How to party in London: a new generation of hedonism
From the free-love of baby-boomers, via the alcopop debauchery of the 90s, we've entered an age of abstemiousness. Or have we? It may seem that Millennials are too caught up in mindfulness and juicing to really let loose – but this new generation is re-defining and refining hedonism.
Gone are the nights of grungy all-night raves, glow-sticks and binge drinking, making room for more sophisticated and sexier hedonism to sweep in. The 'it' crowd are now raising glasses in the plushest of cocktail bars and pilgrimaging to the exclusive members' clubs deemed uncool five years ago.
In short, aesthetics is now of the uppermost importance in the London party scene, hand in hand with sharing your night on social media . If the loo isn't Instagramable, and your party-shoes can't be Kira Kira'd (we'll explain later) ditch 'em. Here's where London comes alive at night:
The trendiest boltholes frequented by London coolest set:
The Punch Room, Fitzrovia: While the Berners Tavern is charming, the London Edition Hotel has a trendier, more exclusive bar to its name. Straight through the foyer, behind a unmarked wood panelled door hides the reservations-only dimly lit, socially charged Punch Room. Delicious cocktails and plenty of lounging celebrities.
69 Colebrook Row, Islington: With a very advanced menu and a well-heeled clientele, this speakeasy style cocktail bar from master mixologist Tony Conigliaro is known far and wide as the 'Bar With No Name'.
Disrepute, Soho: A secret basement bar with room to breathe. Sixties and cave-like in style, it's perfect for late night liaisons. (Pictured)
The Blind Pig at the Social Eating House, Soho: A blindfolded hog door-knocker underneath a retro 'Opticians' sign is this super-chic bar's only external street-level clue. With a speckled mirror ceiling and copper-topped bars, seating is tight so you may just end up bumping knees with a member of London's 'it' crowd.
Beaufort Bar at the Savoy, Covent Garden: It's the younger, cooler sibling of The Savoy's well-loved American Bar that is just as sparkling, and just as glamorous. Think Art Deco, flutes of champagne and a touch of cabaret. They also boast an incredibly cool, pop-out menu (the prices may bring you back down to earth).