Bag yourself a banker at these London venues, by Square Mile.
Whether you’re a City slicker looking to meet your match, or you’ve run out of booze in the fridge and are on the hunt for an obliging banker to pay for your champers all night – we are here to indiscriminately help you find love/lust.
From venues where you can seduce the boardroom exec at the bar, to City nightclubs where traders stumble around spurting witty one-liners to potential mates at last orders, we’ve tracked down the perfect venues in which to beguile a banker. If you STILL leave without a phone number, you might just have to rethink your chat-up lines.
Formerly known as the much-loved-and-equally-derided Abacus, Forge is the bar for those who like to work hard and play harder. Upstairs, the venue has become more sophisticated than it used to be – which isn’t hard, considering that previously you couldn’t approach someone without your shoes sticking to the floor. Set against stripped-back brickwork, the bar’s plush leather booths are a good place to sit back and order some munch as you scope out the talent. Once you’ve chomped on your Coca-Cola-glazed pork ribs and downed some cocktails for dutch courage, head downstairs where the suited and booted get debaucherous until the early hours.
Most likely to see: Open-shirted traders and plenty of twerking
If the queue is too long at Mahiki, pop in a cab and head to Kanaloa, its sister tiki bar which serves rum punch out of coconuts and all manner of other Polynesian-themed receptacles. If you’re always the loser in a game of ‘spot the banker’, here’s a tip: they’re likely to be the ones ordering the £100 Dead Man’s Chest. Ignore the morbid name – it’s actually a barrel of fun, filled with all sorts of boozy concoctions with which to impress your new flame. The whole evening is totally kitsch and a hipster would probably rather chop off a limb than drink there, but slam enough tequilas and you’ll be dancing on tables and screeching along to Beyoncé’s Drunk in Love before you can say 'twerk'.
Most likely to see: West London aficionados slurping on cocktails larger than their heads.
You definitely won’t be dancing on tables at 1 Lombard St – unless it’s approximately 30 seconds before you’re thrown out. This discreet, sophisticated bar is where City boys and girls come to eat, drink, celebrate profits – and flirt outrageously around the convivial circular bar. Ideal for those who don’t like to stray too far from the comfort of the office, this bar and brasserie is sited in pole position next to Mansion House, and was once even a bank itself. You’ll need to be taking home a healthy bonus this year to eat regularly at the venue’s high-end restaurant, though.
Most likely to see: Men and women from the boardroom winking at each other.
Remember the City trader who racked up a £40k bar bill trying to impress unsuspecting actor Benicio Del Toro a few years back? That was here. If you aren’t enjoying yourself at this famous Chelsea club despite spending the night strawpedoing DP with Russian oligarchs and flimsily-attired pouting models, we’ve got a solution: just spend some more money. You know what they say: when in Raffles…
Most likely to see: Benicio Del Toro, scratching his head in bemusement.
If your innate charm and generous drink-buying skills have actually managed to wangle you a date, you’ll want to maintain a veneer of sophistication by taking them somewhere fancy, like a champagne bar. At Vertigo 42, you’ll be able to sip on bubbles, share a charcuterie board (what’s more romantic than slices of cured ham?) and look out across the London skyline from 400 feet above. Although, if the date’s going well, you’ll just be gazing adoringly into each other’s eyes all night, obviously.
Most likely to see: People in suits taking drunken selfies with a blurred City skyline in the background.