read more ...
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