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10 of the best bars in London

callooh callay

You might want to tell whoever’s organising your work-do drinks  to  look no further than the 2011 World’s 50 Best Bars listwhere researchers canvassed opinions from across the globe to eventually shortlist venues from 16 countries, including London. Bars in the capital took second and third place (YESSSSSSSS!), so here’s a look at the other top venues in town worth checking out:

Connaught, London (Ranked: Number 2)

This bar in Mayfair is renowned for its remarkable interiors designed by David Collins, and mouth-watering cocktails as regal as the locale. www.the-connaught.co.uk (Carlos Place  London W1K 2AL)

Artesian, London (Ranked: Number 3)

Based in the Langham Hotel, Artesian prides itself on being a glamorous and chic go-to bar where they specialise in cocktails of the rum variety. www.artesian-bar.co.uk (Regent Street, 1C Portland, London, W1B 1JA)

Milk & Honey, London (Ranked: 5)

It’s been nine year since Milk & Honey landed in Soho, but the speakeasy’s established itself as a premium member’s club  that’s only open to the public until 11pm ( by reservation and near the beginning of the week too; membership’s £250 a year if you wondered)  www.mlkhny.com/london (61 Poland Street  W1F 7NU)

American Bar at the Savoy, London (Ranked: 6)

This throwback to the 1920s offers classic and American cocktails, whipped up by an award-winning team of bartenders.  www.fairmont.com/savoy/GuestServices/Restaurants/AmericanBar (91-92 Strand  London WC2R 0EU)

69 Colebrooke Row, London (Ranked: 7)

It’s called the bar with no name, but their cocktails are hardly ambiguous. The Autumn menu features the adventurous “Sirocco” (a fusion of pink peppercorn and flint vodka with grapefruit oils), and they’ve got a range of other exclusive tipples which can be enjoyed at their Sunday evening jazz nights.  www.69colebrookerow.com (69 Colebrooke Row, London N1 8AA )

Nightjar, London (Ranked: 18)

Nightjar is an inconspicuous haunt on City Road in Shoreditch, with a penchant for old-school glamour.  Pre-prohibition drinks are served as well as the classics.  They like a bit of jazz too. www.barnightjar.com (129 City Road London EC1V 1JB)

Callooh Callay, London (Ranked: 27)

Another best kept secret in Shoreditch, Callooh Callay is our kind of quirky, with interiors inspired by Lewis Carroll and a very cool members-only bar (the Jubjub) which is remarkably free.  They’ve had plenty of plaudits recently, so be warned; weekend’s here get hectic. www.calloohcallaybar.com (65 Rivington Street  Shoreditch, London EC2A 3AY)

LAB, London (Ranked: 36)

The London Academy of Bartenders on Old Compton Street don’t mess around when it comes producing phenomenal drinks.   For them, the “cocktail is king”, and their retro selection matches the bar’s vibe. www.labbaruk.com (12 Old Compton Street  London W1D 4TQ)

Worship Street Whistling Shop, London (Ranked: 39)

Here’s another hidden venue you can only hope Google Maps will help you find, but once you do it’s worth it. The Whistling Shop pays homage to the Victoria era of drinking (libations anyone?) and cocktails like Punch and Judy (Ron Zacapa rum 23, ‘Walnut ketchup’ and erm, malic acid) are nothing short of theatrical.  www.whistlingshop.com (63 Worship Street Shoreditch  London EC2A 2DU)

Quo Vadis, London (Ranked: 42)

This award-winning venue doesn’t cut corners when it comes to quality food and drink, and their QV bar menu boasts a specially commissioned  selection of cocktails, such as the Quo Vadis Aperitivo (Campari, Clementine Juice and Cava)  www.quovadissoho.co.uk (26 – 29 Dean Street  London W1D 3LL)

Honourable mentions

Lounge Bohemia, London (Ranked: 43)

This Eastern European-themed bar can only sit 35 and there’s no standing room – plus you can’t get in without pre-booking.  But  they’ve got a good range of cocktails, which is worth all the hush-hush. www.loungebohemia.com (1E Great Eastern Street , EC2A 3EJ)

Rules, London (Ranked: 47)

One of the oldest restaurants in London (est. in 1798!), Rules has got that old school elegance where you should go for a truly quality Martini (stirred, never shaken here) www.rules.co.uk/cocktailbar (35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2E 7LB)

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