Madison, ST Pauls

These are the trending bars in London that are worth travelling for

#londonbars #londonhotspots #londoncocktails. Type these hashtags into TikTok and a plethora of recommendations for ‘London’s Coolest Bars’ and ‘Bars you Must Visit in London’ appear. Social media seems to be our new go-to for finding hotspots instead of reading a travel guide. The perk of these recommendation videos is you get a short glimpse into the whole vibe of a bar. This may be a quick pan of the interior inside, or a snippet of a Margarita over dry ice. But then, you face that disappointment of googling the ‘trendy bar’ which appeals most TikTok didn’t quite inform you of what you really should know. So, allow me to present you with the thorough details. 

Most of these bars/restaurants are on the pricier side, more suited to celebrations rather than a random weekend out. Guaranteed though is incredible entertainment or rooftop views. For somewhere special worth travelling into the city for, these are some of the most popular bars in London. 

THE PIANO WORKS – FARRINGDON

WHERE? – 113-117 Farringdon Road, Corner of Ray Street, EC1R 3BX

INSTAGRAM @thepianoworks, 16k followers

HOURS –  Tues – Thurs: 5pm – 1am, Fri: 5pm – 2am, Sat: 11:30am – 2am

This is a sassy basement spot where you can immerse in a non-stop live music experience. The Farringdon venue is located in a Victorian listed warehouse for a complete escape to good vibes. There is another venue at London’s West End should you find yourself in that area. How it works at The Piano Works is you fill out a song request slip, hand that request to a team member or musician, then the live band will play the songs that the guests want to hear. Pop down your drink, and head to the dance floor. It’s dark, jazzy, and a whole lot of fun for anyone and everyone who loves to boogie to funky versions of favourite tunes. See the virtual tour of The Piano Works on their website for a brief look inside before you arrive. 

COCKTAILS

They have an extensive cocktail list with six different types of Mojitos alone to choose from. Cocktails are separated by the headings Sour, Fruity, Floral, Creamy, and Tried and True, so there is truly something for all palettes. Every week there is a cocktail special for £10.5 – just ask your server which is the choice of the week. Otherwise, drinks average at around £11/£12. 

FOOD

Menus at The Piano Works include A La Carte, Bar Food or Brunch. From the A La Carte indulge in Chicken Supreme (£19.5), Beef Burger (£17.5) and Fish and Chips (£22) amongst options. Fancy something smaller? Truffle fries (£6), Pineapple Squid (£9), Tuna Tartar Tortilla Bites (£12.5) or eight Burger Sliders (£24) caught our attention from the Bar Food menu. Food limited to availability on weekends. 

THE LITTLE SCARLET DOOR – SOHO 

WHERE? – 12-13 Greek St, W1D 4DL

INSTAGRAM – @thelittlescarletdoor, 10k followers 

HOURS – Mon – Tues: 4pm-1am, Weds: 12pm-1am, Thurs: 12pm-2am, Fri – Sat: 12pm-3am, Sun: 12pm-11pm

Welcome to the ultimate Soho House Party. Introducing, The Little Scarlet Door which is part of the Little Door & Co group. They create venues which are styled around a fictional flat with other homes in Fulham, Clapham and Notting Hill. The vibe is sharing cocktails in a disco ball, neon signs, and lots of disposable photos to be taken. Mingle on the sofas once your heels start to kill, and hang out at the bar to fall in love with strangers. This Soho party feels straight out of a film set and it’s giving 2000s chick flick. Note that this is a 23+ venue. 

COCKTAILS

The Little Scarlet Door’s House Punch (£9.5) is a blend of Bacardi Coconut, Toti White Rum, Wray & Nephew Rum, Le Tuffeau Rosé, Guava and Pomegranate San Pellegrino

Served with Cucumber. Other cocktails are thematically named Sex and The City, Mad Men, Bohemian Rhapsody and The Last Days of Disco after our cultural faves. Average price is £12, but the presentation alone is worth a whole lot more. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (£13.75) is served in a scarlet glass with lips candy while Crimes of Passion (£11.25) is served in a goblet with a toasted marshmallow. It is fun, flirty and thriving. 

FOOD

Bar food includes snacks like Truffle and Parmesan popcorn (£4.5), Sticky Jumbo Wings (£9) or whole Charcuterie/Mezze/Salmon boards (£16-£17.5). The perfect little bites to share while you spend the night being social as you sip. There is also a small menu of toasties, puddings, and canapes too, because it wouldn’t be a house party without a few nibbles, or a drunk Truffle Cheese Steak toastie (£9.5). 

LAKI KANE – ISLINGTON 

WHERE? – 144-145 Upper St, N1 1QY

INSTAGRAM – @lakikane, 23.2k followers

HOURS – Tues-Weds: 5.00pm – 12.30am, Thurs: 5.00pm – 1.30am, Fri: 5.00pm – 2.30am

Sat: 12.00pm – 2.30am, Sun: 2.00pm – 1.30am

Discover a tropical escape in the heart of Islington at Laki Kane. They are London’s premier Cocktail Bar, Thai restaurant & Entertainment venue. Tuck into authentic Thai cuisine while being entertained by our talented fire and burlesque dancers, magicians, captivating Tiki drumming, and electrifying DJ beats. Sundays offer Bottomless cocktails and Thai sharing boards 2pm-4pm, or from 4pm – late also on Sundays, enjoy sharing boards, a free cocktail, and DJ P Montana’s live sets for just £35pp. It is food, drinks and a club night all in one. Check their website to see what other fun they have throughout the week, with special parties every day. 

COCKTAILS

The Laki Kane signature cocktails are award-winning masterpieces. They are theatrical as well as delicious. They are made using unique ingredients, natural, unrefined sugars and selection of the world’s finest rums; perfectly complimenting the Thai cuisine. There are sharing cocktails which serve 2-8 people available to buy (£36-£140) while all your classic cocktails average at £14. Again, with the price, you get great presentation making the perfect prop for pictures. Celebrating with a big group? Take a look at their drinks packages where you can pre-book your shots, cocktails and bottle(s) of bubbly! 

FOOD

Laki Kane is all about sharing beautiful Thai food. The sharing boards give you a choice of four different authentic Thai Tapas divided into eight dishes, served with a complimentary salad to create a true Tropical feast. Choose between the Li’i li’l Board (£19) where you can choose four plates with options including Duck Spring Rolls, Steamed Pork Dumplings, Chicken Satay  and more. The Nui Board (£23pp) includes two of these plates from the Ko Tao selection, and two plates from the Phuket selection with Pad Thai, curries, Fried Rice, Noodles, plus more of your favourite Asian dishes. 

NIGHTJAR – SHOREDITCH/CARNABY

WHERE? – 129 City Rd, EC1V 1JB / Kingly Court, 49-51 Carnaby Street, W1F 9PY

INSTAGRAM – @nightjar, 117k followers

HOURS – Sun-Tues: 7pm – 12:30am, Weds-Thurs: 7pm-1am, Fri-Sat: 7pm-2am

Bringing old school glamour to Shoreditch for over 10 years, Nightjar is a romantic spot for live jazz soundtracking your evening of cocktails. They are bringing artistry back to the world of hospitality with every drink made and served. There is a strict no standing policy to support the speakeasy vibe, encouraging a more relaxed sip and talk environment. The long cocktail menu can be overwhelming, but behind the bar you will find passionate experts to help you select the perfect tipple. The space epitomises charm, if you fancy somewhere to tap your toes.

COCKTAILS

Separated by the chronological subheadings Pre-Prohibition, Prohibition, Post War, Signature, Sharing and Non-Alcoholic, this menu is saturated with choice. It is a long list taking you through the ages of the earliest cocktail recipes, to some original creations made exclusively by the Nightjar team. Average prices are £12-£16. 

FOOD

The food is simple but tasty, with few small plate and snack options. The focus at Nightjar is definitely on serving fine beverages. Cheese or Charcuterie boards are £12. Olives and almonds are served all night. 

Madison at St Pauls


ROOFTOP BARS 

THE NEST – MARLEYBONE

WHERE? – In The Treehouse Hotel, 14-15 Langham Pl, W1B 2QS

INSTAGRAM – @thenestintreehouse, 39.6k followers 

HOURS – Mon – Sat: 12pm – 1am, Suny: 12pm – 11pm

Opening times are subject to change. Guests of 21 years and above from 5pm.

On the top floor of The Treehouse, you can nestle with 360 views of London as you sip your cocktails. The Nest seemed to be the most popular recommendation on TikTok. The decor has an outdoor lounge vibe to match the treehouse aesthetic. Sofas to relax on, hanging foliage and books for decoration are bound to make you feel at home. By night, the lighting becomes dark and romantic to let the city views take charge. It is evident why this choice is a popular one. Around the bar there is a constant buzz as DJs spin records in the background of your evening. Escape the party and head to the balcony area with outdoor heating for colder evenings. Plus there are blankets and cushions to keep guests cosy while the views are fully absorbed. 

COCKTAILS

Throughout August, The Nest will partner with Moët & Chandon, bringing together the best in sound and taste. Join them for some very special evenings filled with refreshingly sustainable cocktails. An ode to the freshest and best of British produce, their cocktail list celebrates six seasonal flavour profiles (cherries, plums, pine, carrots, cucumber, gooseberry). All the Summer Sensations and Classic cocktails are priced at £16. 

FOOD

Enjoy a delicious selection of sharing plates ranging from Plant, Land, Dairy, Sea, and a little something Sweet. Average price £16 a plate. 

SEABIRD LONDON – SOUTHWARK

WHERE? – 14th Floor of The Hoxton, South Bank, 40 Blackfriars Rd, SE1 8NY

INSTAGRAM – @seabirdlondon, 77.6k followers

HOURS – Sun-Thurs: 12pm – midnight, Fri-Sat: 12pm – 1am

This rooftop spot has panoramic views of Southwark. Seabird’s mission is to bring coastal dining to the heart of the city. They boast London’s longest oyster list with an exclusive happy hour. They serve up the freshest oysters from 3-7pm for just £2 alongside martinis for £7 Mon-Weds. Aesthetically, you are able to enjoy beach club vibes via marble tables and blankets thrown over the wicker chairs. There are plenty of large plants and stone walls for a Mediterranean feel to compliment the coastal cocktails and dishes. 

COCKTAILS

With Seabird being more of a restaurant than a bar per say, their wine list is much larger than the cocktail menu. However, there are still twelve original and well presented cocktails to choose from at an average price of £17. For a special occasion, why not dive into the huge £200 fishbowl to share. 

FOOD

Renowned for their oysters, try one to pair with your margarita. To snack on, there are small plates including wood-fired scallops (£22), dressed crab on toast (£18), padron peppers (£8) and grilled chorizo (£10) to name a few options. There is also Charcuterie, and larger seafood dishes for a stealthier price. Menu is subject to change depending on availability. 

LOST IN BRIXTON – BRIXTON

WHERE? – Brixton Village, Coldharbour Ln, SW9 8PS

INSTAGRAM – @lostbrixton, 18k followers

HOURS – Weds – Fri: 5pm – 11:30pm, Sat: 12pm – 11:30pm, Sun: 12pm – 8pm

Set on a once forgotten rooftop, Lost In Brixton is home to two bars, a stunning terrace and a one of a kind party atmosphere. Taking its design cues from the city of Santiago de Cuba on the vibrant island of Cuba, expect beautiful murals and exposed original brickwork arches. Lost has an inclusive atmosphere which is perfect for large groups, and getting up to dance around your table. Make the most of the photobooth which is designed to look like an abandoned train, and fun themed toilets! For resident DJs, Cuban cocktails, and street food from the finest restaurants in Brixton delivered straight to your table, Lost is a true hot spot. If you’re coming here, you’re coming here to dance. 

COCKTAILS

Happy hour is Weds – Fri where you can get £7 cocktails 5pm-7pm. Outside of those hours, their list of Cuban rum cocktails average at £12.5. Choose from Strawberry Mojito, Pineapple Daiquiri, or Jungle Bird Spritz for a taste of tropics. Classic cocktails and spritzers, wines and beer are also listed. 

FOOD

Order direct to your table from a roster of Brixton market’s finest food traders. Restaurants include La Nonna – an independent neighbourhood Italian restaurant, award winning BBQ restaurant The Joint, high quality English meat at Black Bear Burger, and Jalisco serving Venezuelan and Central American classics. There are six more restaurants too if none of these are what you fancy. (Prices vary) 

Food at Madison

MADISON – ST PAULS

WHERE? – Rooftop Terrace One, New Change, EC4M 9AF

INSTAGRAM @madisonlondon1, 49.8k followers 

HOURS – Mon – Sat: 12pm-1am, Sun: 12pm-10pm

Summer terrace, Ibiza Orchestra, rooftop brunch, what more could you want? This rooftop is best known for its incredible location next to St Paul’s cathedral providing a very pleasant view. It is a gorgeous hang out for colleagues, romantic dates or celebrations with friends. Have some classy drinks in the modern interior, or why not dine from their delightful menu too? Out on the terrace there are bohemian hanging lanterns and fairy lights. Pair this with the DJs that come to play and you will witness the definition of chic clubbing in the city. 

COCKTAILS

For drinks, Madison does not take bookings and an entrance fee may apply at peak times. A classic Pornstar Martini is £15, though you could try the deluxe Pornstar Martini for £24 with 24k edible gold! Other cocktails include Rooftop Sunset (£15) and Garden Sunrise (£16). 

FOOD

The restaurant takes inspiration from the lively and eclectic New York dining scene, with a focus on the grill and the best steaks from around the world. Enjoy two courses for £45, or three courses for £49. Out on the terrace, there is a small plate menu for snacking including chicken, falafel, beef dripping chips and more (average £12 per plate.) 

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