Something A Little Different
Recommended fun bars in London for something a little different for a night out in London. With different scenes like Shoreditch, Camden, Soho, Mayfair, Notting Hill, Brixton and Clapham to choose from, London isn't short of destination bars, pubs and clubs. But whether it's a special occasion like a stag or hen do or a birthday, sometimes you're just looking for something different, something cool and quirky. We pick our favourite fun bars in London for a quirky and different night in London. If you're looking for other quirky and fun events, check out our Events in London guide!
Last updated on 24th February 2017
Dress your dapper best for this seductive little soiree as you're about to be taken back to the bygone days of the 1920s where speakeasies were the standard and beaded garms were the glamour. Discover this alternative night out in London, sup on bespoke cocktails and dance to classic Jazz music at this Golden Age party of excess and debauchery.
There's two great things about London: the iconic landmarks and its clubbing scene, so how better to spend a night than by seeing both? Jump aboard The Golden Flame for a night of partying with a difference, sail past Big Ben and Tower Bridge all while getting down and dirty on the dancefloor to some seriously good tunes at the silent disco. Tickets have sold out for January but register your interest here to be one of the first to nab a new pair.
You haven’t celebrated the coming of Spring like this before – Cinnamon Kitchen is inviting you to take part in Holi Festival in their specialised pop-up, where you and other revellers can throw powder paint at each other in the middle of London. Then you can feast on their delicious, traditional Indian dishes before sipping on their signature Holi cocktails.
Social gaming and drinking just got a whole lot more fun, as did your repertoire of unusual things to do in London. Gone are the days of ping pong bars, this is the new revolution, the new era of darts. Welcome to Flight Club. Changing all pre-conceptions of what you think darts is about, it's not all balding men in waistcoats here. It's the darts digital age where you play games and your score is calculated for you. Now that's a bullseye.
If you're looking for London's newest fad, try a game of Shuffleboard at Burdock. Drink some delicious cocktails and eat some food while playing the super-fun board game with your pals.
Do you know what the London bar scene is lacking? A ball pit bar. Luckily, Dalston is hear to answer our cries, and BallieBallerson is the result. The two-level bar features a downstairs ball pit to play in as DJs play weekly sessions. Cocktails have ingredients such as Whams and Dip Daps and food is ball themed...
Inspired by the timeless comedy of shows like ‘Allo Allo and Dad’s Army, you are cordially invited to accept your position as a secret agent for the French Resistance of 1943. Immerse yourself in a world of secret agents, gadgets and gizmos as you receive your briefing and get stuck into your secret missions. Keep up that French accent - the Gestapo will get suspicious otherwise - and finish the night with a 3-course menu in the Bistro and a swing dance after party til late.
Fans of this multi-award winning pop-up will know all about Nan’s quirky nature, and she’s completely transformed the Rio Cinema into a kitsch haven featuring antique furniture, bespoke cocktails and 90s treats. Book in for a 2-hour slot of bottomless teapot cocktails and unlimited pic ‘n’ mix in one of the most unusual pop-up experiences in London.
Dressed as a tropical bar, the Tropicana Beach Club has become accustomed to dropping jaws and raising more than a few eyebrows. Covered by over 500 bird decorations, with huge palm trees stretching from the floor to the ceiling, a lagoon pool-style dance floor and various cabanas spread throughout, every aspect has been meticulously planned and arranged to transport everyone to a sun-drenched tropical beach. Alongside the menu of beach-grill inspired dishes on offer, the bartenders serve over 50 different types of rum and fruit infused cocktails.
Opening its doors to douse you in all its allure, the Victorian Bath House is an esteemed venue with all the makings of a cool and quirky London bar. Experience the exclusivity of this Grade II listed space and you'll be indulging in the finest food and drink in richly dressed interiors made for decadence and luxury.
Thought the likes of Psycho and The Babadook weren't scary enough? How about watching them in a former Masonic chamber that was only recently discovered? The Temple Cinema takes place in the secret chamber in Andaz London and will be screening iconic horror with an option to add a two-course dinner on.
Bursting full of soul and with bagfuls of splendid melodies, the Piano Works in Farringdon has changed the way East London experiences live music. The team behind this venture take guests back to a time when couples danced in pairs to the latest swing sensation and turn this Victorian warehouse into a haven of stellar singing and dubious dancing. Look no further for a quirky London night out.
Plans for a nice cosy movie night? Scrap 'em, and head to this. With a quite frankly enormous screen (24ft wide, to be precise), The Grand shows a number of cult classic films with plenty of themed quirks on the side! There’s usually free popcorn and prizes for fancy dress, while your ticket includes entry to the after party (continuing until 3am) once the film is finished.
Who needs this 21st Century malarkey, when you could step back to the Victorian era at this quirky South London spot? Filled with vintage wares, retro maps, and a towering, plant covered conservatory, Powder Keg Diplomacy is perfect for dinner with a difference.
For a price you can buy a piece of Dickensian London, spun and retold by master poets. The Poetry Brothel is an art event unlike any other, located in Farringdon, storytellers spin stories of London's marginalised and most fascinating characters, all while tantalising your other senses.
Set in the stunning Grade II listed building, Proud Cabaret in Camden is a capsule of 1920s elegance and sex appeal. Feathers flutter across the stage here with burlesque and cabaret shows the weekends entertainment. Experience the total excess of this venue and don't miss out on this unique thing to do in London.
Serving beautiful cava and tapas in the heart of the City, Copa De Cava is a Mediterranean oasis in tune with the finest Bodegas in Catalonia. Head on over for a sharing plate or two, gleefully washed down with something from their exceptional cava list. There’s plenty of Spanish craft beer and wine to consider in your effort to try something a little different in London.
The Phoenix Artists Club is based in the depths of bustling Soho and hosts one of London's most talented drag artists, Vanity Von Glow. As an internationally ignored superstar, Miss Van Glow entertains the masses with dazzling musical numbers and tales of misfortune. From stories of personal heartbreak to hilarious incidents with her Hollywood nemeses, these side-splitting stories are sure to leave you grinning from ear to ear.
A funky playground of circus-themed cavorts and cocktails in Old Street certainly fits the bill for somewhere a little different in London. Don't mind the zebra unicorn or the taxidermy monkey in a waistcoat, Cirque mean business when it comes to creative mixology. Knock back their killer liquor blends and then take to the dance floor in the basement for some late night frolics.
Taking place in The Brunel Museum's Grand Entrance, Russian Concerts will show case some of piano music's greatest work. The concert hall is an underground tunnel shaft, that will add to the atmosphere of the works of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov.
A heaving, meaty mess of Deep South BBQ and music of the soul persuasion describes Blues Kitchen in Shoreditch. Dose up on heart-stopping recipes of burgers, pulled pork stacks and other Americana inspired treats as Blues is a carnivore's nirvana. The epic venue also plays host to live music of all funky, brass band and Motown sizes for one cool restaurant bar in London.
A far cry form your usual swilling affair, Oddbins offer something a little different in London when it comes to tutored tastings. Whether you want to learn about and drink wine, beer, spirits or some other liquor (do we hear whiskey?), the Oddbins team will tailor their event service around whatever you desire whilst simultaneously bringing some fun quizzes and games to the table too.
Giant maypoles, wicker masks and brass icons converge to create an eccentric spirit at the Hand of Glory. Projecting a colourful exhibition of British folk culture, it’s your place for rural ciders from some of the UK’s best independent brewers, a cocktail menu fronting Seven Deadly Gins and a fresh menu influenced by award-winning chef Mark Edwards. They don't get much cooler than this.
Give yourself a cracking workout along with some delicious food this January as this event packs a punch. Kick things off with a Rumble class with 1 Rebel before ROOTED lead you through a vinyasa class and feed you either chocolate waffles, acai bowls or key lime pie.
It’s White Lyan’s pioneering approach to the art of cocktail curation that makes it one of the hottest properties in town. They’ve kicked any suggestions of ice, fruits and bottled brands to the kerb and instead conjure up something tasty using their own Mr Lyan spirits and fresh ingredients. Get the ball rolling with a Beeswax Old Fashioned and you'll quench your thirst for an unusual cocktail bar in London.
The Schoolhouse whisks you down memory lane for a trip back in time. Something of a playground for adults, this quirky little number serves delicious food from classic dinner trays and cocktails whipped up straight from the science lab. Good for all-day dining in Battersea, the restaurant is a charming space with a unique theme, and they host popular boozy brunch sessions every month.
When it comes to doing something unique in London, nothing quite does it like scaring yourself senseless. Join the Ghastly Ghost Tour as they embark on some of the scariest sights in the city, regaling all their favourite spooky tales along the way.
A Moroccan wonderland of belly dancing babes, Arabian entertainments and fragrant foods is what Kenza is all about. Take a seat on their plump, metallic cushions and experience a palate of Middle Eastern delights at this quirky restaurant in London. With classic Lebanese food and a dedicated cocktail lounge, you are guaranteed to leave this restaurant with a stomach full of great flavours and a smile etched across your face..
Strong cocktails, a dressing up box and tons of power ballad anthems makes for one lively night out in London. Get your mates together and engage your inner pop-star; there’s thousands of songs for you to pick between and an adoring crowd awaits. Naturally perfect for fun-loving birthday shindigs, you can also add a cocktail masterclass to your package and make a real event of it!
Covered head to toe in cool, The Exhibit’s got a little bit of everything going on. There’s beaut cocktails and freshly prepared British food for starters, but it’s probably the eclectic entertainment that you’d know it best for. There’s weekend comedy, life drawing classes and cutting-edge art exhibitions to look forward to, as well as cool London screenings from the inbuilt independent cinema.
London’s famous Ice Bar is the only place in the UK that allows you to sink a few cocktails in an igloo-like environment where everything is frozen solid. Knock back a cheeky few concoctions in a chilled atmosphere (sorry), then head downstairs for dinner and drinks in the warm restaurant area. You can't get much more of a cool place to drink in London... geddit?
Head to this North London cocktail spot for a good dose of old-fashioned fun with board games and quirky cocktails. Bobby Fitzpatrick is a '70s den of vintage memorabilia, signed photos and American dishes including deep crust American pizzas.
More than just an events venue, The London Cabaret Club combines fine dining with an innovative, interactive cabaret experience. Boasting a traditionally British theme that runs throughout, both the menu and the show here celebrate the rich heritage of British culture; both past and present. With exquisite dishes and a show packed full of West End stars, this promises to be quite the quirky night out in London.
There's an air of oriental mystique about Fu Manchu; this Dumpling palace turn late night party bar is a wonderland of fragrant cuisine and crafty mixology. This South London bar is a low lit cavern of cavorting, Pan-Asian influenced chomping and midnight dancing all rolled into one for a cool place for dinner and drinks in London.
Come over and get your fix of Latina flair at this gem of a Soho party bar. With flamboyant interiors, exotic tequila drinks and a lovely choice of Spanish bites, Barrio is a tropical oasis with a lovely atmosphere making for a quirky place to drink in London. Share a few plates with your mates, knock back a few of their corking cocktails or find your way to the dance floor, where a mix of live bands and DJs play until 1am.
Ditch the usual monotony of lunch and home with a huge lunching event at Grand Union Cafe in Southwark. Kicking off at 3pm, there will be cocktails, sharing platters, risottos and pastas for lunch before the DJ takes to the decks and gets you into the mood to party until late.
Fancy trying something a bit out there? Why not spend the night running away from the long arm of the prohibition police or stealing the Crown Jewels in a daring bank robbery. Well, thanks to the team at George Yard can do just that this March. The team are hosting a series of immersive events, composed of tricky puzzles and daunting challenges, that will truly put your mental and physical skills to the test.
Spent your whole life as a muggle but always wondered what it’s like to be a wizard? Well, it’s time you grabbed a taste of the fantastical life as The Wizard Inn hosts an evening of spectacular live entertainment, unlimited, smoking cocktails and a delicious buffet. All magical creatures are welcome at this very different London event.
With the Spirit of London ride, more celebrities than the Oscars and a Star Wars exhibition, Madam Tussauds is one of London's top attractions. Now it's offering you the chance to see the amazing waxworks without the kids and queues at their after-dark event which includes a glass of prosecco.
Feast on chocolate and cheese to your heart’s content at Fondue Lodge Alpine themed pop-up dining experience. The delicious set menu includes both cheese and chocolate fondue, as well as a starter of your choice. The whole venue will be decked out in apres-ski decorations while the live music and complimentary Schnapps will keep the vibes going all night.
With orders placed via sleek tablets and tabletops that you customise with your own images, Inamo is the place to be for an interactive dining experience in London. Check in on executive chef Jon Claro and his team via chef cam, you’ll find them conjuring up all kinds of pan-Asian tapas plates as well as a healthy choice of sushi and sashimi options. Check in at the downstairs bars for Oriental-themed cocktails afterwards.
For something a little different in London, why not try disco yoga. That's right folks, a combination of disco AND yoga for the health conscious who also like to party hard. Join in with this fun and uplifting yoga class which includes a super food cocktail or mocktail to refuel after.
The Top Secret Comedy Club has remained undetected by the masses for too long. We’re here to spill the beans once and for all, shouting from the rooftops about a comedy club that welcomes top notch comedians for a night of thigh-slapping, rip-roaring jokes. There’s an open bar serving cheap booze, an amazing atmosphere and the chance to meet lots of funny people along the way.
Bringing some variety to the Clapham nightlife scene is Venn Street Records, a vinyl-clad, rock ‘n’ roll drinkers den fitted with vintage music memorabilia. Track down the large neon sign outside and follow the sounds of the live bands and DJ sets inside, there’s happy hour offers every day and #CheapDate deals that offer 2 drinks and 2 pizzas for £15 between Sundays and Wednesdays.
Kew Gardens is great any time, but it's set to get even better at Orchids Lates as The Princess of Wales Conservatory stays open late for a special event. The night will be a fascinating combination of traditional Indian influences including henna, music, dressing up and talks as well as the opportunity to learn from the horticulturists.
Scratch Bar caters for a wide range of different moods. Serving both homemade lunch and dinner dishes, the venue's bar steals the limelight here, serving a range of fresh cocktails, craft beers and fine wines. If that wasn't enough, there are a number of cosy seating area for guests to unwind and relax in.
This internationally-acclaimed magician is hosting a series of events from the opulent Grand Royal, promising baffling tricks, old school charm and a massively captivating performance. A great quirky London event for those looking to try something a little off-kilter, your ticket also includes a 'magic cocktail' on arrival.
For all the art lovers out there, be sure to head to Dream Bags Jaguar Shoes in Shoreditch where their quirky London bar lies in wait. Bursting full of character and beautifully decorated, this cosy nook combines delicious cocktails and stoned baked pizzas with beautiful art installations and inspiring exhibitions. Expect fantastic colours, irresistible drinks and a night you won't forget anytime soon.
Less of a pub quiz, more of a rowdy disco, Sounds Familiar is great fun from minute one. Useless trivia is no good here, it’s all about scribbling down songs and artists played out loud, and having a right old sing-along in the mean time. A unique night out in London for the extroverts, Sounds Familiar will have you dancing on the tables and belting out your favourite tunes long into the night.
Burger Bear is back and this time taking his penchant for patty's and partying to new heights, above Old Street Station. Transforming this space with shipping containers and one heavy sound system, he has created a disco diner space of the ultimate trifecta: eats, beats and booze. Pop down for a burger or a piece of Prawnography action as you relish in this cool place to drink in London.
Rolling back the clock to a time of flared trousers, hidden speakeasies and bustling dance halls, the team at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston offer their guests a brilliant way to spend their next Friday night in London. Perfect for those looking for something a little different, guests can first dance the charleston or do the lindy hop at a fun loving dance night, before watching a live band of jazz musicians fill the air with electric energy.
Cinema will never be the same as Nightspot pops up in quirky venues around London. The unique film events screen classics such as Jackie Brown and Purple Rain, before throwing a huge after-party inspired by the musical themes of the movie.
The King's Head is hosting another night of sexy burlesque and cabaret performances as Gin House Burlesque are back in town with their scintillating and captivating performances. With everything from a Josephine Baker tribute act to a ventriloquist, the night promises to put the spark back into your evenings.
Have you ever watched ‘All That Jazz’ and wanted to dance like Catherine Zeta-Jones? Well now’s your chance, as Drink Shop Do are hosting their very own Chicago Dance Class. Learn to booty pop, jazz hand and sip gin in the most seductive way possible, just like the stars in the musical.
The ultimately kitsch and oh-so-charming cocktail haven known as Simmons has to be a consideration when looking for somewhere unusual to drink in London. Something of a contemporary version of your nan's lounge, Simmons Fitzrovia is bathed in a neon ambience, where the cocktails pack quite a punch served in queen decorated china and the shelves are stacked with random memorabilia.
Get hands on this summer in London as Nicole Line presents some of the most unique events in the capital. Arts and crafts forward, head on down for a roster of tie-dye classes and screen printing events in the city.
If you want more evidence that London can offer something for everyone, then join SEA LIFE After Dark, an exclusive chance to visit the aquarium after-hours. The adults-only event means you can explore the Aquarium at your own pace, drink from the pop-up bars and even sip prosecco as you traverse the scary Shark Walk!
All Star Lanes is no ordinary bowling alley. Inviting you to “step into the golden age of America”, there’s more than the occasional touch of faded glamour and quirky eccentricity at this Bayswater hangout. There are six lanes in the main hall so get your mates together for a game or two, then grab a booth and look forward to drinks and an Americana feast.
If there's anything Little Nan can do, it's hook you up with something different to do in London. Little Nan is offering up her shop of Summer inspired partying to help you get over the Winter hump. Taking to a secret South London location underneath a Caribbean pub, Little Nan will be hosting her traditional spread of kitsch fun and vintage nonsense with a little tropicana infused fun thrown in.
Looking for a unique London night out? Natural Born Storytellers invites you to share your best stories, your most memorable moments, and your most hilarious of happenings, on a range of different topics. They have set hosts, and members of the audience can get involved too. Got a story? Share it at this intriguing London event.
Farmopolis is located at the end of the jetty at the Greenwich Peninsula, and on top of its beautiful views and botanical feel, also promises a series of thought-provoking talks, local produce at their cafe and restaurant, and brilliantly-bespoke drinks at the bar. This is a unique South London bar you need to discover.
A mega pub in Battersea, The Four Thieves puts together something cool to do in London with its buzzing atmosphere and social drinking atmosphere spread over several rooms and two floors. Whether you're looking for an immersive clue solving game, to race some cars or just sample some of their own craft beer, it's all available under one roof at this unique joint.
Get away from the traditional Central London night out at this East London ping pong hub. The Bat and Ball is a bit off the beaten path and something a little different for a night out in London. Grab your table tennis racquets and have your taste buds ready. This East London bar has a 'Games Hall' ready for your best shot, equipped for twelve ping pong tables, and a pizzeria loaded with slices to satisfy your drunk munchies.
Not short of charming aesthetics and quaint character, The Walrus Room is like a Victorian themed emporium of vintage delights, where you'll find taxidermy in cabinets, old birdcages hanging from the ceilings and some hella creative mixology. Sup on cocktails, tuck into delectable seafoods and take in the low-lit ambience of this unique bar in London.
The Electric Circus in Camden hosts a series of Ultimate Power club nights, showcasing what the team believe to be the best songs of all time. Featuring the likes of Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and Oasis, all the songs played here are well known and popular with all crowds. Singing is almost unavoidable and everyone will leave having testing their voice box to the max. Grab your mates, grab a drink from the bar and delve deep into all the frivolous fun on offer here.
Not only is Sunday Drunch Cruise a beautiful canal boat cruise down the River Lea, it also offers a range of drinks and brunch options to go alongside the sights. With cocktails, CRATE Brewery beers and cider, wines and spirits from the bar and food ready to order, all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the sights.
Little Nan is the queen of kitsch, and she’s extending her stay in Peckham until the end of February. Her Tropical Den is a vintage Caribbean playground, full of interesting nooks, crannies and cocktails served via intricate teapots to show you how to try something a little different in London. Tickets for afternoon tea are just £25, inclusive of plenty of sweet and savoury treats and two cocktails per person.
In 1848, the infamous Baron fled to London shrouded in scandal, his every action prompting outrage on the streets. He landed a date with the gallows - only to escape and develop his mythical reputation by befriending the likes of Disraeli, Brunel and Nightingale. Popularly referred to as The Escapologist - he now has a bar paying homage to his exploits - a basement bar styled as part Victorian men’s club, part Masonic Lodge. Expect cocktails, authentic design and cheese-drenched pizzas at this inventive and intriguing Covent Garden drinking joint.
Filling their venue with wonderful props, enchanting furniture and a few Mad Hatters, the team at Drink Shop Do have paired up with the team at Impossible Things Entertainment, serving a fairytale themed brunch that's sure to leave you full of nostalgia. With a number of great prizes and free shots to be won during their quiz, and bottomless Bloody Marys and glasses of champagne on offer until the early afternoon, this fun-loving brunch is perfect for anyone looking to try something a bit different this September.
Roof East is Stratford’s multi-purpose hangout for drinks, events and open-air cinema overlooking the Olympic Park. It’s a beautiful hangout if you had your sights set on some summertime lounging, with a street food menu from a Hawksmoor chef and tasty cocktails served while yoga sessions and Rooftop Film Club events are held.
Who needs a normal night when you can head back to the '90s for the most fun. The Garage in Islington are bringing Backstreet Boys, S Club and Busted along for a night of karaoke, there's playground games, free candy floss a games room and photobooths for lots of selfie fun.
Always fresh, innovative and colourful, Christabel’s throws among the most creative pop-up experiences in London. Casting their net as wide as Mad Hatter’s brunches, edible playgrounds and botanical speakeasies, each of these immersive drinking and dining experiences is held from a stunning location overlooking Regent’s Canal.
Oriole is one undeniably cool place to drink in London. Sister site to the multi award-winning Nightjar speakeasy, Oriole’s exotic influences ensure you’ll be sipping at cocktails mixed with creativity, flair and the finest in tropical ingredients. As well as tasting menus, the experience comes rounded off by a live music programme featuring jazz, swing and blues.
This is more than a little different: Milk V is the most debauched show ever to be hosted in Paper Dress Vintage. The faint-hearted needn’t bother – the rest, dress to undress and experience a night of X-Rated burlesque, the sexiest live music and DJs.
Experience yoga in a beautiful environment like no other with Sunrise Yoga. 37 floors high, the Sky Garden is hosting the event on their beautiful Fenchurch Terrace, with a class suitable for all levels and abilities. Afterwards, you’ll be treated to a delicious, healthy breakfast buffet and City Garden.
Head to Victoria House in Central London and see the best pieces of some of London's brightest young artists at the Other Art Fair. Organised by the Saatchi Gallery, 130 of London's best up and coming artists will be showcasing and selling their best paintings. On the day, guests will also be able to see The Guardian's own virtual reality project, which focuses on the dark labyrinth of tunnels under Victorian London.
An intimate brasserie and wine bar tucked away in Kennington, nobody’s debating Toulouse Lautrec’s rep as one of the best places to catch live music in south London. Tailor-made for date night, come by for food and drinks with bohemian Parisian vibes while a 9-piece band playing anything from jazz to swing and funk to soul plays some silky smooth tunes into the evening.
Experience Victorian Britain like never before as you are transported to the terrifying time of Jack the Ripper. As the streets are filled with hysteria, you’ll become one of three characters as you try to uncover the mystery of the mass murderer. Talk to key characters, sip gin and visit the landmarks – just make sure you don’t get too close.