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From October 5, London Cocktail Week is back. This seven-day celebration (October 5-11 2015, various London venues) is your chance to sample the finest boozy concoctions and classy cocktails in London.
It’s all-black with a minimalist New York ’80s sort of look about it. Instead of a back bar stacked with spirits there are big fridges holding the pre-made products of hours of labour by Ryan and his team – most of the hard work here is done before opening.
This popular Portobello Road basement bar calls itself a tiki bar, but the hilariously dodgy decor resists simple categorisation. It looks like a suburban-American rumpus room circa 1964; even Alan Partridge might find it a bit much. But underneath the thick layer of kitsch is a very good cocktail bar. Staff go to great lengths to make sure you order the right drink for you, and the bartenders know their business. They also spin a great ’60s playlist.
The Ten Bells is best known as a classic East End boozer, a knees-up kind of place and a part of the Spitalfields set of grounded pubs with a bit of character. The interior still focuses on historic charm. Paintings on the wall and a neon light behind the bar are the only modern signals in an otherwise chintzy room with armchairs and warped wooden floorboards.
The less intrepid Londoner may be put off by the street view of Satan’s Whiskers: it looks every bit a down-and-out dive bar. Inside though, it breaks the east London bar mould, with hip hop on the stereo, a smartly modish setting, vintage French posters on the wall and some of the best cocktails to be found in Bethnal Green’s burgeoning booze scene.
If you love to adulterate the sophistication of cocktail hour with a cringeworthy pun, Oskar’s is the place for you.
A lovely cocktail bar (with good retro music) housed in a former underground toilet in Kentish Town.
A dream of a West End bar: accessible prices, great drinks, and professional but personalised service.
We hope that you like our few suggestions of our favourite London bars participating in this year´s activities.