• Derrian Douglas

5 cocktails bars you need to visit after lockdown

Image credit: Unsplash

It's summer and our hearts are breaking thinking about all the cocktails we're missing out on. With the news of the easing of lockdown being postponed, why not think about the future - a world where there's cocktails galore!

London has one of the best collections of cocktail bars in the world, so as you can imagine it was hard to cut this list down to just five bars. In true TikTok fashion, I might just have to make a part two!

Mr. Fogg's Residence - Mayfair

Whether or not you're familiar with Jules Verne's book Around the World in 80 Days it doesn't matter, the decor will leave you dumbfounded regardless.

The staged home of Phileas Fogg can be found on a quiet street off Berkeley Square. Follow the windy street until you come across a small emerald storefront with a big wooden door - you're in the right place.

From the outside, you can hear music playing and people laughing. Upon arriving, a man dressed in steam punk attire will take your coat and lead you to your table. You're about to walk into the most insane cocktail bar you've ever been in. We didn't know where to look first!

The interior mirrors a beautiful parlour with deep maroons, greens and blues, with flags of every country hanging above you. The lighting is dim yet inviting, and the staff is well-versed on their famous tipples. The bar is the greatest interpretation of an organised mess with mismatching furniture and wild wall decorations. There is a huge fireplace, which is a hotspot seat during the winter.

Entertainment is abundant - you can dance around in your chair to the bar's soundtrack, pose for the coolest Instagram photo you'll ever take, or enjoy the skilled barmen's cocktail-making tricks!

The libations are top-notch and there's something for everyone. Fresh lime and lemon juice and fruity purees are common, but if you're looking for a more explorative cocktail, popcorn syrup and chill flakes are a few of the interesting ingredients used. If you love champagne like we do, there's plenty of cocktails with Moet & Chandon!

Mr. Fogg's Residence is one of a collection of different Mr. Fogg's bars throughout London. Each bar has their own theme and carefully tailored menu of cocktails - all are delicious!

Mr. Fogg's Residence also does alcoholic afternoon tea. You can make a reservation for every Mr. Fogg's location on their website.

Our Recommendations: The Henrietta, The Orient

The Blind Pig - Soho

The Blind Pig is one of the most exclusive cocktail bars in London, and it's well worth the hype.

The Blind Pig is a hidden bar in the Social Eating House in Soho. The club is Members-Only, but you're able to make a reservation via phone for the cocktail bar.

The bar can be hard to find if you don't know where to look. Lucky for you, I do! Once you find your way to the The Social Eating House, there should be a door next to it with a pig knocker - that's where you need to go. From there, you'll find the bar upstairs.

While the menu is always changing, the idea behind it is enough to make you want to go in with a blind eye. All the cocktails are inspired by different children's books! In the past, they've had drinks inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter and Paddington Bear.

Paddington's Lost & Found is a pleasant surprise and personal favourite - if you like marmalade sandwiches, you're going to love this cocktail!

The Blind Pig is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street. The atmosphere is chic and not too loud, and provides a great view of the city!

Our Recommendations: Paddington's Lost & Found, Float like a Peach

Oriole - Farringdon

Oriole is everything you'd want in a speakeasy - perfectly hidden, imaginative cocktails, comfortable interior and a vibrant atmosphere.

Tucked away under Smithfield Market in Farringdon, this speakeasy is the epitome of class and mystery. Oriole is a jazz bar that uses 'magic' to create their drinks. Each drink comes in its own unconventional cup - one of ours came in a leather bag!

The drinks are inspired by different spirits and flavours from around the world, and the menu is split up by continents. The cocktails are SO unique that there is a glossary at the tail end of the menu explaining each unique ingredient. We brought a large group with us and everyone found a handful of cocktails tuned to their liking. They have everything from chocolatey, savoury, smoky to sweet cocktails.

A personal favourite was called the Garden of England. The drink was topped off with a mock garden, garnished with gherkins and tomatoes - it sounds horrible to most, but for those of us who love a Blood Mary, it was perfect.

The loud chatter turns into a murmur as live entertainment comes onstage. The bar is known for it's live jazz performances - and we can vouch that they add so much to your experience.

Simply put, Oriole is enchanting.

Oriole is currently still closed due to COVID-19, but its sister bar, The Nightjar, is open for business. We hear it's just as good!

Keep an eye out for this bar's reopening. Perfect for date night or a girl's night out, It's too good of a find to miss!

Our Recommendations: Garden of England, Lambanog Mule

The Lucky Pig - Fitzrovia

The Lucky Pig is a underground bar that pays homage to the 1920's Prohibition Era.

As stated on their website, 'Lucky' is based on the American mobster Lucky Luciano, while 'Pig' references the Blind Pig watering holes where people gathered for nights of illicit drinking.

In true Prohibition style, the bar is hidden inconspicuously on Clipstone Street. A security guard is usually standing outside, and after checking your ID will guide you down a set of stairs into a bustling bar full of vintage furniture and alcoves.

The decor is retro and homey, the drinks are typical classics with modern additions, and if you come on a certain evening, you might get lucky with some live music.

Our Recommendations: Sloe Down, Autumn Harvest

Peony Bar - Chinatown

The Peony Bar is one of the many intimate bars inside of Opium, one of the most delicious Dim Sum spots in London.

Peony Bar focuses its menu on the map of China - each drink is inspired by the city it's named after.

Similar to the bars mentioned above, Peony Bar uses quite unusual objects to hold its cocktails, and many of them use smoke or dry ice to add to the mystery.

The staff are highly skilled and provide excellent service while giving you a bit of show while making your cocktail.

We highly recommend the Dim Sum as well!

Our Recommendations: Macau, Beijing

Whether you're looking for a trip down memory lane with a nostalgic cocktail or you want to imagine that you're on a tropical island, you'll find it in London. You might just have to look a bit harder to find them!

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