26 July 2014

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10 hot bar openings from 2013


Our selection of some of the finest new bars to arrive in London last year.

The Carriage Bar (pictured right)carriage bar 2013 - The-Grain-Store_Carriage-Bar.jpg
Extra-curricular interest at chef Bruno Loubet’s inspired warehouse conversion includes drinks at its destination Carriage Bar, where the 10-strong list has been designed by Tony Conigliaro – hailed as the Einstein of the cocktail world for his scientific approach to this specialist subject.
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Far Rockaway
Eye-wateringly lurid visuals and retro icons make for a fascinating, full-on sensory assault – imagine street art, tattoo-parlour designs and crazy collages clashing with skateboards, ghetto-blasters and a wall of 4,000 Marvel comics. Sign up for ‘so-then’ frozen margaritas and ‘so-now’ draught cocktails such as hot bitch (Babicka vodka, passion fruit, vanilla and black pepper).
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Hoi Polloi
Well-executed Festival of Britain-esque decor suggests a dining room at a 1950s' holiday camp, while the cocktail menu references another strand of camp also prevalent during that decade – Polari, a rich, coded patois that appropriated many Yiddish terms to disguise homosexuality: ‘omi-polone’ (meaning an effeminate man) is a Buffalo Trace bourbon and port sour, while ‘riah shusher’ (a hairdresser) comes out as a rhubarb and vanilla Tapatio Blanco Tequila mule.
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Mr Fogg’s (pictured right)
mr foggs 2013 - Mr-Fogg's-1.jpgThe sight of a liveried footman outside an anonymous W1 townhouse signifies that one has arrived at intrepid explorer Phileas J Fogg’s mansion – or so it seems. Staff in period costume maintain the sense of illusion while delivering killer cocktails and premium punchbowls to share – from Bombay punchet and blinker to knickerbocker à la monsieur and maiden’s blush (a sour made from Old Tom gin, white absinthe and raspberry jam).
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Ceiling fans languidly whirring; downbeat 30's decor; distressed banquette booths: you could almost believe you were drinking on steamy Bourbon Street with Stanley Kowalski – Brando’s character in A Street Car Named Desire. Old timers such as de la Louisiane, sazerac and grasshopper line up alongside new kids including night tripper (bourbon with Strega and Amaro Italian liqueurs).
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Radio Rooftop Bar (pictured right)1401_ME_London_Radio_-_Copy.jpg
Located on the 12th floor of the monolith that was the BBC’s Bush House, ME Hotel’s rooftop bar is a cool hot spot for summer lounging – complete with a triangular, 80s-style high-tech bar, a stylish wraparound terrace (heaters and blankets at the ready) and twinkling panoramic views of tourist London that are penthouse perfection.
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The Remedy 
Inspired by the spirit of Europe’s enotecas, this convivial Fitzrovia wine bar is on a mission to promote provenance, terroir and the ideals of the Slow Food Movement – not surprising, since it’s run by two defectors from Covent Garden crusader Terroirs. Fans of the latter will recognise the main themes on the short, snappy menu – snacks of lardo grissini with mushroom cream, artisan cured meats (finocchiona, coppa, speck, and so on) and cheeses such as aged barone rosso or Camembert Calvados.
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Sager & Wilde
Encouraged by the success of their wine-driven pop-up in Shoreditch, Michael and Charlotte Sager-Wilde have gone permanent with this venture in a one-time East End boozer. Wooden blinds, subtle retro-industrial lights and architectural salvage are used to create a stylish den for design-literate oenophiles – check out the bar counter made from Victorian cast iron and glass-brickpavement insets. To drink, anticipate a daily line-up of top-notch bin ends and unusual appellations available by the bottle or glass.
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Rosewood London bar 2013 - Rosewood-London_Bar.jpg

Scarfes Bar (pictured right)
Taking its name from political caricaturist Gerald Scarfe whose works grace its walls, Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London harks back to the era of Britain as a global superpower. Sink into deep accommodating sofas by a roaring fire and anticipate classy calls prepped at an imposing L-shaped bar. Try humidor (Chivas 18 Year Old, white port and absinthe), hats off (mescal, Aperol and agave-sweetened citrus fruit juices) or pith helmet – a reference to Britain’s colonial past. 
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White Lyan
There was wonderment in Cocktail World when Ryan Chetiyawardana – late of the City’s Worship Street Whistling Shop and Bramble, Edinburgh – launched his first bar with fellow ex-Brambler, Iain Griffiths. Following an almost monastic black-and-white lo-fi makeover, what was a Hoxton boozer has become a temple of modern mixology dedicated to small-batch bottled drinks, using scientifically tweaked spirits to achieve the desired base for cocktails that are devoid of ice or lemon.
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