Make the most of all that London nightlife has to offer by investigating the newest batch of the capital’s drinking dens. Our resident bar reviewer, Keith Barker-Main, is here to guide you through the best-rated bars and pubs he has visited over the past month. Scroll on for four freshly opened bars and pubs all vying to become your new favourite local.
What: Seminal 1990s Soho ‘style bar’, Alphabet, closed five years ago, but has now resurfaced in Islington. We like the cheeky riffs on popular rinses – Mint Choc Chip Mojito, say, or Panettone Negroni – and also enjoyed the keenly priced cooking: southern Med-style food such as tagines, kebabs, loaded flatbreads, wraps and dips, all served tapas-style.
Where: 56 Upper Street, N1 0NY
Blame Gloria, Covent Garden
What: This lively bar is all Day-Glo prints, and late-night shape-throwing to dance anthems. Lad lagers, bubbles, fruit-flavoured ciders, shots and bombs are downed in heroic quantities, but the main draw is undoubtedly the cocktails. Gloria’s ‘premium pleasures’ include the retro-inspired likes of Blame Yoko (a saké, honied jasmine tea, ginger ale and gin job).
Where: 20 Bedford Street, WC2E 9HP
What: Following their collaboration at Dalston bar-diner Untitled, chef Rob Roy Cameron and drinks-druid Tony Conigliaro are now taking on Mayfair – with outstanding results. Come here to enjoy deceptively simple sips, such as Dreaming of Salmon, a richly rewarding whisky and plum Shrub, or Red Amber, a rooibos tea liqueur and vanilla riff on Kir Royale.
Where: 48 Albemarle Street, W1S 4DH
Laki Kane, Islington
What: After 11 years at Mahiki, tiki comes easy to Georgi Radev, co-owner of this tropical fantasy. Creating a passable rendition of a Polynesian beach bar, robust premium rums are the primary fuel here, appearing in punches and Coladas. From the kitchen, you can fill up on tofu rolls, crab balls, and pork buns.
Where: 144-145 Upper Street, N1 1QY
Determined to try all of London’s world-beating bar culture? Begin back at the start with the best old world pubs in the capital.