When @HelenaFleur and I go out “just for fun”, when we’re not working or reviewing or running events or generally being PPG’s (Professional Party Girls), you’ll more than likely find us tucked away in the corner of a Speakeasy, attempting to learn secret recipes from the Mixologists or chatting to the piano player, if the mood takes us.
There’s something uber-cool about these secret spots. Having to find an unmarked door and knowing what to say to get in; knowing they’re new and unpublicised, but being there anyway; feeling sure, for a few months at least, that you’re the keeper of the secret.
This year, there are more “secret” bars than ever popping up around town, so I thought we’d list five of our favourites for you. Don’t think I’m sharing all our secrets though. We always need to keep one or two up our sleeve…unless you ask very, very nicely!
In no particular order;
69 Colebrooke Row (The Bar With No Name)
Established in 2009, this award winning speakeasy is a well established favourite with the Islington crowd. It’s located just off the Essex Road (Islington Green end) and whilst it only houses a few seats, it’s intimate yet impressive. The brainchild of Tony Conigliaro (ex-Isola) and Camille Hobby-Limon (Charles Lamb Pub), it’s known for some of the finest cocktails in London…which at just under £10 are perfectly reasonable. The thing we love most about 69 are the darling little touches. Staff are dressed impeccibly; bills are all handwritten and cocktails are mixed with care. Gorgeous.
Nearest Tube: Angel
Helena has written about this for us before, so go see what she has to say. It’s perfectly located in Fitzrovia and reportedly gets it’s name from Lucky Luciano, who supplied alcohol to the illegal drinking dens in the United States during Prohibition. There are a whole host of reasons to love this place – from it’s friendly staff to the delicious cocktails. We recommend you try the ‘Hedgerow Sling’ (Sipsmith Gin, Sipsmith Sloe Gin, lemon, sugar and soda). Thank us later.
Nearest Tube: Great Portland Street
This is arguably the ultimate London speakeasy – and it’s almost a shame that the secret is out. For the last couple of years, hungover/tired people have rubbed their eyes in shock as people appeared to be disappearing through the fridge at the Breakfast Club off Bishopsgate – but they weren’t imagining things. While you order your coffee, just ask “to see the Mayor”, and you’ll be escorted into the sweetest of secret bars, through that average looking Smeg appliance. It’s the perfect place in which to surprise a date or just impress your mates – but get there quick before it’s spoilt. Opening hours are 16:00-00:30, and they currentyl have reduced price cocktails between 17:00-20:00.
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street
One of the newest and sexiest Speakeasies in town, you’ll need an appointment to get in. It’s dimly lit, exclusive and fabulous, with booze served up inside brown paper bags and staff in dickie bows, serving you the finest cocktails. They describe themselves as a venue dedicated to classic food and alcohol – and classic is what it is.
Nearest Tube: Earls Court
Come on. You have to visit, if only for the name. It’s wonderful. As is the bar. It’s also very dark…but that’s kind of the point of a Speakeasy. Located on Hoxton Square, this is an innovative, classy and thoroughly enjoyable spot. Again, attention to detail is what makes it so wonderful – from the iced glasses that keep drinks deliciously chilled in summer, to the “no wallies” notice on the website. Luckily, when our friends were there, they spotted none. Go. You’ll love it.
Nearest Tube: Old Street
So there you go. If you know of any others that we should be visiting, please do share! And let us know if you’ve been to any of these, and what you thought.
Comment below, or contact me @Love_London