Something A Little Different in London
The capital is packed to the rafters with bars - big bars, small bars, sports bars, cocktail bars, chain bars and independent bars. While this is great most of the time, finding something off the beaten track, something a little different in London, is often easier said than done. Never fear, when it comes to the more unique venues in the city we've kept our ears to the ground and rounded up a selection of cool London bars to help you on your hunt.
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.
Looking for something a little more special from your next night out? This unique Hackney Road cocktail bar is fronting some of the most unique cocktails in the area - think drinks made with natural healing remedies and locally-foraged ingredients.
Whether you're in the market for a boozy brunch or show tune spectacular, there's never a dull moment at hot pink venue Tonight Josephine. Fronting some of the city's most Instagrammable interiors, this bar boasts some serious girl power, with a fun list of sparkling cocktails to match.
Proud Cabaret City's latest lineup of Soul Suppers are the ideal way to celebrate a special occasion or enjoy a unique date night. Tickets include a night of unbeatable live music along with a two course dinner and welcome glass of fizz.
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.
Looking to switch up your night out agenda? This Elephant and Castle music venue might have just the thing. Fronting a mammoth programme of energetic events, the Toulouse Lautrec fronts everything from live jazz and poetry evenings to cabaret and art classes.
If you like your cocktails with a side of strange, this place might just be your spiritual home and the answer to all unusual things to do in London. Displaying all kinds of weird stuff; The Last Tuesday Society is part Natural History Museum, part car boot sale and part nightmare. In the downstairs bar, suitably stiff drinks such as The Geneva Martinez with chocolate bitters are being served in abundance alongside tapas and bar snacks.
All you need is a workable space and Aftermath, the immersive game, will come and whisk you and up to 19 people away to a world of mystery and intrigue. The game requires teamwork, concentration and problem solving skills, with two hours to save the world, simples.
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.
If you're looking for something a little bit different to the usual G&T or fruity cocktail offering, then swing by Nightjar for a night of libations quite like no other. A secret speakeasy bar, this hidden venue serves the best in quirky sips to backdrop of live jazz music.
This 8th March, celebrate International Women's Day, aka the most empowering date of the year, with a Legally Blonde film screening, silent disco, Beyonce orchestral addition, or one of the many other events and exclusive offers available.
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.
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.
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 season, Fuller's are combining ice-cold brews with Shakesperian melodrama at their pubs around London and the UK. Take to one of their beer gardens and prepare for a theatrical night spent watching Love's Labour's Lost or As You Like It.
It's time to add a big old dose of glitter and gold to your brunching habits with this new killer event; expect an hour of bottomless cocktails, two courses of brunch food and all the disco you can handle.
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.
Looking for something a little different in London this autumn? Hungry Heart is taking over Oval Space for an evening dedicated to all things Springsteen. Get your classic denim at the ready and join some superfans for a night of singing and dancing.
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.
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.
The ultimate late-night party den, The Karaoke Hole is allowing you to become a star for the night. Hosted by a team of London's fiercest drag queens, weekends here see guests get up on stage for a night of blaring out the greatest hits of all time.
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.
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.
Located in Covent Garden, Circus is a dazzling restaurant and bar that promises all the fun of the fair. Dive into the big top as the Pan-Asian venue puts on a hot roster of entertainment alongside dishes and cocktails; think burlesque, cabaret and acrobats to name a few.
Get ready to spice things up this July as MILK hosts their exclusive summer ball set in the opulent surroundings of the King's Head Private Members Club in Dalston. Expect erotic burlesque performances, live DJs, gogo dancers and Champagne aplenty.
It's bingo, but with music instead – what's not to love? If Musical Bingo doesn't float your boat then check out the wacky Comedy House Party or try your hand at Last Man Standing.
Head to the rooftop Bar Elba, based on the party island of Napoleon himself, and enjoy the tropical paradise in Central London. The bar is awash with bright, sunny colours, panoramic views and a cocktail menu that features plenty of frozen mixes for summer.
For an alternative night out in London, heading to Acton may not be your first port of call. But it should be because it's where you'll find Aeronaut and their pub turn brewery turn beer garden turn restaurant turn circus big top tent extravaganza. Yes, you can truly dabble in it all as you're dazzled by balancing acts, comedians, aerial artists and acrobats at large.
Travel across London and uncover the bloody past of the city. With the help of Ouija boards, K2 meters, you will search for spirits and poltergeists in some of the scariest places in London, from abandon goal cells formally hosting the world's worst serial killers to mountains of bodies that commuters walk on every day.
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.
One of London's quirkier offerings, LDN Paint Party are brightening up your weekend with their colourful event. An art class, bottomless brunch and DJ set in one, this daytime bash is bound to have you dancing, drinking and letting out your creative spirit..
This is the ultimate brunch experience for Beyonce fans. Ladies, get in formation and prepare for non-stop hits at this five hour Queen B extravaganza, complete with free-flowing booze and two courses of brunch goodies to keep you fuelled.
Calling all adrenaline junkies. This epic immersive experience will see you travelling through time and space, landing in the middle of a Martian invasion. The event will combine cutting edge technology with live theatre, leaving it up to the audience to save the earth from its deadliest threat yet.
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.
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.
Perfect for any amateur bakers out there, The Big London Bake is a quirky event taking place this summer, revolving around all the yeast-based fun of baking. Guests will be split into teams of two before being set a handful of baking tasks. Pipe your way to the top with this quirky event in South London.
Social gaming and drinking just got a whole lot more fun, as did your repertoire of unusual things to do in London; this is the new revolution, the new era of darts. 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.
Looking for something a little different? Head to Shoreditch where Concrete invites you to Kiki with Drag Queens. Think drag queens, lip syncs and a whole load of death drops; with epic performances and the sass to match.
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.
One of quirkiest things to do in London this summer, this excellent and very niche food festival is hoping to crown another chicken wing king this year. Head over to the London Stadium and seek out your favourite for the big final vote.
If you're on the lookout for something a little different, The Perfect Crime is the immersive experience for you. Assemble a crack team of master thieves before attempting to steal some of the world's most expensive artwork, dogging lasers and cracking security systems as you go along.
Come to Alcotraz, the high security prison that's hiding an alcoholic secret. Get in your orange jump suit, smuggle your favourite bottle of alcohol in, and Don't. Get. Caught. Then the fun can begin as one of the inmates shakes you up tailored cocktails from Shoreditch to Covent Garden.
Shaking up the traditional game of shuffleboard, Electric Shuffle is one heck of a quirky social experience. Powering up in Canary Wharf this winter, the unique technological spin on the game with add an extra dose of booze and food to amplify your evening.