The Best Lounge Bars in London

 

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London lounge bars are heralded as some of the best in the world and are renowned for their simply exquisite and unique designs as well as food and drinks. With the vast array of options to choose from, Capital A List will share a coveted list of the best lounge bars in London.

 

The Best Lounge Bars in London

 

For the ultimate tropical oasis in the heart of Upper Street Islington, look no further than Laki Kane, one of the best lounge bars in London. It brings the aloha spirit of the Caribbean in its carnival of colours, unforgettable cocktails and thriving music and entertainment. It is the ideal urban retreat to decompress after work, or relax over the weekend with friends. As you enter you are immediately drawn into the easy-going island spirit with its rush roofing, dangling ropes, palm prints and green plants covering each corner of the lounge bar. Tropical paraphernalia could not be more exquisite in this relaxed setting and is complemented perfectly with the rhythmic beats of Caribbean music.

What’s more is that each table is fitted with call buttons for service, meaning that you can call on tiki-dressed waitrons at any time for a re-fill of your choice. Now there is nothing more that embodies the relaxed feeling of a beach retreat than that. Each cocktail is rum-based with the selection of rums ranging from across the globe. The name Laki Kane stems from the lucky (Laki) sugar cane (kane) which is converted over time into the delicious rums used in their cocktails. The cocktail list has been designed by co-owner, Georgi Radev, a former Mahiki bar manager. His experiences definitely shine through in the spectacular cocktails that are made with only the best exotic ingredients, unrefined sugars and world-class rums. The signature Laki Kane cocktail, made with fruity and fresh passionfruit, coconut water, sugar cane juice and of course premium rum, will transport your taste buds to the sunshine and soft sands of the Caribbean beaches. Each drink is also served in custom-made ceramics that typify that island feeling.

They also make their own bespoke rum in the upstairs bar, The Spiced Dry Rum Club. This area is dedicated to teaching lucky guests Laki Kane’s unique re-distillation process. Guests can also learn how to make their own spiced rums with specialist help from £70. The kitchen is helmed by renowned chef Michael Moore and is inspired by the fresh and flavourful food of the tropics. Dishes of fried and marinated chicken wings and crispy squid served with Thai style chili dip are wonderful complements to the sunshine-soaked cocktails and interiors.

Laki Kane truly exemplifies a beach escape from its easy-going music to its tropical-inspired design, cocktails and food and cannot be missed out as one of the best lounge bars in London.

 

The Best Lounge Bars in London

 

Exploring the world has never been as easy than at Mr Fogg’s Residence in Mayfair. The delightful and quizzical story goes that the adventurer, Phileas J. Fogg filled his Mayfair home to the brim with antiquities collected after his 80-day trip around the globe. This whimsical story has been materialised into a number of adventurous lounge bars that transport guests to the Victorian era and to magical destinations throughout the world.

Locations in Covent Garden and Liverpool Street (Mr Fogg’s Tavern, Gin Parlour and Society of Exploration, amongst others) also typify the thrill-seeking, and wonderfully peculiar and eccentric nature of Mr Fogg’s Residence, whilst also cultivating their unique guest experiences. Mr Fogg’s is the sister brand to the prestigious Cahoots and Barts bars, and guests that have been to either will definitely experience the same attentive service and eccentric atmosphere.

The story of Mr Fogg’s Residence centres on the idea that the famed adventurer opened his home to the public to give them a glimpse into his daring life. The lounge captures this perfectly with its homely and studious design and is one of the best lounge bars in London. Polished wood panelled walls evoke the warmth and intimacy associated with an antique home. This cosy atmosphere is enhanced with ceilings, walls and shelves adorned in relics, artefacts and exotic creatures traceable to different cultures across the globe. The visual satisfaction and desire for adventure stirred by the glorious design is only enhanced by the delectable range of cocktails and light bites.

The signature cocktail list follows Phileas J. Fogg’s worldly travels and are as outgoing, innovative and bizarre as the adventurer himself. One of our favourite cocktails was ‘Upon Kiouni the Elephant’ primarily due to the anecdote attached to it. The story follows that Mr Fogg’s and his band of fellow travellers commandeered an elephant to traverse the city of Bombay India. The story illustrates the effort of a team and as such the cocktail is for a group of up to six guests. The flavours of Botantist gin, white wine, orange liqueur, cinnamon, elderflower cordial and fresh lychee juice are wonderfully light and botanical – the perfect drink for a warm summer day.

Mr Fogg’s Residence is as unique as it comes and brings back a childlike wonder for the world. Guests are plunged into a mystifying world full of curiosity, adventure and spirited cocktails – and we cannot think of a better example of one of the best lounge bars in London.

 

The Best Lounge Bars in London

 

Mix creativity and eccentricity together and the outcome is Looking Glass Cocktail Club. It is located in the trailblazing centre of creativity, Shoreditch, and occupies a haunt on the flourishing Hackney Road. Guests step through the ‘looking glass’ into a secret den of kaleidoscopic Louis XVI furniture, vintage art pieces and plush brocade fabrics. The space takes guests on a whimsical journey where high-end meets debauchery in the most memorable of ways, making this one of the best lounge bars in London.

Guests can expect to walk into a speak-easy setting where the lighting is dimmed and top notch house music reverberates throughout every crevice of the space. Intoxicating entertainment will make you feel as if you really have walked into another world. Looking Glass takes an artistic approach to its entertainment by intertwining its live music with performance art, and this not only adds to the electric atmosphere but also brings a bit of fun to its sophisticated cocktails. The cocktails are created to the highest standard in the ‘underland’ – the laboratory where talented mixologists produce home-made syrups, bitters and liquors as the flavours for the cocktails. This fresh and thoughtful way of producing cocktails makes Looking Glass a stand-out choice for one of the best lounge bars in London. The list is divided into cocktails, absinthe and wine and beer. Their current cocktail list is inspired by revolutions across the globe that have inspired and changed society as a whole. The ‘Changing Perception’ cocktail is enlivened by the feminist revolution with reference to the Ada Coleman who was the first head bartender of the American Bar at The Savoy Hotel in 1903. It pays homage to her famous ‘Hanky Panky’ cocktail by producing a unique distilled version playing up herbal and dry flavours. It uses distilled hanky panky, Portobello road gin, white vermouth and adds a light touch of orange bitters. Another great option is the Moore’s Law which plays on the current tech revolution by incorporating coffee and spiced flavours. Spiced Guinness reduction is mixed with a fizz of soda to balance out the powerful flavours of cognac.

Looking Glass is edgy yet refined and this playful mix is perfectly encapsulated in its eccentric design and entertainment offset by its classic and high-end cocktail creations. Its dual personality works wonderfully for its Shoreditch location where creativity blends seamlessly with corporate.

 

The Best Lounge Bars in London

 

One of the most luxurious places to be is the Anthracite in the splendid great Northern Hotel. It oozes glamour and sophisticated whilst still being a cosy and intimate spot in London’s King’s Cross neighbourhood. It is inspired by the coal it is named after and this translates into its choice of dark colour tones and metallic furnishings. It not only looks lux but also feels expensive with its interconnected rooms decorated with Italian walnut chairs, chic marble tables and scintillating wall mirrors. Specially commissioned artworks by world renowned artists, Gareth Reid and Paul Kenton, further add to the feeling of pinnacle luxury. Anthracite whole heartedly embraces what it means to be one of the best lounge bars in London by also evoking the same level of elegance in its cocktails and drinks.

Anthracite is the master of well-known classic cocktails, and has also tried its hand successfully at new and playful creations. A large collection of gin martinis, vodka martinis and contemporary martini cocktails pepper the drinks list. A favourite was the coastal martini which is inspired by the coastal regions of England and Europe. It evokes salty and tangy flavours associated with the wonderful seaside, and pops in a bit of spice as an unexpected twist. The coastal martini is made to perfection with samphire-infused Tanqueray 10, cured lemon-infused Dolin Chambery, black pepper, seaweed crisp and chili peppers. They also have an array of classic cocktails, including staple Negronis and also twists on classics. A great option for the more daring guest would be the Anticuado. It is inspired by an Old Fashioned with its measure of spirits to sugar and bitters. But what makes this drink memorable is its smoky flavours of chili-cumin and chocolate-covered cherries that bring a blend of rich and warm flavours.

By day Anthracite offers a luxurious city escape with its natural lighting and beautiful views of St Pancras International filtering in through the large floor to ceiling windows. By dusk, it truly becomes one of the best lounge bars in London with its exceptional cocktails and sultry interiors that speak to the highest level of sophistication.

 

The Best Lounge Bars in London

 

Sanderson Hotel in Fitzrovia is all about being quirky and original and this is immediately felt as you walk into the lobby to gleaming giant eyes peering at you from the spines of the lobby chairs. The hotel bursts with character and offers guests a plethora of spaces to enjoy – one being the ornate Purple Bar. Purple is not only in the name but is the primary colour decorating this elegant lounge space. It seems difficult to associate everything purple with elegance, but the Purple Bar really exemplifies the adage of nothing is impossible. The Purple Bar is regal in its design, that uses only the most expensive materials, in its expert drinks list through to its award-worthy service. It is everything extravagant and gloriously so, and we cannot stress it more that this is one of the best lounge bars in London.

Violet silk curtains frame the room creating a theatre-esque ambience which is enhanced by the soft glow casted by candelabras and tealights. The bar is awe-inspiring and looks like the remnants of a meteorite that has fallen from the sky. This visual illusion is helped by lights reflecting off the surface and the resulting light and dark shadows. Mirrors hang from the walls and on either side of the bar showcasing striking reflections of the spirits and the bar from above – this definitely adds to the luxurious and spacious feeling of the room. Miniature Queen Anne-style lavender chairs neatly sit in front of the iridescent bar giving guests the full spectacle of their drinks being crafted. The Forgot Me Not cocktail is a fantastic choice and is curiously made with a mix of Herradura, Resposado tequila, lemon and a topping of champagne foam. Another memorable drink was the Rabbit Hole that embodies whimsy. It is crafted with cherry vodka, cochi Americano, port, lemon and an egg white on top. Light bites are also made with the same attention to high-quality and one of our favourites was the deliciously crispy Gnocchi topped with pesto and parmesan.

The Purple Bar has an other-worldly quality and can be likened to a world where glamour, luxury and opulence reign supreme. It is one of the best lounge bars in London and is a place that would take more than one visit to fully appreciate all its inspired and mesmerising nuances.

 

The Best Lounge Bars in London

 

The next bar on our list of the best lounge bars in London is the Goring Bar housed in The Goring Hotel in the fashionable Belgravia. The Goring Hotel was named the best city hotel in England by the prestigious Hoteliers Top 100 in 2018. This comes as no surprise as the hotel is the only one to hold a royal warrant proceeding it hosting a dinner for the Middletons before the 2011 royal wedding.

The Goring Bar similar to the hotel itself is designed in Victorian-era fashion and this ties in with its overall charm of being pristine, very elegant and a stately location. The design is opulent to the core with its rich palette of deep reds, yellows and golds, wingback chairs, crystal chandeliers and marble floors. Everything was designed by the famed Russell Sage. A grand piano sits centre stage from which a resident pianist sets a soothing atmosphere; this chic feature adds to The Goring Bar being one of the best lounge bars in London.

Another great feature is the terrace that looks over the large manicured garden bursting with lush flowers and shrubbery – a peaceful and secluded spot to absorb nature and restore after the busyness surrounding the Victoria area.

The menu celebrates British-made spirits and adds a variety of herbs grown from The Goring’s own private garden. They even have an herb expert, Jekka McVicar, who has overseen the planting of more than one hundred different herbs to be used in The Goring cocktails. The current seasonal cocktail menu is based on the long history of The Goring and the many favourites that have been enjoyed since 1920. The Rosehip Royale is an adaption of the regal Pimm’s Royale and is crafted with Pimm’s No.6, Sacred Rosehip Cup, champagne and light flavours of strawberries, cucumber, mint and rose. The New Cuban is a modern take on the worldly beloved Mojito. The Goring Bar has elevated their adaption with botanical flavours of strawberry and champagne. Other components of Havana Club rum, mint, and lime cordials have remained to stay true to the tradition of this all-time favourite drink. The lounge has a delicious selection of nibbles to enjoy with one of their fabulous cocktails, wines or champagnes. A club sandwich, burger, cured meat platters, and salads among other light dishes are presented beautifully with wonderful flavours.

The Goring Bar is a sublime destination to bask in the forgotten times of queens and kings and the indulgent luxury that came along with it. This is one of the best lounge bars in London, and from day to evening guests can enjoy the spoils of a five-star luxury setting.

 

The Best Lounge Bars in London

 

The Den in St Martins Lane Hotel is an elegant lair for anyone seeking a respite. It is located in the heart of Covent Garden and is a peaceful enclave designed with classic British oak-panelling and a country club atmosphere. The furniture is comfortable and cosy and sets the ideal tone to sit back with a book, play a couple of board games and relax with friends with marvellous Gin and Tonic cocktails. It is one of the best lounge bars in London, as it is exactly what it is intended to be – a home away from home where comfort and luxury are the two key elements to the guest experience. The witty and eccentric wall art hanging on the walls offsets the old-school country club feel with a bit of modernity and playfulness. This wonderful juxtaposition between tradition and irreverence tones down the seriousness typically associated with lounge bars and rather allows guests to make the space their own playground.

Settle into one of The Den’s comfortable leather sofas and enjoy their luxurious afternoon tea and nibbles. Scrumptious light bites include their focaccia with garlic, rosemary and thin slices of delicious prosciutto. For guests that prefer sweet treats, The Den has plenty of mouth-watering delights. The chocolate hazelnut dacquoise glazed in chocolate and sprinkled in almonds is a wonderful choice and can be paired with one of their many tea-infused sundown cocktail teas. The Den is a great starting point for a night of spontaneous fun. The St Martins Lane Kitchen, a new pop-up restaurant at the hotel, is a great spot to transition to after the Den for elegant dishes celebrating the best of Asian flavours. After relaxing at The Den and having a quick bite at the restaurant, those seeking the evening to be enlivened by live music and entertainment should look no further than the discreet and mysterious Blind Spot speakeasy bar. It is located in the St Martins Lane Hotel behind a faux boutique tea counter. For guests in-the-know, this speakeasy thrives in the evening with music gathered from cities across the globe, as well as cocktails and nibbles inspired by 25 worldly destinations. Escape to the colourful city of Madrid or the quaint towns of Morocco through the soulful music, cuisine and cocktails.

What makes The Den perfect for the list of the best lounge bars in London is the variety of experiences open to guests. During the summer period, The Den partners with Veuve Clicquot champagne to offer guests a jungle-esque terrace decorated in foliage, butterflies and festive neon lights. Botanical cocktails can be sipped whilst overlooking the tranquil setting, or for exceptionally hot days, Ruby Violet ice creams are pure bliss. The Den is warm, relaxing and elegant and offers guests the perfect spot to enjoy the rest of St Martins Lane’s amazing amenities.

 

The Best Lounge Bars in London

 

The Light Room between Leicester Square and China Town is a hidden treasure sparkling both day and night. It is one of three distinct spaces spanning over three floors in Ku Leicester Square. The Light Lounge occupies the first floor and welcomes guests into an exclusive members club setting with its elegant and light décor. This example of the best lounge bars in London is decorated in glass surfaces that reflect the shapes and lights from marvellous crystal chandeliers. The space is adorned in lux dark tones with pops of turquoise and yellow banquette seating and post-modern wall art. Stylish wrap-around lounge booths cradle the space creating intimate enclaves to enjoy their wonderful bespoke cocktails, premium beers, wines and spirits.

During the day, The Light Lounge is a superb hide-out from a busy lifestyle and is bathed in natural light from its large windows. For a relaxed afternoon, we suggest finding one of their window seats in the corner and peering over the bustling street where Newport Place meets Lisle Street. In the evenings, The Light Lounge lives up to its name and transforms into a constellation of moody light and the buzzing atmosphere grows only stronger with DJ performances every Friday and Saturday. Dapper bartenders are on stand-by to whip up classic favourites, but guests are also implored to sample their new creations or to challenge the bartenders to craft bespoke cocktails based on your favourite tipples. This demonstration of master mixology makes The Light Lounge one of the best lounge bars in London. On the menu one of our favourites was the Nuclear Pina Colada served in a hurricane glass. It is a twist on the classic and adds a kick with Plantation 5YO, green chartreuse, coconut pure and pineapple juice and milk. It is also garnished beautifully with mint, dehydrated pineapple and lime. Other fantastic spins on classics include its Pisco and Pear Sour, and the delicious Easy Street which is a twist on the popular English Fizz.

The Light Lounge is complemented by two other spaces, including the Ku Bar and The Klub – both of which are trendy haunts that guests should venture to after spending time at the wonderfully elegant Light Lounge.

 

The Best Lounge Bars in London

 

Soaring 12 storeys high atop the Double Tree by Hilton is the Savage Garden – one of the best lounge bars in London. Everything about this rooftop bar destination is ‘savage’ from its brilliantly untamed cocktails and food to the theatrics of its interior. It boasts two terraces with breath-taking city views of The Shard, The Gherkin and St Paul’s Cathedral. Its location captures a playful yet slick atmosphere which is bolstered by its unexpected design. Reflective and scored surfaces juxtapose the sleek velvet furniture and marble floors creating a desirable conundrum of opulence and urban style.

Cocktails are crafted by the acclaimed Gorgeous Group and epitomise Savage Garden’s wicked and indulgent ethos, and make it one of the best lounge bars in London. The signature Flambard Colada is an amazing choice. It was inspired by the first Tower of London Prisoner, Ranulf Flambard, who escaped his inevitable doom by persuading the guards to become intoxicated. This funny anecdote illustrates Savage Garden’s humour and light-heartedness which is also apparent in its design and overall atmosphere. The Flambard Colada speaks to its dark comedy story with its feisty Havana Club 3YO rum and light pineapple, cucumber, Ayala champagne and wormwood ingredients. Classic Daiquiris, Bloody Marys and Negronis are also expertly crafted with a savage twist. Savage Garden also has an extensive list of champagne, white wines, roses, red wines and spirits and each is prepared with that same spirited and dangerous undertone.

Savage Garden also delivers an indulgent list of food exhibiting unexpected flavours and presentations. Guests can select sharing plates, feasting boards, mains and even light bites. Groups should try their spectacular Carnivorous sharing plate that comes complete with coconut beef short ribs, roasted poussin, classic beef sliders and black garlic mayo fries. Dishes of tempura oysters, sesame prawn toast with bacon jam, and buttermilk chicken sliders are delectable options that rage with flavour. Light snacks of salted and caramelised nuts, lemon verbena olives and fries add necessary substance to the deliciously dangerous cocktails.

Savage Garden delivers on its promise to be an exciting and daring rooftop terrace destination. It blends elegance with uninhibited fun and its resident DJ performances Wednesdays through to Saturdays only enhance its already festive atmosphere. For any occasion, this lounge bar is one of the best in the thriving Central London location.

 

The Best Lounge Bars in London

 

Housed beneath the famed Cinema sign in Dalston is the coveted secret cocktail bar – Ruby’s. It is renowned for its exceptionally quirky atmosphere evoked from its three different venues inside. First is the recently added Ruby’s Bar and Lounge which is inspired by the 1950s working man and is one of the best lounge bars in London. This is felt in its copper and industrial walls set against ruby red seating. The second space is an intimate cocktail bar embodying the 1920s with its glazed bricks, distressed walls and original wooden floors. The upstairs bar is another great spot imbued with the ideals of romantic 1960s Parisian fashion with its gold and cream colours and antique brass finishes. Each space epitomises Ruby’s idea of transporting guests back to simpler times of the yesteryear and each evokes this marvellously in their design and in their different atmospheres.

With so many spaces to explore at Ruby’s, the lounge space is the perfect spot to start the evening with its comfortable setting of mish-mash tables and chairs. It also has its own fully set up DJ and sound system playing the best of disco, R&B and club classics. Cocktails are divided into premium, experimental and classic. From the premium selection, the sour monk is an excellent choice. It is made luxuriously with Courvoiser, VSOP, Benectine, lemon and topped with a delicate egg white. The experimental range is wonderful and different and one of our favourites was The Pink One. It is made with Koko Kanu, Fraise de Bois, coconut mix and fresh strawberries. Classics range from Pina Coladas, Aperol Spritz, Mojitos to Margaritas, and a selection of white and red wines, beers and fizz also decorate the drinks menu. Light snacks of grilled olives and salted almonds are the perfect addition to your choice of cocktail which could be eccentrically served in Original Manchester milk bottles or tin cups. Once guests have relaxed in the lounge space and have had a couple of tipples, the other bars can be explored to experience yet another fascinating interpretation of history in both design and cocktails.

Ruby’s Bar is a treasure trove of quirky experiences, and offers guests the opportunity to travel through time from the 1920s to the 1950s and 1960s all in one night!

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