Quirky bars: don’t you just love them? If you love your cocktails with a rather large dollop of theatrics and immersion as much as I do, then you’ve come to the right place. From subterranean bars secreted behind a fridge, and a drinking den that takes you back in time, there’s a peculiar bar for every intrepid scoundrel. Welcome to my guide to the quirkiest bars in a London.
📍Kingly Court, Oxford Circus
Leave the 21st century behind and warp back in time when our grandparents were living it large in Post-War Britain.
Featuring wooden escalators and a train carriage underground, you can expect all the trimmings from the feel-good vibes 1940’s at this immersive tube theme including swing music, wartime posters, a ‘ticket office’, ornate maps of the London tube and more.
Choose your poison of choice from what looked like at first glance our is newspapers, and embark on cocktail journey you won’t mind commuting in. One of my personal favourite bars in the Big Smoke.
Don’t think that all the quirky, speakeasy bars are in East London. Channel you inner Alan Turing at this theatrical bar in Chelsea. Don your very own issued military jacket and serve her Majesty’s Secret Service by cracking the code from the enigma machine, and collect your reward with a stiff drink.
📍Various locations: Mayfair, Fitzrovia, Soho, Covent Garden
Step back in time (again) to the time to steamships, automobiles and Passepartout with Mr Fogg’s collection of bars transports.
Based on the adventures of the intrepid Victorian explorer and the Old World, Mr Fogg’s went through a massive expansion in 2019 and now boasts a collection of five fun and quirky bars around London.
Sip cocktails at his stately residence in Mayfair, sample cocktails amongst the soaring collection of exotic plants in Fitzrovia, and even sit back in comfort on the luxurious steam train carriage at the Society of Exploration in Covent Garden. Why not channel your inner explorer and visit all five drinking destinations?
Discount Suit Company
📍Petticoat Lane, Shoreditch
Descend down the stairs, pull back the veil, and discover a cosy, low-lit clandestine bar with bar-brick walls and low-ceilings.
Formerly a tailors stockroom, DSC has preserved many of its former history’s features. The cocktail list isn’t long big but the drinks are simply delicious.
There’s nothing flashy about this peculiar cocktail bar that will draw you in – but nevertheless a popular bar among Londoner’s in the know.
Evans and Peel Detective Agency
📍Earl’s Court, Kensington
Evan’s and Peel Detective is a secret drinking den hidden behind the facade of its detective agency proprietors.
Set in the prohibition era of 1920’s America, state your ‘case’ to the detective agency and, if you play, your cards right, the detective will show you through the hidden door behind an old bookcase, and into the illicit speakeasy bar with soft lightings, dick-bow bartenders, old-school glamour, criminal mystery and, of course, cracking cocktails served in a brown paper bag (don’t want to alert the authorities now, do we – this is prohibition America after all.
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, The Breakfast Club
📍Various location. Featured below: Liverpool Street, City of London
The Breakfast Club isn’t just a top place for a hangover fix-me-up, it’s also home to some of London’s covert bars.
Ask to “see the Mayor” at this branch in Spitalfields, and you’ll be led to a large and ordinary-looking SMEG fridge. But open it up, and you’ll see a flight of stairs leading to a speakeasy subterranean bar serving some top-notch cocktails.
Admittedly, it’s one of London worst kept secret, but if your mates haven’t heard of it before, go ahead and impress them. It isn’t just this branch in the City, but Breakfast club restaurant all across London with more than meets the eye. Check their website 😉
Alcotraz Shoreditch: Cell Block Two One Two
📍Brick Lane, Shoreditch
Based on the notorious prison in San Francisco. Alcotraz is an immersive cocktail bar where guests wear orange jumpsuits, smuggle liquors and drink in jail cells.
It’s a BYOC style bar with a massive dose of theatrics thrown in with ‘inmates’ encouraged to smuggle contraband bottles of liquor past the heavily accented prison wardens. Fun and one of London’s most off-the-wall bars.
There’s hundreds of quirky bars in London. Think one deserves to be on this list? Shout at me!