Something A Little Different in London

The capital is packed to the gunnels 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. Read our recommendations for where to find something a little a different on the London bar scene, and if you're looking for other quirky and fun events, check out our Events in London guide!

Last updated on 17th January 2020




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.

ABQ London

1 user review 5

Step inside the Breaking Bad inspired ABQ RV for a unique cocktail masterclass that will be teaching you the basics of molecular mixology in style. Don you hazmat suit because things are about to get all kinds of crazy.

Merchant House

19 user reviews 4

Taste your way through Merchant House's fine collections of gin, rum and whiskey, with a masterclass dedicated to one of the spirits. 

A ball pit is definitely our idea of something a little different in London. Dive into one million different balls, enjoy unlimited pizza and drink two hours of bottomless prosecco on Saturdays or join the ball pit and cocktail bar madness. 

@ The Hidden Spirit Ship on Various dates from Wednesday 22nd January 2020

This is an immersive drinking experience from the minds behind Alcotraz  that'll really throw you in the deep end. Enjoy a stunning selection of cocktails as you take part in this treacherous tale of treasure and deceit all set on a real boat. 

  The Murdér Express

652 user reviews 5

@ Pedley Street Station on Various dates from Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Save 15% on ticket Peak Week Evening 8.30pm with discount code MURDER15
Valid on the following dates: 10/01/2020, 15/01/2020, 16/01/2020, 17/01/2020, 22/01/2020, 23/01/2020, 24/01/2020, 29/01/2020, 30/01/2020, 31/01/2020, 02/02/2020, 05/02/2020, 06/02/2020, 07/02/2020, 09/02/2020, 12/02/2020, 13/02/2020, 14/02/2020, 16/02/2020, 19/02/2020, 20/02/2020, 21/02/2020, 23/02/2020, 26/02/2020, 27/02/2020 and 28/02/2020.

One of London's most popular immersive dining experiences, The Murdér Express is a train journey quite unlike any other. Head to Pedley Street station and climb aboard this luxury carriage for an evening of drinking, dining and crime-solving. When a murder is uncovered, you'll need to team up with your fellow diners to find the culprit and bring them to justice.

@ Neosight Headquarters, Bankside Arches, SE1 on Various dates from Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Having wowed the UK with ABQ and The Bletchley, Lollipop events are back with a new immersive bar. This time they're turning their attention to AI, with an incredible event that will delve you into a world of robots and cocktails.

@ 56 Leadenhall Street on Various dates from Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Combining Jeff Wayne's epic soundtrack to The War of The Worlds with cutting-edge virtual reality technology, this immersive experience promises to transport you to the centre of a Victorian Martian invasion. Over two hours you'll go on an epic journey through time and space, finishing up with a sumptuous dinner, and a thirst-quenching sip to calm those jitters.

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.

The Candlelight Club

24 user reviews 5

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. 

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. 

  The Big London Bake

573 user reviews 5

@ The Castle Tooting on Various dates from Wednesday 22nd January 2020

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.

Tropicana Beach Club

1584 user reviews 4

Tropicana Happy Hour and 2 other offers

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.  

Victorian Bath House

83 user reviews 4

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. 

The Piano Works Farringdon

1212 user reviews 4

Complimentary prosecco reception and cake for birthday or pre wedding celebrations (Minimum group size 10)

Bursting full of character and loaded with songs that pull you to the dance floor, the Piano Works in Farringdon has changed the way London experiences live music. The team behind this venture take guests back to a time when couples danced in pairs to the latest music sensation and turn this Victorian warehouse into a haven of stellar singing and dubious dancing. Look no further for a quirky London night out. 

Dabbers Bingo

329 user reviews 4

20% Off canned and draught beer and glasses of wine between 5-6pm in bar 22

Dabbers are re-inventing bingo for a modern audience, bringing The City bold, raucous versions of the great British pastime. Think bottomless boozy brunches, high-stakes games and full-on musical bingo, proving the beautiful game it's no longer exclusively for your nans.

Otherworld

1 user review 3

Looking for a night out that's out of this world? Head down to Haggerston's wackiest bar and VR arcade - Otherworld. With interiors that look to be straight out of the latest Star Wars film, you'll be able to step into an alternate reality, taking on one of 16 experiences, before heading to the bar for a selection of space-themed sips.

@ Bethnal Green Working Men's Club on Every 1st Friday of the month

For a night out with a difference, this awesome event at Bethnal Green Working Men's Club puts girls to the front as Girl Power brings you an evening of glitter, drag queens and DJs playing all the best female-fronted tunes.

Simmons Fitzrovia

112 user reviews 4

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. 

The Escapologist

1726 user reviews 4

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.

The Last Tuesday Society

168 user reviews 5

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. 

  Paranormal Activity Tour

2 user reviews 3

@ Infront of Newspaper Stand Outside Farringdon Station on Friday 24th January 2020 and 22 other Fridays

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.

  MARS & BEYOND

1 user review 5

@ Bargehouse, OXO Tower Wharf on Various dates from Thursday 20th February 2020

A trip to this immersive event will definitely leave you impressed, inspired and thoughtful. Examining hot topics such as global warming, the human race and reviving the space race, the show is set over five floors and features pieces from over 30 artists and contributors, including Greenpeace, Sci-Fi London and FLux. 

@ Proud Embankment on Thursday 23rd January 2020 and 5 other dates

Mixing seduction, shock and showmanship, this unique new variety show from Proud Embankment is putting together a line-up of the city's most exciting acts every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Get ready for acrobats, aerialists and more as Opulence takes to the stage.

Oriole

1699 user reviews 5

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.

  The Heist

8 user reviews 5

@ Colab House on Fri, 7th Feb 2020 @ 22:00 - 3:00

The Heist is an immersive cocktail experience which will send you through a twisted tale of 1929's gangsters, with an intricate storyline leading you to the ultimate throwback party. Complete your adventures by solving puzzles and earning cocktails before discovering a DJ-lead party session. 

Venn St. Records

114 user reviews 4

Cheap Date - 2 Pizzas and 2 Drinks for £19 and 1 other offer

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.

@ OXO2 on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th May 2020

Not only is the London Margarita Rumble bringing you 2 hours of flowing margaritas from over 15 of the city's top bartenders, but this epic 2-day event will even see a special taco menu from acclaimed chef James Cochran. Head to London Fields for your food and drink fix.

Smudged Lipstick Events

151 user reviews 4

For dating events with a serious difference, Smudged Lipstick are a one-stop-shop for dirty Scrabble sessions, cereal tastings at the Cereal Killer cafe and Cards Against Humanity singles mixers.

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.

  Gospeloke East London

49 user reviews 4

@ Colours Hoxton on Thursday 20th February 2020 and 4 other Thursdays

Presented by the hilarious Eleanor Conway in the Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, prepare yourself for karaoke with a true difference. It's time to unleash your inner Whitney and sing with the backing of a full gospel choir! There's big team sing-a-longs, harmonies, and even a prize for someone giving the best confessional. You don't want to miss this.

A gorgeous alpine-themed pop-up, Winterland ticks all the boxes for a festive day out in the Capital. The best bit? You can take a dip in the bubbling open-air hot tub, complete with a glass of fizz and epic views over the city.

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.

GIN-HOUSE BURLESQUE

90 user reviews 4

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.

THE DOUBLE R CLUB

26 user reviews 5

Far from your standard night of burlesque, prepare for a night of dark, troubling cabaret and burlesque, all undercut with an air of humour as these spectacular performers evoke the work of director David Lynch.

Aeronaut

228 user reviews 4

If you're looking for a bar with some serious character then Aeronaut is the place for you. Hosting some of the most weird and wonderful events in London, along with brunches, bingo nights and even fancy wine dinner, it's certainly something a little different in London.

@ Mercato Metropolitano on Friday 24th January 2020 and 3 other dates

Head down to Elephant & Castle where food market Mercato Metropolitano has more than a few tricks up its sleeve. The Travelling Circus will be in the house to bring you hilarious entertainment and some stunning feats of contortion and acrobatics to boot.

The Four Thieves

45 user reviews 4

Buy One Get One Free Burgers and 2 other offers

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. 

Top Secret Comedy Club

225 user reviews 5

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.

@ Owl and Hitchhiker on Various dates from Saturday 1st February 2020

Head to the Holloway Road where the unique escape room is taking you down the rabbit hole for a fun and intriguing experience that will have you begging, bribing and hunting for the Smoking Caterpillar.

A Door In A Wall

8 user reviews 5

Taking place across London, A Door In A Wall is an immersive experience that prides itself on continuously pushing boundaries. Whether you're scrambling for clues in a hidden speakeasy, running through the streets of London or solving puzzles at a famous landmark, this immersive experience will challenge you in new ways and will force every guest to think in new, exciting ways.

Hand Of Glory

50 user reviews 4

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.

Dream Bags Jaguar Shoes

43 user reviews 4

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.