In the third of my Soho trilogy (see also Soho Dining and Soho Shopping) I have put in hours and hours of research to bring you the ultimate guide to the best cocktails in London’s Soho (you’re welcome).
The louche and slightly seedy Soho of the 1970s is still alive, despite the gentrification that has been taking hold over the last three or four years. And it’s this debaucherous hangover from the past combined with the style that has moved in since then that make Soho the perfect spot for an alcohol-fuelled evening with your loosest friends.
FOR SOMETHING A LITTLE HIDDEN
Experimental Cocktail Club
Experimental Cocktail Club in the heart of China Town is the first London establishment of the Experimental Group, four French guys, friends since childhood, who own a slew of hotels, bars and restaurants in Paris, London, New York and Ibiza.
The Experimental Cocktail Club is hard to find – all that you can see of the club is a battered, non-descript door on Gerrard Street. But over the three floors above it, you’ll find the most opulent and cool bar, perfect for wiling a few hours away over the most exquisitely made cocktails.
Book ahead as it can be hard to get a seat.
Under the HIX restaurant on Brewer Street is the Mark’s Bar. It’s all low lit and cosy with a speakeasy vibe. The cocktail list is impeccable. Book ahead, it’s small so it gets busy.
Above Blueposts on Rupert Street you will find the Mulwray. In a similar style to its brothers and sisters (Evelyn’s Table restaurant, Blueposts bar and Palomar restaurant), the Mulwray is a modern take on the local bar which somehow combines a cosy atmos with chic interiors.
FOR SOMETHING A LITTLE BIT LIVELY
For something a little more lively and casj I can’t go past Soho Grind. Coffee shop by day (with seriously good coffee), there’s a bar hidden downstairs which opens up at night. THe espresso martinis will set you up for a buzzy night in Soho.
If you wonder where all the Soho creative types go for drinks after work, you’ll find them in Graphic. It’s super casual, hip, laid back and occasionally raucous. The cocktails come in paint tins. A little gimmicky, but I don’t hold it against them, they’re delish.
FOR something a bit GROWN UP
For grown up cocktails, head to the glam Soho Hotel. You might even spot a celeb or two while you’re there.
Kettners has had a face lift, inlcuding the champagne bar on the ground floor. It’s old school glam, a bit like someone’s posh Grandmother’s good room. The cocktails are among the best and my “cocktail research fellows” recommend the crudités (I don’t dig on vegetables with my cocktails).
THe hamYard Hotel
For choice celeb-spotting and a sophisticated hotel bar, I love the bar at the Ham Yard Hotel. In the winter, the conservatory at the back is a pleasant option, and in the summer, nab a spot on the terrace out front.
If you’re a member, the recently re-furbed Greek Street house is the perfect place to escape the craziness of Soho, relax a little and enjoy a cocktail or two on the roof terrace.