Arriving in The City of London, you will notice almost every street is adorned with architectural skyscrapers, glass office blocks and banking halls. It is the centre of London’s financial district and home to both the Stock Exchange and the Bank of England. It is also where you will find the 17th-century St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Museum of London and the Barbican arts centre. With such culture and wealth, the area has become renowned for its good food and great bars over the years, so we’ve rounded up some of the best cocktail bars the City of London has to offer:
One of the plushest bars you will find in the City is By Appointment Only. The building is a former Turkish bathhouse from the Victorian era, which now has gold glistening walls and luxe drapes adorning them.
The menu has a wide variety of cocktails and the mixologists are incredibly talented, with each drinking looking just as impressive as it tastes.
Launching during the “ginaissance,” the City of London Distillery doubles up as a cocktail bar with gin at the heart of the drinks it serves up. In true London style, this bar is tucked away down a back street of the City with dapper staff and sumptuous leather armchairs.
As with all Hawksmoor establishments, this bar exudes luxury and good service. Famous for their restaurants, the bar also offers a delicious food menu with smaller bites, like lobster rolls and cheese and marmite straws to accompany your drinks.
The cocktail menu is awash with indulgent classics and imaginative Hawksmoor originals, thought up by the inventive mixologists themselves. If you are feeling indulgent, try the Full-Fat Old Fashioned, which is a butter-infused twist on the classic, taken from the After Hours cocktail menu.
If you are after a skyline view of the City and beyond, look no further than Jin Bo Law. This L-shaped bar offers floor-to-ceiling windows so you can take in the sights while sipping on your Asian-influenced cocktails.
There are a few London Cocktail Clubs around and they are all pretty similar, which means you can know what to expect. These bars are all known for being lively and always up for a party, serving good cocktails at the speed of light.
Compared to the others, the City version of the London Cocktail Club is a bit more upmarket in its design with plush sofas and armchairs and dapper artwork adorning the walls. If you happen to be in the City for happy hour, you can’t go wrong by popping into this bar.
Rather than an all-out cocktail bar, The Library Bar at The Ned is an intimate champagne and martini bar tucked into a very luxurious corner.
This definitely is on the higher end of the scale when it comes to prices but for a special occasion, it would be perfect. Offering classic cocktails with exquisitely high-end ingredients, there is nowhere glitzier to sip your martini in the City.
If you like to work for your drinks, you should check out Social 24. It is nestled 24 flights of stairs above ground at Tower 42, neighbouring the Michelin-starred restaurant City Social by Jason Atherton.
Sunsets from this vantage point are stunningly beautiful as you look out over the City and to top it all off, you can choose to have some tasty bar snacks from the City Social to accompany your cocktails as well.
Sky Pod is definitely somewhere to keep in mind for special occasions during the summer. Offering an open-air terrace, which doubles as a bar and restaurant, as well as as a public garden.
When the weather holds out, you will get unrivalled, uninterrupted views of the Thames and Tower Bridge, and with a cocktail in hand and the flora around you, you’ll easily forget you’re in the city centre.
This open-air bar and restaurant could easily have been airlifted from Manhattan to London. You are taken to the rooftop by a glass lift that runs parallel with St. Pauls’ cathedral and once you’ve arrived, there is an abundance of seating and areas designed for visitors to unwind and enjoy good cocktails and music from the in-house DJs and occasional live act.
The Ned gets two mentions. Living up to its wealthy history as a former Midland Bank, The Nickel Bar is a very sophisticated marble-clad establishment. You are more likely to hear soothing jazz undertones here than any in-house DJs and everything, down to the attire of the staff, strikes the right balance between classy and casual.
The menu isn’t trying to be outlandish either. You won’t see any OTT concoctions, just simple classics that will be reliably pull together with ease by their experienced mixologists using top class ingredients and top shelf alcohol.
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