Fancy a chic tipple in the City and not too sure where to head? We’ll show you the way
The Square Mile isn’t all financial transactions and medieval traditions. The Square Mile’s boundaries might not have changed since the middle ages but its drinking culture certainly has. There’s a classy crew of cocktail bars to tickle your fancy and not a goblet of mead in sight.
The Square Mile covers ground from the outer reaches of Fleet Street to the trendy edges around Shoreditch, so we thought we’d make your lives easier by clustering the top ten places to drink a beautifully crafted cocktail within the famous dragon outposts of the City. The only question you’ll be left asking is shaken or stirred?
1. The Anthologist, 58 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7BB
This all-day bar and kitchen certainly wins brownie points for interior design. The utilitarian space mixes industrial style lighting and high benches with sumptuously upholstered armchairs and delicately patterned wallpaper.
It serves a full and delicious menu along with its cocktails (always wise to have some soakage between rounds of Negronis).
The extensive cocktail menu is dominated by two lists of “skinny cocktails” which rather helpfully give you the approximate calorie count for each drink. You can bag a Skinny Superfruit Bleuberry Sour at a mere 109 calories.
But of course for those with no wish to know how many sugar coated empty calories they are imbibing with every sip, there is the “twisted classic” list featuring not a sniff of calorie count and one of my favorites, the NYC Hemingway Daiquiri.
2. Clause Bar, 1 Lovat Lane, off Eastcheap, London, EC3R 8DT
If you can find this hidden den you’ll be in for a delicious cocktail treat. Hidden in a labyrinthine underground site around the corner from Monument, this place is full of dark corners in which to sip drinks.
The cocktail list might read like a Jackie Collins novel (White Lady of the Night, Skinny Bitch and Hot Pants) but the bar appeals to a wider audience with a generous happy hour and provides private party bookings.
3. Neo, 14-17 Carthusian Street, Barbican, London, EC1M 6AD
This basement bar is one for the sporting fans as well as cocktail lovers. You can sit and sip your classic cocktails whist watching sporting events such as UEFA Champion’s league matches or Wimbledon.
The classic cocktail list covers all bases but the team behind it promise that if there’s something you want but just can’t find – they’ll whip it up for you.
4. Mint Leaf Lounge & Restaurant, 12 Angel Court, Lothbury, Bank, London EC2R 7HB
If you love your Indian cuisine but are sick of knocking it back with a Tiger beer then this is the place for you. As well as serving an array of delightful cocktails with its Indian dishes, the Mint Leaf is famed for having one of the longest bars in the City. The 16 meter bar is backed by a mixture of lights and river washed pebbles which do a great job of highlighting the rows of spirits and liqueurs.
5. Grubser’s Lounge, 22 Fish Street Hill, London, EC3R 6DB
It may not sound like the most glamorous of venues but Grubser’s is an intimate lounge with a contemporary décor that appears to the decadent souls. Down the road from the Grubser’s Music Academy, the Gruber’s Lounge cocktail list contains musical favorites such as the Tony Bennet and Shirley Temple as well as an array of other tipples.
6. The Breakfast Club, 12-16 Artillery Lane London E1 7LS
Now I know what you’re thinking. Why would I go somewhere called the Breakfast Club for a cocktail? But don’t let the name deceive you. The purveyor of the city’s favourite breakfast haunt opened its new premises down an alley just opposite Liverpool Street Station last year with the addition of a fully functioning bar.
The vintage décor makes a fun departure from the usual sleek style bar style that one finds in most City cocktail joints. And of course, if you or one of your friends fancies a night off the grog they can sip a milkshake instead.
7. The Folly, 41 Gracechurch Street, London EC3V 0BT
This botanically inspired bar brings a little bit of outside in with smatterings of Astroturf and wooden features that could well have grown up through the floor. Featuring a garden lounge and flower shop this “sanctuary of calm” can be interrupted with an injection of flavor thanks to the cocktail list.
Owned by the same people that brought you The Anthropologist the cocktail menu features similar “skinny” offerings as well as “signature” punch bowels for you and your mates.
8. Mustard Bar, 2 Old Change Court, Peters Hill, St Pauls, London, EC4M 8EN
The Mustard Dipity and Mustard Chill might not sound like drinks you want to down but closer inspection of the ingredients uncovers a symphony of liquors and sprits that soon change your mind.
This City bar plays host to a collection of themed nights to complement their signature cocktails. Their Soul Friday is always a hit with the be-suited City goers and their new casino night is bound to tempt the crowds in.
9. Liberty Lounge, 1a Bell Lane, City of London, E1 7LA
You have to be on the ball to slink into one of the seats at the Liberty Lounge, as it is running a bookings only regime allowing a select few to head down the stairs and tailor their own delicious concoctions.
Under new ownership, the bar is now in the hands of a gaggle of cocktail veterans who promise to bring the best in entertainment bartending and modern mixology combined with their experience in running thousands of corporate events.
10. Patch Bar, 58-60 Carter Lane, London, EC4V 5EA
Patch bar’s mascot is a rather cute dog that features on every table in the form of salt and peper shakers. It’s just one of the nice touches that this bar adds to the normal drinking experience. Cocktails aren’t bad either.
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