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London bars


Ricky
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Hey Everybody!

I'm pretty new here, and this might be better posted in another section, but I thought I'd try here first.

I'll be visiting London over the holiday season, and would like to hear from you all about which bars are on the "Must Visit" list. I'm interested in bars that feature more of a craft cocktail selection.

Thanks for the help!

Ricky :D

Striving for cocktailian excellence and always learning.

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If you have one night, do the Notting Hill Run: Trailer Happiness, Portobello Star, Montgomery Place and the Lonsdale. If you have a second day, add in the Connaught Hotel (warning, it's pricey) and 69 Colebrooke Row (warning, reservation needed). Don't forget to hit Gerry's Wines and Spirits on the way out of town for bottles to take home.

Avery Glasser

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Don't forget LAB in Soho, still a great night out. A bit off the beaten track, Public House in Islington is owned and run by Simon Sheena who used to run the afore-mentioned Loungelover in its heyday. He still makes fantastic drinks. The Hide bar and Roast (both near London Bridge station) are also great bars with very talented and imaginative staff. Have fun!

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69 Colebrooke Row. Tony Conigliaro’s new bar in Islington. Can’t praise it highly enough. Presents a short list of innovative drinks (researched around the world and in the lab upstairs) backed by an impeccable delivery of the classical repertoire (and comprehensive history of their origins and evolution if you want to delve – certainly going back to a cognac base for my “sazerac” was a revelation for me). Over and above that, the service is friendly and inclusive and the bar – deliberately – small enough so that proper care and attention can be given the making of the drinks. This, coupled with the utterly reasonable pricing (£7.50-£8.50) speaks of a venture built on passion, rather than “what’s there to be squeezed from the customer?”.

All in all it was a complete irritation when his bar won Time Out’s best Bar 2009 award and people started paying attention.

Gareth

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Player still has some of the best cocktails in London, IMO better than LAB which to me is past its best. Having said that I haven't been in a couple of years so it may have resurrected its performance.

I popped in for a drink at the LAB last night and the drinks were very good. Still looking a little tired round the edges and a friend thought it best to avoid Saturdays when it is horrendously crowded.

Had a decent drink at Floridita as well but was a little put off by the smell which seemed to be a mix of puke and stale drinks spills that hadn't been mopped up since lunchtime :hmmm:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Thank you all so much!!!

Our flight out is tomorrow (christmas day) and we return on the 14th, so i'll have a report on all the great bars we visited!

and if you see an american with a big curly moustache, come say hello!

:biggrin:

Edited by Ricky (log)

Striving for cocktailian excellence and always learning.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello!!

We just got home from our trip, and we ended up at some great bars thanks to all the recs we got here! We didn't make it to many, but the few london bars we visited were mighty! Portobello Star, Montgomery Place, and Hix. Thanks to Ed, Jack, and Andreas for the great drinks! Andreas at Hix made me a chervil infused gin, nouyaux poissey, lemon peel cocktail that was quite memorable.

Jack, from Montgomery, referred us to a few bars in Edinburgh too. We ended up at Bramble while in Scotland, and that place is AMAZING! Easily my new favorite bar in the world. The drinks and the staff are top notch! Ryan made me his three storms filp. Dark rum, lagavulin, egg, salt, pepper, topped with nutmeg. It was truly wonderful!

Thanks for the help everyone!

Striving for cocktailian excellence and always learning.

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  • 1 month later...

I'd like to bump this thread. Visiting London again next week.

My favourite bar in London (although I am not a member) is still Milk & Honey, simply because they are so skilled with classic cocktails. I have also heard Saf is quite special - anybody been?

I'm planning to finally try Hawksmoor, both for the meat and for the drinks.

Any other suggestions for classic cocktails in, shall we say, quieter environments? For NYC types, the equivalent would be the Raines Law Room or the Brandy Library. Speakeasy types.

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I have to second the recommendation for Public House. Simon Sheena is responsible for the best cocktails I have had in London (first and Loungelover, then at Anam, now at Public House). He has done an amazing job with the decor too - lots of very individual pieces of furniture, all of which are for sale. I went to both 69 Colebroke Row and Public House in the same night a while ago, and the latter was the clear winner for me. Also not expensive - I think around £8 a cocktail.

And I should mention the beers list too - a lot of interesting beers from around the world. Too often these get overlooked in decent bars.

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