No half measures: London’s 20 best bars and pubs

To celebrate summer, we take a look at the capital’s coolest bars and pubs, in the very best locations. To make sure our suggestions slip down nicely, we’ve picked 20 places that we’re sure you’ll want to try this summer … because few ‘best nights ever’ started at a coffee shop.


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1. Seymour’s Parlour 

Set within Marylebone’s historic Zetter Townhouse, this sumptuous space feels more like a private drawing room than a boisterous bar. Collaborating with pioneering mixologist Tony Conigliaro, Seymour’s Parlour is bringing groundbreaking, bespoke cocktails to this famously fashionable area.

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2. The Albany 
Blending the hip with the homely, this Regent’s Park pub offers the warmest of possible welcomes. Located peacefully among the area’s superb Stucco properties, The Albany provides the perfect setting for a civilized, laid-back dining experience.

3. Claridge’s Bar 
To complement David Collins’s art deco-influenced interior, this iconic Mayfair bar has sourced an extensive collection of drinks, from rare Champagnes to sought-after spirits. Enjoy them as they are or ask the bartender to mix you a cocktail.

4. The Library Bar 

One of London’s most celebrated cocktail destinations, The Lanesborough’s legendary bar at Hyde Park Corner offers the warmth and intimacy of a private club. It is also home to a collection of cognacs dating back to the 1770s.

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5. The Mirror Bar 
Revel in the refined ambience of The Landmark London’s discreet Marylebone bar. Whether you are looking for an intimate setting to enjoy pre-dinner cocktails or late-night drinks, this is certainly one of the capital’s most seductive spots.

6. Queen’s Head & Artichoke 
Opposite Regent’s Park, this imposing Victorian pub and dining room was built on the site of a royal hunting lodge. Today, it offers a wide range of real ales, a comprehensive wine list and a traditional Sunday roast.

7. Aqua Spirit 
Located on the Regent’s Park side of Soho, this Champagne and cocktail bar offers a dramatic, open-air rooftop terrace. With breathtaking views across the capital, there’s no better place to enjoy a nightcap under the London sky.

8. Heist Bank 
A specialist craft beer pub occupying an industrial site in Paddington, Heist Bank is just a short stroll from the waterside of Paddington Basin. With a wide range of wines, cocktails and G&Ts, an all-day menu is also provided.

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9. Trailer Happiness 
Trailer Happiness is an award-winning, cocktail bar in Notting Hill, serving the finest classic and original cocktails. It also offers a tasty choice of Caribbean-style snacks.

10. The Lucky Pig 
Tip your hat to a bygone era at this 1920s-style basement bar in Fitzrovia. Offering classic cocktails and live music, this is the perfect place for a relaxing post-work tipple – or late-night dancing.

11. Old Mary’s 

Hidden beneath the Mitre pub in Bayswater, Old Mary’s is an atmospheric, speakeasy-style bar. Serving bespoke and twisted cocktails, along with thirst-quenching craft beers, the premises are reputedly haunted by the ghost of a murdered kitchen maid.

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12. The Megaro Bar 
Underground, under the radar and fashionably under-lit, the speakeasy spirit of the prohibition era is stylishly replicated at this cool cocktail bar in King’s Cross. Whether your drink is short, long, sparkling or barrel-aged, it will certainly be memorable.

13. The Union Paddington 
A contemporary take on the classic canal-side watering hole, this Paddington bar and grill maintains a proper range of pumped and bottled beers, plus equally welcome wine and cocktail lists.


14. The Bridge House 

Set within a Regency-style building in Little Venice, this is an ideal location for a laid-back lunch or supper. With a diverse drinks list and tempting menu, you can relax in the beer garden or, at chillier times, in front of the fire.

15. Artesian Bar 
At the forefront of London’s sophisticated bar scene, this iconic Marylebone venue has launched a new cocktail menu called Artesian Moments. With it, the talented team says it is translating life’s pivotal moments into evocative and delicious drinks.

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16. The Carpenter’s Arms 

Blending the best of British pub hospitality with character and quirky charm, this Fitzrovia local represents a rare treat. In addition to its traditional paneling, comfy furnishings and contemporary touches, it also offers a ‘secret’ rooftop garden.

17. Big Chill Kings Cross
Big Chill Kings Cross is a friendly and relaxed place to drink, eat, work and play. Serving quality craft drinks and bar food, the venue offers a south-facing roof terrace, a dance floor and an eclectic DJ programme.

18. Duke of Kendal 

For the traditional London pub experience, try this popular Connaught Village local. The perfect place to relax with a pint, you can soak up the sun in the garden or enjoy a sing-along at one of its regular musical evenings.

19. Punch Room at the London Edition 
Cap off your evening in fashionable Fitzrovia with a crafty cocktail at this exclusive, reservations-only hotel bar. An intimate space away from the West End crowds, the bar boasts 30 punches, including the signature gin-infused Edition house punch.

20. Pergola Paddington 
Pergola Paddington has returned for a second consecutive summer. With 850 seats, self-service dining, two bars and DJs at the weekend, there is even a roof to make sure most eventualities are covered.


• Contact Kay & Co estate agents for details of properties for sale or to rent in Marylebone, Bayswater, King’s Cross, Paddington, Notting Hill, Mayfair, Hyde Park, Fitzrovia, Regents Park, Paddington and The West End (020 7262 2030; Kay & Co).

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