The definitive guide to London dining & events

...Speakeasy Bars

Date: 18.03.11 Category:

“Inspired by the illegal drinking dens of the Prohibition-era in 1920s America, there's a wave of discreet speakeasy-style bars popping up across the Capital.”

London's Speakeasy-style bars are mixing some of the most innovative (and potent) cocktails in town, making them well worth a visit. I'll let you in on a few of the best, but if anyone asks, you didn't hear it from me…

Purl London
Tucked away in a dimly-lit Marylebone basement, Purl offer cutting-edge cocktails in an atmosphere reminiscent of a Victorian gin palace. Exposed brick alcoves provide the perfect hiding spot for a post-work rendezvous.

Spuntino
Described as a speakeasy with food, Spuntino is the latest offering from Russell Norman, of Polpo and Polpetto fame. With a drinks list including cocktails revived from the prohibition-era, the bar also offers small plates and snacks inspired by the diners of downtown New York City.

Callooh Callay
Drinkers at Shoreditch's Callooh Callay deemed most deserving (quirky and hip) are presented with a much sought-after key to a wardrobe at the back of the bar, which leads to the Jubjub Bar (rather than Narnia) - a secret room bursting with rare spirits and exquisite cocktails.

Experimental Cocktail Club Chinatown
Combining Parisian flair with forward-thinking mixologists, the Experimental Cocktail Club provides a relaxed, speakeasy setting in which to escape the West-End crowd. A word of warning however, you may find yourself wandering up and down the dim sum fray of Gerrard Street in search of the door…

69 Colebrooke Row
Otherwise known as 'The Bar With No Name' and identifiable by only a lantern, 69 Colebrooke Row has developed a reputation for serving an innovative array of cocktails in a tiny space oozing with vintage charm. For those keen to know martinis from Manhattans, master cocktail classes instructed by owner Tony Conigliaro and fellow shaker Nick Strangeway are available in their upstairs training laboratory.

Montgomery Place
With a cocktail list to delight any cocktail aficionado, Montgomery Place brings a New York speakeasy-vibe to Notting Hill. Dark and intimate decor combined with soft jazz playing throughout makes for an understated spot to unwind and relax.

The Nightjar
A new addition to the speakeasy scene, The Nightjar offers a unique blend of live music and debonair drinking from the prohibition age. Regular live vintage music performances span across genres such as swing, jazz, cabaret and ragtime, keeping drinkers entertained well into the early hours.

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Spuntino

Spuntino

Restaurant with bar

"From the team that brought us Polpo, Spuntino will be serving up sharer plates and cocktails from their newest Soho site."

61 Rupert Street, London W1V 7HN

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Callooh Callay

Callooh Callay

Bar

"Callooh Callay is wonderfully inspired by non-sensical nonsense but serves no-nonsense cocktails."

65 Rivington Street, London EC2A 3AY

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Experimental Cocktail Club

Experimental Cocktail Club

Bar

"ECC is a majestic new opening on the cocktail scene, bringing French flavours to Chinatown."

13A Gerrard Street, London W1D 5PS

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69 Colebrooke Row

69 Colebrooke Row

Bar

"Also known as The Bar With No Name, 69 Colebrooke Row is widely known to serve some of the best cocktails in London."

69 Colebrooke Row, London N1 8AA

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Montgomery Place

Montgomery Place

Bar

"A low-lit, relaxed and seductive sanctum, ideal for dates and impromptu nights out."

31 Kensington Park Road, London W11 2EU

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The Nightjar

The Nightjar

Bar

"Quirky, cosy and cocktail-icious, The Nightjar is the new kid on the Old Street block. "

129-131 City Road, London EC1V 1JB

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