The Most Exclusive Bars In London

 

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Capital A List is your guide to finding the most exclusive bars in London that typify luxury, sophistication and elegance. Our selection encompasses the thriving bar scene in the most sought-after London locations; Mayfair and Chelsea.

 

The Most Exclusive Bars in London

 

Artesian Bar is the Langham Hotel’s flagship cocktail lounge offering guests the perfect spot to not only be surrounded by works of art, but also to taste it in their inventive and refined cocktail list. Artesian Bar was named the Best Bar in The World for four consecutive years from 2012 to 2015, making it one of the most exclusive bars in London. The luxurious high-vaulted ceilings, dark woods, chandeliers and leather and brass studded furniture transport guests to the pinnacle of luxury and sophistication. This classic and timeless environment is blended with an exciting and dynamic atmosphere created by their innovative approach to their cocktails.

Their cocktail list is aptly named Artesian Moments and changes seasonally to ensure that guests always experience something new and exciting. The drinks are inspired by thoughtful themes, with its most recent theme being pivotal moments in one’s life. Each cocktail’s flavours, fragrances, and ingredients are associated with key milestones within our lives. Naturally, the First Steps cocktail comprises flavours of milk and banana to reflect one’s formative years. While the First Rode a Bike cocktail fuses a grassy blend of gin with fresh citrus and Gangnam tops to be reminiscent of the fresh scents of the outdoors. The head bartender, Remy Savage, joined Artesian after four years at Paris’ iconic speakeasy, Little Red Door, where he was awarded the title of the World’s Most Imaginative Bartender in 2014. This achievement is definitely showcased in his sublime creation of the latest edition of cocktails in Artesian Moments. What also makes Artesian Bar so elite is its gourmet snax sample evening menu that evokes an array of flavours to compliment the cocktails, as well as its extensive choice of wines and champagnes sourced from around the globe.

Located in the highly sought-after Marylebone, Artesian Bar artfully combines thought- provoking cocktail creations with an environment oozing quintessential luxury.

 

The Most Exclusive Bars in London

 

Exclusivity is synonymous with Shochu Lounge, which is discreetly tucked away in the basement of the iconic Japanese Roka restaurant on Charlotte Street. It is one of the most exclusive bars in London, and epitomises the Roka style of luxury and extravagance with its vibrant and futuristic murals as well as with its flowering indoor blossoms. It showcases the best of Japan’s drinking culture with its handcrafted wooden bar lined with bottles of its namesake as well as premium Japanese whisky and spirit selections.

Shochu Lounge is iconic for its innovative cocktails, and we recommend trying one of their distilled infusions made with their namesake, Shochu. The Shochu on the Beach comprised of cherry shochu, pineapple and cranberry, and peach liquer, as well as the Sumida Blossom made light and flavourful with gin mare, basil, elderflower lemon and lavender bitters are two highlights. Shochu Lounge stand outs as a unique Mayfair bar, as anything from the sister restaurant Roka upstairs can be ordered to the lounge setting. Scallop skewers with wasabi and shiso or beef, ginger and sesame dumplings are delicious compliments to the vast array of drinks on the cocktail menu.

Shochu Lounge masterfully combines the best of a relaxed lounge setting with sophisticated Japanese-inspired décor and cocktails.

The Most Exclusive Bars in London

 

Descend down the iconic spiral oak staircase of the Hide restaurant in Green Park and be welcomed into the modern and minimalistic Hide Below Bar. The sleek and dimly light Hide Below is reminiscent of a Nordic cabin with its simplistic finishes and wooden surfaces. It is one of the most exclusive bars in London and this is epitomised in its unwavering service that is as sophisticated as its surrounds. On arrival expect to be presented with a palate cleanser on the house made with elderflower, cucumber and gin.

With Hide’s partnership with Hedonism, they offer an impressive list of the world’s finest and rarest spirits. World famous spirits including Italy’s aperitivo del professore are combined with the best seasonal produce to craft exquisite cocktails. Hide Below leans toward lighter and fresher flavoured cocktails by wielding both modern and classic techniques. One of our favourites was the Adam & Eve cocktail at £13.50 made with a silky mix of somerset cider, brandy, Diplomatico Mantuano rum, fig leaf and clarified milk. Native No 1 oysters at £6 each, as well as creamy chicken liver parfait for £12 are the perfect complement to one of Hide Below’s delicious cocktails and wines.

Hide Below also houses Hide’s walk-in cellar, where guests can select their own wine pairing. This adds yet another facet to the multi-dimensional luxury experience that guests can expect from this sophisticated and fashionable Mayfair bar.

 

The Most Exclusive Bars in London

 

With unrivalled panoramic views of the River Thames,12th Knot rooftop bar located on the 12th floor of the Sea Containers London is one of our top picks for the most exclusive bars in London. Floor-to-ceiling windows and comfortable open-plan lounge spaces make this bar idyllic for drinking cocktails whilst watching the sun set on London’s breathtaking city skyline.

12th Knot Bar reflects the vibrancy of South Bank and the modern elegance of London with its bright décor, lush greenery and live music and DJ performances occurring most nights of the week. Its cocktail list is a creative blend of British and American-style classics. 12th Knot Bar celebrates seasonal ingredients, and this is reflected in their cocktail menu that changes seasonally to ensure that ingredients are hand-picked when they taste their best. Two favourites include the BadaBoom made with gin, grapefruit and ‘explosive syrup’ and the Devil’s Share. For between £30 -£49 per person, seasonally-led small food plates
including a tuna taco or truffle arancini are also on offer to accompany your cocktails of choice.

12th Knot Bar is a desirable evening location for a sophisticated clientèle, as it combines unparalleled views of London with classic interiors and a commitment to dynamic and innovative cocktails and food.

 

The Most Exclusive Bars in London

 

American Bar located in the Savoy Hotel in Covent Garden is the oldest surviving cocktail bar in Britain. It first welcomed guests in 1893, and today it retains its status as a pivotal player in the British cocktail industry by being named the World’s Best Bar at the World’s 50 Best in 2017, as well as the World’s Best again at the Tales of the Cocktail in 2018. Suffice to say, The American Bar exemplifies what it means to be one of the most exclusive bars in London.

American Bar is timeless, elegant and classic and this is threaded throughout its interior, cocktails and its American Jazz piano performances occurring every night of the week. Its latest cocktail menu, The Savoy Songbook, plays homage to the legendary musicians and songwriters who have entertained guests at the world-famous bar in its 130-year history. Head bartender, Maxim Schulte, has transformed each of the iconic songs played at the bar into twenty cocktails so that the ingredients, styles and spirits used in the drinks uniquely reflect the lyrics and melodies. One that standouts is the Sun, Sun, Sun cocktail based on George Harrison’s classic that will hearten any guests with its combination of light orange blossom, yuzu wine and lime flavours. The songs reflected in the cocktail menu have also been recorded on a live album by the bar’s resident pianist, Jon Nickoll, further embedding music into the culture at The American Bar.

American Bar has remained at the forefront of the bar scene in London for over a century by celebrating its unique history of talented musicians, and by making this an integral component to their innovation. This still remains an industry first, and illustrates what makes this Mayfair bar so unique.

 

The Most Exclusive Bars in London

 

Similar to what one would expect from the Connaught five-star Mayfair Hotel, it’s bar is elegantly fashioned with silver-leaf textured walls, a period piece ceiling and plush dark leather armchairs. Designed by David Collins, Connaught Bar is elegance at its finest evoking the feeling of 1920s English and Irish Cubist art. What makes Connaught Bar one of the most exclusive bars in London is the flair and precision with which the dedicated mixologists conjure up innovative cocktails, as well as transform classics with a Connaught twist. Each cocktail is so uniquely made that the Connaught Bar goes as far as giving each guest a recipe card of the chosen cocktail at the end of the night, creating an exclusive opportunity for guests to attempt their delicious cocktails at home.

Connaught Bar has a broad selection of drinks for guests to choose from, and each is made to perfection. A new cocktail collection named Essence has recently been launched, and takes guests on a sensory journey aimed at showcasing the progression of the bar over the past ten years. Connaught’s Martini Trolley has a theatrical whimsy to it, as it is brought directly to your table and made bespoke with your choice of lavender, coriander, cardamom, ginger, grapefruit, vanilla and liquorice flavours. With the chance to be at the helm of crafting your own unique martini, the trolley is a legendary tradition that is definitely worth experimenting with.

Connaught Bar is iconic for its mixology, and for some of the finest globally curated lists of champagnes, wines and whisky, therefore making it one of a kind and deserving of a place on our list.

 

The Most Exclusive Bars in London

 

Ritorno on King’s Road is inspired by mid-century modern Italy, and is home to one of the most exclusive bars in London. The yellow-grey Alabaster stone bar illuminated with bottles of spirits is the centrepiece of the room evoking the romantic elegance of European design. The head barman, Simone Francini, and his team have intertwined their passion, flair and love for Italy to curate a drinks list unique to the Ritorno. Unlike other bars that source from mainstream producers, the Ritorno prides itself on taking its guests on an authentic journey of Italy by sourcing its spirits from the very best Italian regions.

Contrary to convention, guests are recommended to pick their cocktails first, which are then paired with food dishes that complement the layered flavour profiles of the cocktails. For £10 per signature cocktail, expert bartenders showcase their mixology and theatrical talents right in front of you. One of our favourites is the Coffee Rio, a twist on the white Russian, that is as sweet and rich as it sounds with notes of brown cachaca, caffe borghetti, and vanilla syrup. Ritorno is on our list of the most exclusive bars in London, as nowhere else can you expect to a find a better reflection of Italy’s finest cocktails and a comparable list of Italian grappa, vermouth and gins.

 

The Most Exclusive Bars in London

 

Housed on the first floor of a 1920s former garage on Kings Road is the elegant Blue Bird lounge bar. Designed by Sagrada, who is also behind Arts Club, the lounge bar is inspired by its 20th century industrial heritage. An industrial chic is encapsulated in the central bar made from stainless-steel bumper shields, as well as in the miniature petrol pumps atop the bar that serve aged Old Fashioned and Negroni cocktails. A combination of hard steels, with art deco-themed furniture, bright textiles and mismatched furniture create a cosy atmosphere for evening drinks, making it one of the most exclusive bars in London.

The Bar manager, Ben Manchester, has curated an exciting cocktails list showcasing the finest locally sourced liquors. One of our favourites is the 301 made with Bluebird Gin from Portobello Road Gin. This cocktail perfectly embodies the quirky character of Blue Bird by being theatrically served in a miniature Blue Bird car. Classic cocktails have also been re- created with a Blue Bird twist, including the Gingerbread Mojito and Beaufort Beauty made with pisco, dessert wine, passion fruit and sloe gin. Limited edition cocktails can also be enjoyed with a selection of bar snack items including tiger prawns aioli, or olive artichoke tapenade with croutons.

 

The Most Exclusive Bars in London

 

The ground-floor cocktail bar in Beaufort House Hotel epitomises style and glamour and is one of the most exclusive bars in London, where people come to see and be seen. Beaufort Bar stands on the hotel’s former cabaret stage and its art deco style-inspiration and drinks list are as theatrical and sophisticated as the history behind it. A team of expert mixologists intrigue and excite guests with evolving drink menus that are entirely unique to the Beaufort Bar.

A new drinks menu divided into Music, Magic and Drama takes guests on a journey that celebrates luxurious grower Champagnes and English sparkling wines, gin mixes and dramatic whiskies. The three sections have been curated by head Bartender, Elon Soddu, as well as the whole Beaufort Bar Team, and each listed drink perfectly encapsulates the feeling of the theme it is associated with. The Music section is underpinned by light and bright themes and focuses on the finest champagne and sparkling wines. Magic highlights complex and intriguing gin mixes, and lastly Drama focuses on showcasing deep and dark whiskies primarily from Scotland. The bar also has a wonderful selection of classic and signature cocktails including watermelon martinis, spiced pear mojitos and signature Champagne punch, as well as over one hundred labels of premium wine. The Chancellor, a metre-high martini glasses filled with a glorious bottle of Dom Perignon and three bottles of Remy Martin Louis XII Cognac is also available for purchase for £1,100. This creation typifies the luxury and extravagance one would experience walking through the door of the Beaufort Bar.

 

The Most Exclusive Bars in London

 

Since 1998 Eclipse boutique cocktail bar has been at the forefront of London’s thriving cocktail culture. For almost 20 years it has attracted the attention of the chic Chelsea crowd as well as international recognition for its expert mixology and imaginative cocktails. It embodies class and sophistication, and is as glamorous and extravagant as its prized Chelsea location.

Since its beginning, Eclipse has served all drinks from only premium spirits, champagne and fresh fruit. This engrained culture of handcrafting cocktails with only the finest ingredients has enabled it to draw one of the most elite and sophisticated clientele. Their Crack Baby made with vodka, sour passion fruit, Chambord and champagne was created by the in-house team over a decade ago, and is still revered today as a modern classic that has been imitated across the globe. Eclipse’s signature Martini infused with vodka, fresh watermelon and kaffir lime is one of the standouts on the cocktail menu. One of its most iconic cocktail inventions, which has remained their best seller over the years, is the Total Eclipse sharing cocktail theatrically served in a hallowed out watermelon. Eclipse’s time and tested ingenuity when it comes to creating and presenting their cocktails, as well as its chic atmosphere, have made it one of the most exclusive bars in London.

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