This October, London Cocktail Week is back and bigger than ever. What’s different about 2020? They’ve only gone and extended the event for an entire month. With a plethora of signature serves and discounted cocktails on offer at some of London’s best bars, we figured we’d show you some of the best hidden haunts for illicit sipping. From party havens behind unassuming front doors to slinky cocktail joints tucked away down a staircase, these are the very best secret bars taking part in London Cocktail Week 2020.
The Bar: The Mayor Of Scaredy Cat Town
Where It’s Hidden: Simply whisper a cheeky request to see 'The Mayor' at the Breakfast Club in Spitalfields and you’ll be taken behind a fridge to the underground bar.
What You’ll Find: A charming combination of vintage furniture and Canadian whisky lodge vibes, with a wide range of signature cocktails and house shots. After sampling their exclusive London Cocktail Week serve? Delve into their menu of deep fried goodies from the folks upstairs.
The Bar: Nightjar
Where It’s Hidden: Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Old Street in East London, this slinky subterranean drinking den is identifiable by its Nightjar symbol on the door.
What You’ll Find: This is speakeasy-style sipping at its finest. Think 1920s-inspired candlelit tables and tin cup cocktails, where jazz music will soundtrack your London Cocktail Week experience. When it comes to drinks, expect unusual takes on classic mixes with vintage spirits.
The Bar: The Little Yellow Door
Where It’s Hidden: Blink and you may just miss Little Yellow Door, located behind an unassuming (you guessed it), bright yellow door on All Saints Road in Notting Hill.
What You’ll Find: Where to begin? Not only are the team behind it a top-notch collective of mixologists, chefs and party starters, but they also host some of the best boozy brunches in London. Expect hedonistic vibes aplenty at this top-secret party haven.
The Bar: The Natural Philosopher
Where It’s Hidden: Where you’d least expect to find it… behind a working Macbook repair shop in Bethnal Green, on oh-so vibrant Hackney Road.
What You’ll Find: A treasure trove of natural elixirs designed to cure all types of ailments. Against a backdrop of indoor foliage and vintage furnishings, the bar makes use of natural flavours, organic ingredients and foraged finds creating drinks that almost feel healthy.
The Bar: Opium
Where It’s Hidden: Concealed from the throngs of tourists that make up Chinatown and Central London, Opium is an elusive retreat found down a hidden staircase.
What You’ll Find: This 1920s Shanghai-inspired cocktail bar and Dim Sum parlour is split across two floors, with multiple themed bars serving an array of swoon-worthy mixes. Why not go the whole hog and pair your signature serve with some mouthwatering dim sum?
The Bar: 46 & Mercy
Where It’s Hidden: Just below Commercial Street, this secret basement bar is a no-frills drinking den underneath BBQ extraordinaires, Hotbox.
What You’ll Find: Paying homage to the building’s history as Banksy’s former art gallery, the bar is covered in modern art with cool touches like live DJs, tasty bites from the restaurant and a whole host of cocktails to explore while you’re visiting for London Cocktail Week.
The Bar: Behind This Wall
Where It’s Hidden: This quirky subterranean drinking den can be found beside Palm Vaults in the bustling Hackney area of Mare Street.
What You’ll Find: A minimalist aesthetic that extends from the stylish furnishings to the additive-free concoctions. Expect a fresh feel, with bare wooden booths and music from a regular roster of DJs, alongside modern cocktail creations to work through during your London Cocktail Week experience.
The Bar: Black Parrot
Where It’s Hidden: Just a hop, skip and a jump away from the City, this pirate paradise can be found down a secret alley off Fleet Street.
What You’ll Find: Every buccaneer's dream, Black Parrot is a quirky bar dedicated to sipping rum-based cocktails in colourful surroundings. Home to one of London’s largest rum collections, their citrusy signature serve ‘Walk The Plank’ perfectly befits the bar’s tropical theme.
The Bar: Discount Suit Company
Where It’s Hidden: A short walk from Liverpool Street Station, this bar can be found on a street corner with the shutters pulled down and a staircase leading down to a mysterious curtain.
What You’ll Find: Head to this secret hideaway and you’ll discover plenty of well-priced cocktails that can be created around your preferred palate. Taking inspiration from neighbourhood joints in NYC, the bar has an eclectic crowd that usually end up dancing on the tables together.
The Bar: Looking Glass Cocktail Club
Where It’s Hidden: You can find this secret London Cocktail Week bar just off the main Shoreditch drag of Hackney Road, with an unusual entrance through a mirror.
What You’ll Find: An Alice In Wonderland themed romantic retreat made up of vintage furnishing, baroque touches and magical concoctions. Make sure to try out their Atardecer signature serve which comes in a delicate goblet with an edible flower, which perfectly suits the bar’s fairy tale setting.
The Bar: Murder Inc
Where It’s Hidden: This top secret bar is hidden off the beaten track, around the corner from the buzz of Tottenham Court Road.
What You’ll Find: A grotto of quirky paraphernalia like a cardboard Trump, boxing gloves and neon signs. Immerse yourself in the bar’s tongue-in-cheek vibe by trying some of their unique mixes that pay homage to old school gangsters and will constantly change throughout London Cocktail Week.
The Bar: The Gibson
Where It’s Hidden: This stunning speakeasy is located a short walk away from Old Street tube station, identifiable by its signature dark green and black exterior.
What You’ll Find: It's a London Cocktail Week bar to get excited about for notoriety alone. Not only is the venue itself a futuristic Edwardian fantasy, but the world-famous cocktails are guaranteed to really knock your socks off with their innovative flavours and unique presentation.