In celebration of Cocktail Week we’re revealing our hand-picked top 5 secret London bars, and lifting the lid on how you can access them. Stay away from the London crowds and tourists with these undiscovered gems.
You need to know what you’re looking for when it comes to the Luggage Room, located within the swanky Marriott Hotel on Grosvenor Square, to the left of the main entrance behind a very unobtrusive door where the luggage used to enter lies the Twenties inspired bar. Knock on the door and be greeted by a little hatch opening and hopefully gain entry. With Cocktails such as the Barney Barnato the cocktail menu is full of references to the Roaring Twenties, the bar staff are excellent and can whip up whatever you desire if you can’t find it on the menu.
Grosvenor Square, London, W1k 6JP
“Nothing to see here…” one phrase that is guaranteed to pique your interest and make you want to look even more. The basement speakeasy, Ruby’s is hidden underground with only this sign to herald its presence. With an ever changing selection of cocktails and a quirky interior that is perfect for Instagram it’s the ideal stop off for a quiet drink. Ruby’s closes at 11 on week nights and 12 on weekend so it’s not a place for an all-nighter.
76 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, London, N16 7XB
You’ve got to play your cards right with this one, and definitely make an appointment. If you gain access the Detective will open a secret door within his office and let you wander through. Here the dickie-bow bedecked bar stuff will serve you illegal bottles of booze in brown paper bags. The cocktails are seasonal with spirit infusions and the atmosphere creates a perfect date spot – huddle together conspiring in the corner.
310c Earl’s Court Road, London, SW5 9BA
Is there any other way of entering a bar than through a fridge? Head to The Breakfast Club on Artillery Lane where you will see an unobtrusive Smeg fridge. With boldness like you’ve done this before, open the fridge door and walk through. Inside there is a cocktail bar with exposed brickwork and a wide selection of cocktails, away from the London crowds you can have that smugness that you have found a secret spot in this crowded city.
The Breakfast Club, 12 Artillery Lane, London, E1 7LS
Call Me Mr Lucky
If you can gain access you will be taken through a locked door, underground through a kitchen full of chefs and arrive in a dive bar surrounded in mystery. How do you enter? By using the phrase “I’m here to get lucky”. Another secret bar in The Breakfast Club, you may start the night by perching at the main bar or enjoying a late night plate of pancakes, when you are ready to take it up a gear simply state the magic, suggestive phrase to the staff. With the loud music, low lighting, and strong drinks you’re sure for a good night but what makes this bar stand out even more is the Wheel Of Fortune. Spun every hour the whole bar has to do whatever it says, we won’t spoil the surprise of all the options but if the arrow lands in the right place, the whole bar gets free shots.
The Breakfast Club, 11 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RQ