Best Mayfair Bars

Looking for a bar in Mayfair? We’ve done the hard work so you don’t have to, and compiled a handy list of the best. Whatever your budget or taste, SquareMeal is here to help, with a selection of the best bars for every occasion. Read on for our pick of the best bars in Mayfair.

Updated on 18 April 2018

Every one of the bars and pubs in London with al fresco drinking featured in SquareMeal’s list of London’s best bars and pubs for alfresco drinking have been tried and tested by critics and our own customers. For more drinking inspiration, see our recommendations for the best bars in London. Each SquareMeal listing features an independent review, as well as reviews from those who have visited, together with unique special offers such as free drinks and discounts.

Bar 45

Bar 45

45 Park Lane, London, W1K 1PN

All streamlined, spice-toned leathery luxe, the mezzanine at Wolfgang Puck’s steakhouse is more filet mignon than beef skirt – as are its prices. Prepare to say ‘sayonara’ to close on £20 for a forbidden kiss (think liquidised Turkish delight and gin) or peace on earth – the sort of coconut rum punch you’d normally serve at your Bequia villa. Presentation is suitably recherché and unflappable staff have that five-star knack of anticipating precisely when to materialise before discreetly melting away again. Wines include a top-dollar selection of American labels, while snacks are listed as ‘rough’ cuts – although that means film-première goodies including tuna tartare cones (£21), crab and lobster rolls, mini Wagyu sliders and suchlike. Ultimately, Bar 45 feels like a set for an ad campaign for Hermès, the sort of label that passes as everyday mufti to its gilded clientele.

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The Aviator Bar at Hush

The Aviator Bar at Hush

8 Lancashire Court, Mayfair, London, W1S 1EY

On the first floor of swish modern British restaurant Hush, The Aviator is its newly rebranded 1960s-style cocktail bar. The design – all jewel-tone leathers and velvet plush – comes courtesy of Russell Sage (not perhaps on his finest form), resulting in a look resembling an airport Executive Club lounge from the Pan Am era. ‘Destination’ cocktails are themed by country and detailed on mocked-up boarding cards; many are delivered with a theatrical flourish. Smoking Señorita (Spain) – a suave take on a Manhattan, featuring Nomad Outland whisky and oloroso and cream sherry – arrives in a cloud of smoke, from under a cloche. Rihannatini (Bahamas) – a mix of rum, Frangelico, coffee and Kahlúa – comes with mascarpone mousse and a mini chocolate pot. Service is certainly business class, as are some of the small-plate dishes (we recommend the scallops on cauliflower purée), but other bar snacks are more charter flight (chewy wraps containing dry duck meat) – at non-budget prices.

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Galvin at Windows (bar)

Galvin at Windows (bar)

London Hilton, London, W1K 1BE

The greige and soft-gold space-age interior of this suave sky lounge screams Swinging Sixties, the thrusting decade when hemlines and hotels went high-rise. It was here that The Beatles first encountered the Maharishi, the yogi seer who guided their Magical Mystery Tour. Spiritual enlightenment of another sort can be found in cocktail recipes that fuse eastern and western philosophies: reach Nirvana with A Thousand Buddhas (Beefeater gin, hibiscus and spiced eucalyptus), make Sunset Blues (Mortlach Rare single malt, Pedro Ximénez and poppy flower) your new mantra or bliss out with Zen Fizz – a Perrier Jouët sparkler prepared with aged rum and a sorbet of bittersweet matcha tea. Bar food includes Korean fried chicken, 'dog deluxe' and 'something for the ladies' (tenderstem broccoli in romesco sauce, perhaps). The views from the 28th floor are heavenly – and prices aren’t exactly earth-bound, either.

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Mr Fogg’s Residence

Mr Fogg’s Residence

15 Bruton Lane, London, London, W1J 6JD

With every junior royal, rich Russian and gossip-column rake on speed dial, those purveyors of Sloaney good times Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling (Cahoots, Bunga Bunga, Bart’s) are high-society lynchpins worth cultivating. As avowed theme-bar aficionados, the boys play a blinder with this convincingly staged interpretation of Phileas J Fogg’s madcap Mayfair mansion, stuffed to the gunnels with camp caboodle from the eccentric Victorian explorer's derring-do foreign forays. The whole fantastical set-up is a hoot: Eton boys in dapper period livery dispense plates of top tucker with 'tipsy teas' (ie. gin or Champagne cocktails in teapots), while Passepartout (Fogg's imagined French valet) preps hooch-charged puncheons, crustas, cups and long-lost recipes with colonial roots. Other wheezes include a summer garden veranda, guest bartenders, vaudeville turns and talks from adventurers such as Sir Ranulph Fiennes. As we say, these chaps are connected.

£30 - £49
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Afternoon tea
MNKY LNGE

MNKY LNGE

10 Dover Street, Green Park, London, W1S 4LQ

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The Connaught Bar at the Connaught

The Connaught Bar at the Connaught

The Connaught, 16 Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL

Few drinking dens in the capital can match the effortless glamour of The Connaught Bar. Designed by the late great David Collins and inspired by 1920s Cubism, it's a shimmering shrine to cocktails and home to a world-class team of bartenders. Their ‘expressions’ menu is a showcase for creativity, featuring on-trend ingredients and drinks inspired by natural elements. We fell for a Heart of Gold (a refreshing long mix of Amaro Lucano, lichen-aromatised Noilly Prat, Ruche, rhubarb soda and oregano blossom), but the jewel in The Connaught’s crown is its sleek Martini trolley. ‘The secret of a perfect Martini is the sound,’ smiles the mixologist as he slowly stirs Tanqueray 10 over blocks of hand-cut ice, mixed with the house vermouth and a choice of seasonal bitters to create a bespoke sip for every guest. A superb selection of whiskies and decadent canapés such as black truffle and Comté fritters with truffle mayo are further reasons to add The Connaught Bar to your ‘must-visit’ list. 

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Libare Bar at Sartoria

Libare Bar at Sartoria

Sartoria, 20 Savile Row, Mayfair, London, W1S 3PR

Libare is as sharp as a Savile Row suit. It’s the rebooted destination bar of Sartoria (following a major refurbishment by D&D London) and strikes a 20th-century Milanese-chic pose. Park yourself on copper leather high stools at the marble-topped bar where signori, sharp in Chartreuse velvet tuxedos, dispense aperitivo-hour spritzes, seasonal Bellinis, twisted Negronis, and liqueurs created by chef-patron Francesco Mazzei. New room, new ideas: we like fennel-infused gin Martini; a Mediterranean Mojito that adds basil and cherry tomato to the classic formula, and a deviant Smoked Bloody Mary that prefers Lagavulin 16 whisky and Don Julio Blanco Tequila to vodka – all good at £12. Order one of over a dozen by-the-glass wines from £5 with sliced Italian hams and salumi. Bar food also includes minestrone, veal in tuna sauce, anchovy and panzanella salad, plus ices and pastries. ‘Libare’ translates as ‘to sip’: a pleasurable pastime in such elegant surroundings.

£30 - £49
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Nobu Berkeley St (bar)

Nobu Berkeley St (bar)

15 Berkeley Street, London, W1J 8DY

Wondrously exotic lounges such as The Blue Bar and Artesian are the late David Collins’ legacy to London's cocktail scene, but at his creative peak, the Irish designer came up with this fabulously ethereal bar at Nobu Berkeley St – the Tardis as imagined for a Japanese remake of Doctor Who, perhaps. Once inside, you can pair Eurasian tapas and sushi platters with silkily superior saké, pedigree French fizz or a selection of top-notch Tokyopolitans. Nifty ideas include Nashi Bottle (a pear, rosemary, orgéat and Russian vodka sour, served in a milk bottle) and Silk Road (a Manhattan based on Nikka whisky, dates and Grand Marnier). Otherwise, One Shade of Grey (a blue Curaçao-laced twist on a Negroni, ‘served sadistically short’) is a cheapish thrill, while Japanese Painkiller (Nobu's take on New York's modern whisky classic, Penicillin) reportedly cures all ills.

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American Bar at The Beaumont

American Bar at The Beaumont

Beaumont Hotel, Brown Hart Gardens, London, W1K 6TF

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sketch: The Parlour

sketch: The Parlour

9 Conduit Street, London, W1S 2XG

Take your pick of three highly individual, amusingly designed lounges at this Mayfair must-do from Mourad Mazouz (of Momo fame). With its theatrical rococo découpage forest backdrop, The Glade could be a set for South Pacific as choreographed by the Bolshoi Ballet, while The East Bar (a futuristic cocoon) might have been lifted from a Kubrick sci-fi movie. However, we find ourselves repeatedly drawn to The Parlour, a raffishly postmodernist drawing room that wouldn’t look out of place in ex-Sex Pistol John Lydon's LA punk château. Disport and pose while you scrutinise a cast of eccentrics and fashionistas as you knock back dependably good drinks from a constantly evolving list. House wines and sips such as Nolet and the Whale (vodka, Aperol, peach and almond syrup) won't break the bank, although the same can’t be said of the patrician French fizz and pukka comfort food.

£30 - £49
Afternoon tea
International
Comptoir Café & Wine

Comptoir Café & Wine

21-22 Weighhouse Street, London, W1K 5LY

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Claridge

Claridge's Bar

Claridge's, Brook Street, London, W1K 4HR

There’s nothing finer than a glass of fizz at Claridge’s Bar, which is surely one of the best spots in the capital for raising a toast to special occasions. Elegant and stylish, with sparkling service to boot, this deliciously buzzy Mayfair stalwart exudes class. The drinks list is a thing of joy – especially for Champagne aficionados who can browse through its who’s who of producers, from grand marques such as Veuve Clicquot to smaller names like Bruno Paillard and Jacques Selosse, not to mention a stellar line-up of older vintages at eye-watering prices. If Champagne cocktails are your thing, don’t miss The Flapper – a perennial favourite at Claridge’s Bar made with fresh strawberries and crème de cassis. For more creative cocktails retreat to The Fumoir, a darkly seductive, Lalique-panelled, jewel-box of a bar, that drips with Hollywood glamour – perfect for an intimate tête-à-tête over knock-out mixes such as the Maguey, a smoky concoction made with mezcal, Ardbeg whisky, absinthe and raspberries.

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Hotel Bars
£30 - £49
The Stable Bar at Boisdale of Mayfair

The Stable Bar at Boisdale of Mayfair

12 North Row, London, W1K 7DF

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Dickie

Dickie's Bar

Corrigan's Mayfair, 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, London, W1K 7EH

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Manetta

Manetta's Bar at Flemings Mayfair

Flemings Mayfair, 7-12 Half Moon Street, Mayfair, London, W1J 7BH

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Cartizze

Cartizze

4 Lancashire Court, London, W1S 1EY

Facilitating London's love affair with Prosecco, the superior fizz served at Cartizze hails from the very vineyards that give this high-end perch its name. Done out with real panache like a 1930s Lake Como villa, it’s quite a looker – all lilac and cerulean leather, oak panelling, marble, mirrors and metallic sheen. And if you’re dressed in anything less than Armani, you'll feel like a Puglian peasant next to Cartizze's average fashionista. Venetian bubbles form the basis of various fancy Bellinis as well as vodka-laced Sgroppino and an Olive Oil Gin Fizz – although we’re crazy for Mad Max (Monkey 47 gin, orange and chocolate liqueurs, blood orange pressé, banana and spiced sugar) and other Mayfair-priced alternatives such as a mezcal Negroni served from an antique trolley. To eat, expect truffle and Pecorino arancini, San Daniele ham-wrapped figs or scallop, apple and 'nduja sliders.

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The Bar at the Athenaeum Hotel

The Bar at the Athenaeum Hotel

Athenaeum Hotel, 116 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7BJ

 

The Athenaeum’s former Whisky Room has been reimagined as an all-day brasserie, part of a snazzy redesign of the family-run luxury hotel. The library of vintage malts has been decanted to this brand new bar with its entrance on Down Street. The mustard and liquorice-tone lounge is a smoky 1950s-style looker, framed by a lush jungle foliage garden wall. It’s run in tandem with renowned restaurateurs, Chris and Jeff Galvin, with Giancarlo Mancino (he of the eponymous vermouth range) as cocktail supremo. Stirs, such as a clay pot-aged Negroni, often rely on craft spirits. A Brooklyn prepared Mancino-style is a rewarding version of the Manhattan’s lesser-known sister. We won’t spoil the surprise, but those of a theatrical bent should bag the house signature – in a bag. Bar ‘snacks’ include ‘hot dog deluxe’ and good yellowfin tuna burger with slaw: generous enough for two to share at this useful new bar.

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The Rivoli Bar at The Ritz London

The Rivoli Bar at The Ritz London

The Ritz London, 150 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9BR

An exercise in art-deco opulence, The Rivoli Bar's elaborate jewel-box interior will make minimalists break out in hives with its gilded ceiling domes, tone-on-tone marble, camphor wood walls, swirly chandeliers, Lalique glass and leopard-print stools. A byword for luxury, the Ritz's aristocratic charms come at a correspondingly kingly cost: you’ll need to shell out handsomely for a shot of Churchill’s Courage (a Manhattan involving butter-washed bourbon, maple syrup and white port), an Iron Lady (a Champagne cocktail with Bombay Sapphire gin, quinine bark and lime) or the Modern Traveller (Plymouth Gin, spiced water, fig liqueur, Cassis and lemon juice served in a glass pipe). Oligarchs and the landed gentry can swan it with big-ticket bubbles, beluga caviar and luxe seafood platters, while the lower orders get small change from £100 for a bottle of house white Burgundy and a burger.

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Donovan Bar at Brown

Donovan Bar at Brown's Hotel

Brown's Hotel, 33 Albemarle Street, London, London, W1S 4BP

Smooth and dependable with a tasteful and nicely upholstered interior, the Donovan Bar is quietly stylish – if not the most exciting ride in town. However, at £15 per cocktail, this self-appointed ‘legendary drinking establishment' is possibly not for your average runaround tippler. Fans of sidecar and classics of similar vintage will find them among a list of contemporary ideas such as the rock (Glenmorangie 18-year-old whisky, fresh pineapple, black pepper and lemon juice spritzed with smoky Scotch), while gin lovers might fancy a Sipsmith and Aperol old fashioned, sipped to the sounds of live jazz most evenings. There's also a good range of grape and grain to go with proper English snacks – think devils on horseback, fishfingers with mushy peas and chips, Portland crab on toast or pork crackling with Bramley apple sauce

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