The Under Raidar bootleggers just took a trip across the pond to discover and experience London's best hidden speakeasy bars and, for a country that never even had a prohibition, we were mightily impressed - once we found them that is!
The London cocktail scene is booming and they've crafted prohibition bars down to a fine art. The bartenders don't just create luscious libations, with experimental twists, they perform mind-blowing cocktail showmanship. After experiencing some of London's most captivating cocktail theatrics it proved Stateside to be a little wet behind the ears.
After a lot of drinking researching, which involved a lot of drinking researching some more, we're giving you the low-down and thirsty on a selection of London's best hidden nightlife spots for whenever you cross the pond. So let's get your drink-hole a little bit wet because, after reading this, there won't be a dry mouth or eye in the house.
Thirst up is:
1. Purl, Marylebone: Where Prohibition That Takes You Aback
Tucked away in the heart of Marylebone, in a vaulted Georgian basement, we stumbled upon Purl - an innovative and multi-sensory 1920s prohibition bar. Look for the sign and descend down the dark stairs to enter the secret prohibition nirvana where anything could potentially go up in smoke or out with a bang!
Here's the full exposé of Purl's multi-sensory stimulation (with eye-gasmic photo evidence).
2. Nightjar, Hoxton: The Speakeasy That's No Fly-By-Night.
Behind an unassuming black door, a stone’s throw from Old Street, you’ll look for find London’s highly acclaimed prohibition bar that lives and breathes in the basement below. At the bottom of a tall, dark staircase is a door that leads to a world where the 1920s is very much alive and thriving – but ever so spectacularly.....
Here’s what you'll find inside Nightjar; a bar that yells speakeasy and serves you the 1920s in the glassiest of ways.
Stairs down to Nightjar
3. Bart's, Kensington: Worst Kept Secret. Best Inside Job.
Just another upscale apartment building in South Kensington is what you won’t be expecting on your quest to find Bart’s. It might take you a little while but once you find it your thirst will be overly quenched. Charming, magical, nostalgic, innovative are words that come to mind because Bart’s crafts something quite enchanting......
Get the full inside information on Bart's (with glorious photo evidence) here.
4. Looking Glass Cocktail Club, Hoxton: Sip Through The Looking Glass
As we passed Looking Glass Cocktail Club all was not what met the eye which called for a more investigative look through the looking glass. Like any professional drunks speakeasy bar avengers we set out on our peripatetic quest to see what was behind this chic and antique newly-opened 1920s cocktail bar...
Get the full backstory of what you'll find behind (and through) the looking glass.
Step through the looking glass to find...
5. Milk & Honey, Soho: Soho's Secret Speakeasy That's Pure To The Pour
Walking in Soho, on a Saturday night, we were looking for Milk & Honey to make our 10.30pm reservation. After scaling streets across the world looking for hidden bars (and considering ourselves experts) we still love the thrill of discovery. We automatically look for inconspicuous entrances/doors/windows but Milk & Honey challenged us. We retraced our steps and finally saw an unmarked maroon door that looked like any other. No sign, no number, just a rectangular glass peephole showed us we'd arrived.
Read the fully poured version of events at Milk & Honey right here.
In the bar of Milk & Honey
6. Bourne & Hollingsworth, Fitzrovia - Teatime With A Twist
On the corner of Rathbone Place in Fiztrovia it looks like the old Bourne & Hollingsworth department store. Get a little closer and you’ll see it is, in fact, a mural, a facade, a hoax even. We took flight down the metal stairs to reveal a basement cocktail bar, decorated as an old English tea room, with a fireplace and classic floral wallpaper reminiscent of your Grandma’s house - but this is not your Grandma's house.
See the full English teatime tale of what makes Bourne & Hollingsworth well worth a visit!
A storefront with a backstory
7 & 8. London Cocktail Club, London - Get in the club
The London Cocktail Club is rather special; they’re a club you’re going to want to experience again and again for the many adventures that await! They are not just one, but 4 bars, with different themes, different personalities and wickedly different drinks. You need to visit each one to really soak up their individual personalities and definitely their drinks.
Access the full low-down on London Cocktail Club right here!
If you drink you already belong
Under Raidar are your prime prohibition bar source. We're dedicated to bringing you top secret nightlife in London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland, Seattle and New York. We're expanding into more and more cities and dedicated to the art of the modern-day speakeasy bar. Find easy. Drink easy. Speakeasy.
Discover the best secret nightlife: www.underraidar.com
TW: @underraidar.com FB: facebook.com/underraidar
Ph: (+1) 310 689 9438