Head to Hackney where ABQ brings you a fully-immersive cocktail experience that will have you shaking, mixing and cooking up some seriously stunning molecular cocktails, and living out your mad chemist dreams.
Weird and Wonderful Bars in London
Taxidermy dining, ice cube cocktails, live circus performances and underground caverns - quirky bars in London aren't hard to come by, at least not when you have us around. From the eye-popping and the down right strange, to the dizzy yet dazzling, check out our guide to the most weird and wonderful bars in London for a dash of drinking in the city to remember. Creeps, freaks and regular peeps welcome.
A bar with noticeable retro vibes, Simmons is a quirky little number that resembles a tea room with a variety of knick-knacks for company. Patrons come by for their killer happy hours, where they can sup away at delicious drinks served from tea cups sporting the Queen's face on the front.
Connoisseurs of all things boozy, London Cocktail Club have finally ventured south with their mix of affordable and easily smashable cocktails. The Clapham location is dedicated to the movies, with a Star Wars Room, Titanic neons, and Pulp Fiction nods - your Saturday night just got a whole lot quirkier.
One of the best vintage bars in London, The Bootlegger is an amazing step back through time. Harking back to the Prohibition days and giving guests a true dose of retro, The Bootlegger is perfect for off the wall cocktails and a night out like no other.
Keep this one under your hat, but there's actually a charming Chinese dim sum parlour and cocktail bar behind that innocuous green door in Chinatown. Track it down and immediately reap your rewards, with three floors of cocktails, food, nooks and crannies awaiting.
Forget picking an obscure bottle from the top shelf, BYOC Camden is a unique concept that asks ticket holders to bring their own bottle of spirit. Set in a 1920s Prohibition den, the bar will then skilfully whip up a selection of tipples with your bottle based on your favourite flavours.
With a focus on fantastic, bespoke cocktails and interesting design, Nightjar is one Shoreditch speakeasy well worth seeking out. Head downstairs and away from the bustle of City Road to encounter a archetypal 1920s scene, with guests enjoying tin cup cocktails at candlelit tables, as jazz and swing bands fill the room with their soothing tunes.
Though the idea of drinking wine in a former toilet might not sound that appealing, you might make the exception for the wonderfully weird WC Wine & Charcuterie Bar. Based underneath Clapham Common tube station, the 24 different varieties of red and white wine work with the menu of sharing platters and cheese boards to offer an experience full of rich flavours and tastes.
A throwback to the 1920s Havana heydays, Burlock is one of the UK's most impressive rum houses. There's more than 200 different types of the spirit and a selection of authentic Cuban and Caribbean food to complement the tastes on show. Keen to try something new? The Grasshopper Challenge involves polishing off a grasshopper, a shot of rum and a Barbadian 10 Saints beer in quick succession.
Tucked away in Battersea, the Schoolhouse does exactly as it says on the tin, complete with lab coats, science areas and plenty of naughty behaviour. Come here for one of London's best boozy brunches, quirky cocktails galore, and a weird and wonderful vibe in South London.
Sister bar to Nightjar and home to some of the most famous cocktails in the world, Oriole's purpose is to supply creative drinks. A menagerie of vintage inspired spaces, live swing bands and cocktail artistry, Oriole is one of the most unique bars in London with good reason.
A basement hangout hidden away from the hustle-bustle of Portobello Road, Trailer Happiness is a cool bar in London with some serious character. Taking inspiration from the chilled Californian mid-60s, the bar brings quirky decor, tiki influences and innovative cocktail concoctions.
Turn up the volume on quirky cocktails and '70s chic as Bobby Fitzpatrick brings North London a whole heap of fun. The cocktail bar specialises in all things retro with vintage wallpaper, signed photographs and a cocktail list that's inspired by lost loves. Add board games and deep dish pizza and you're on to a winner.
Haggerston-based VR arcade Otherworld promises to take Londoners on a journey quite like no other. Whether you're more into fighting zombies or flying through time and space, you'll be able to round off your adventure with a selection of craft beers, wine and cocktails in the space-age themed bar.
Hidden away behind a striking mirror is the Looking Glass Room, a clandestine drinking hole where abstract photos line the walls and everything is not as it seems. Get up close and personal with the cocktail card as each libation is made with only the finest ingredients and prepared with a passionate flair.
From the secret room hidden through a wardrobe through to the street art cocktail menu, Callooh Callay is all about the unusual. The quirky Shoreditch bar has got date night written all over it, with intimate nooks to curl up in and a drinks menu that will have you swooning.
Boasting a taxidermy and Wiccan theme throughout, the Hand of Glory is one of London's most weird and wonderful pubs. More than just its decor, this pub is renowned for serving a fantastic selection of the best ciders available in the UK. And beyond that, they're also known to rustle up a cracking cheeseburger and exhibit some awesome local artwork.
One of the most unique places to drink in London, head on down to Four Quarters in Peckham not only for cocktails, but some of the best gaming in the business with retro arcade sets of Pacman, Time Crisis and more. Ease the night along with their impressive selection of craft beers and, once you've done beating your best mates at video games just like the old days, head downstairs for the speakeasy bar the Confession Box.
Aromas, fogs, airs, foams and food. These are just some of the things that Purl will manipulate as they seek to create the ultimate multi-sensory beverage from their Mayfair HQ. Retreat to one of their cosy alcoves and find out how they're getting on.
Expert mixologists have been experimenting with an Edwardian cocktail recipe and have decided to lay their inventions out for you to taste… at The Gibson. Hoping to re-popularise the now mostly forgotten drink, they are using the highest-quality spirits mixed with their masterful knowledge to compose a list perfect for their weird and wonderful Clerkenwell bar.
You can meet only by appointment at this London basement bar, and even then you are unlikely to find its entrance. Your escort will greet you, before you're eventually invited through the American style Smeg fridge and admitted to a captivating underground drinking space whipping up delicious cocktails and beers with the outside world oblivious to your presence.
Hidden in the depths of Canary Wharf is a fine example of cocktail skill and cool interiors, but just how to find it? Just pay a visit to The Breakfast Club as this hidden gem is tucked away in the venue, and provides a roaring night of unique drinks, vintage inspired interiors and hidden charm.
You've gotta work for your drinks at this WW2 immersive experience. The Bletchley is inspired by Alan Turing's incredible code breaking, and will put the old noggin to the test with clues to crack and riddles to answer - it will be worth it once you've sipped on one of their concoctions.
For something a little different, head to this hidden bar within Merchant House and have the whole place to yourself. With a personal bartender and your own music selection, you can soak up cocktails in unique surroundings.
Set in at the top of Dead Dolls House, Upper House is sporting the same unique vibes and fantastic decor. Rooms are stencilled in intricate designs and the menu pays homage to British seasonal dining - and once you're done scoffing, the house DJ will see you into the early hours.
This emporium of oddity - be it human, animal, vegetable or mineral - is a glorious insight into the dark side of the world. The Next Tuesday club stake their claim here, showcasing their love of collecting. A bar has been established downstairs, offering cocktails that will put some hairs on your chest. Weird doesn't begin to describe it, and this is certainly a land of wonder.
By day, step out into Aeronaut's circus-style beer garden and snuggle up into one of the many themed booths with a hoppy pint in hand (all brewed onsite!). By night, Aeronaut becomes something else entirely; disco balls descend, the spotlights beam down and the stage comes out for the aerial acrobats and glamorous gymnasts.
When it comes to a unique night out in London, we highly doubt you've tried anything quite like Flight Club. Not only the perfect place to catch up on pizza, cocktails and brunch should the weekend take you, book an oche and get down to some serious darts action alongside drinks. The fun-time party has four venues; choose between Bloomsbury, Islington, Victoria or Shoreditch.