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 2019




Discounts available on certain events

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.

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

  Kiki with Drag Queens

35 user reviews 4

@ Rascals on Saturday 26th January 2019 and 7 other Saturdays

If you're looking for something a little different in London this summer, how does an evening with drag queens sound? Start with a margarita before getting into drag performances, lip sync battles and a whole lot of sass.

@ The Hidden Spirit Ship on Various dates from Wednesday 23rd January 2019

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. 

  Alcotraz - Prison Cocktail Bar

189 user reviews 5

@ Alcotraz Penitentiary on Various dates from Wednesday 23rd January 2019

Save 20% on ticket Sentence No. 1 (Wednesday) with discount code ORANGE
Valid on the following dates: 07/11/2018, 14/11/2018, 21/11/2018 and 28/11/2018.

You've definitely never drank like this before. 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 in this immersive drinking experience.

Indulge in a spot of croquet or petanque this spring and summer at this quirky rooftop bar at Tobacco Dock. Alongside lawn games, there's also some stellar drinks to be had and views to looked at.

Fronting epic live choirs, full 16-piece orchestras and super talented live performers, the Reimagine collective aren't messing around when it comes to the stage retelling of some of music history's biggest and best names.

The Candlelight Club

21 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. 

Flight Club Bloomsbury

515 user reviews 5

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. Welcome to Flight Club in either Shoreditch or Bloomsbury. 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

262 user reviews 5

@ The Castle Tooting on Various dates from Wednesday 23rd January 2019

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

668 user reviews 4

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

76 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

796 user reviews 4

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. 

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. 

The Escapologist

1353 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.

Head to Tobacco Dock where this semi-immersive cocktail experience is taking you to 1950's Havana for delicious rums, tasty Cuban street food and a stellar line up of parties.

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 Bat And Ball

346 user reviews 4

Two - For - One Pizza and 2 other offers

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. 

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.

@ London Bridge Ceramics Studio on Various dates from Thursday 24th January 2019

Your friend, boyfriend or girlfriend would have a great time at this pottery class for novices, where you'll both learn how to create pottery using a pottery wheel, compete in fun competitions, and even take home a masterpiece – and the sessions are exclusive to two people.

@ 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.

The phrase 'something a little different' was invented for The Exhibit. Join them for all kinds of events, whether that's drag queen brunch spectaculars, disco extravaganzas, cinema screenings, or even life drawing classes - there's a lot to dig into here. 

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.

Fu Manchu

38 user reviews 4

Drinks Area offer and 1 other offer

There's an air of oriental mystique about Fu Manchu; this fun-time palace and late night party bar is a wonderland of fragrant cuisine and crafty mixology. This South London bar is a low lit cavern of cavorting and  midnight dancing all rolled into one for a cool place for drinks in London. 

@ Toulouse Lautrec Jazz Club on Monday 11th February 2019 and 5 other Mondays

For something a little different form your average life-drawing evening, this cool and quirky class at the Toulouse Lautrec Jazz Club invites you to grab a couple of drinks and have a go at sketching some of the city's finest cabaret and burlesque performers.

Fulham Beach Club has had an Alpine makeover, complete with twee furnishings, feasting tables, gondolas, chair lifts and bauble-filled igloos. Head down to get into the festive spirit and enjoy mulled wine, fondue and schnitzels as you sink into the fur-lined sofas. While your there, take part in an activity or two, whether it's belting out like Mariah or having a whirl at curling. 

The Four Thieves

36 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. 

@ The Arcola Theatre on Every Friday

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. 

The Last Tuesday Society

72 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. 

Simmons Fitzrovia

94 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 Murdér Express

333 user reviews 4

@ Pedley Street Station on Various dates from Wednesday 23rd January 2019

Save 20% on ticket Sunday Matinee Early 1pm with discount code MIDWEEK20
Valid on the following dates: 16/01/2019, 17/01/2019, 23/01/2019, 24/01/2019, 31/01/2019, 06/02/2019, 07/02/2019, 12/02/2019 and 13/02/2019.

Take a trip back in time to the height of train travel at this immersive dining event, where you will board the maiden trip of the Murdér Express, where you will sip on drinks from the Seven Sins platform bar and feast on food from MasterChef finalists Billy and Jack in a train journey you won't quickly forget.

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.

@ The Vaults on Sat, 8th Jun 2019 @ multiple start times (see ticket info)

Step into the hurricane lamp-lit land of World War Two London at this unique party from the Bourne & Hollingsworth team. Held at The Vaults, this D-Day Special will feature fully immersive decor, modern twists on classic cocktails and swing dancing.

Lucky Voice Soho

297 user reviews 5

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!

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.

Barrio Soho

116 user reviews 4

Amigo Hour Specials until 7pm!

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.

@ Owl and Hitchhiker on Various dates from Sunday 27th January 2019

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.

Inamo Covent Garden

200 user reviews 4

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.

  Gospeloke East London

33 user reviews 4

@ Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen on Thursday 21st February 2019 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.

Circus

508 user reviews 4

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.

The London Cabaret Club

55 user reviews 4

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. 

The Exhibit

475 user reviews 4

Karaoke Suite Hire and 7 other offers

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.

  Thames Lates

22 user reviews 5

@ London Eye Millenium Pier on Various dates from Thursday 24th January 2019

This really is a unique way to take in the city. You'll feel the wind in your hair as you zip past iconic landmarks with music blasting, there's even a welcome cocktail ready for you arrival back to land. 

Oriole

1281 user reviews 5

Free Live Music from 9pm & Reduced Price Cocktails

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.

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.. 

Hand Of Glory

37 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.

Roof East

10 user reviews 4

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.

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.

Venn St. Records

73 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.

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.

The Stagey B*tch Brunch is bottomless brunch like you've never experienced before, with five hours of show tunes, live performances from West End stars, 1.5 hours of bottomless booze and tasty brunch dishes as well.

A Door In A Wall

4 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.

Get down to one of the London locations, for a unique life drawing class which uses neon reactive arts materials to draw colourful life models and inspire you to think outside the box.

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.

Aeronaut

431 user reviews 4

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. 

Oddbins Events

1 user review 5

Private Hire Special

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. 

@ Concrete on Thursday 31st January 2019 and 10 other Thursdays

It's bingo, but with music instead – what's not to love? The rounds are all based on a different sub-section, there's some mystery challenges thrown in for good measure and there's lots of pizza to devour from Pizza East Kitchen.

Blues Kitchen Shoreditch

42 user reviews 4

£5 cocktails and 1 other offer

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. 

  Paranormal Activity Tour

2 user reviews 3

@ Infront of Newspaper Stand Outside Farringdon Station on Friday 25th January 2019 and 34 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.

Dream Bags Jaguar Shoes

29 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. 

Belowzero Ice Bar

25 user reviews 4

London's famous Belowzero 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? 

The Schoolhouse

277 user reviews 4

50% OFF FOOD

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.

@ Secret Location on Various dates from Tuesday 22nd January 2019

What's right and what's wrong? That question is being posed to you in this thrilling immersive secret event from Secret Theatre Project. Mashing Silence of the Lambs with Black Mirror, the night will take place in a stunning London location, with you acting as judge and jury.

For a unique day out, head to this Kings Cross based VR studio, where you can transport to faraway places with the help of a virtual reality headset. This is definitely one of London's more quirky attrations.

The Dreamboys

5 user reviews 5

The Dreamboys are in town and with them comes a whole team of flexing muscles, baby oiled bods and boys who are ready to take their clothes off. As London's only fully licensed strip show, expect nothing less than a hot and sweaty show of bare boys dancing, shaking and ultimately getting down on stage. Raise the heat and try something a little different in London this time around.