Best Secret London Bars – Our Favourite Hidden Bars in Central London
Of the great things about London is just how much there is to discover. London has fantastic food and drink, but it’s the hidden treasures we’re most excited by. One of the perks of staying in a hotel in Central London is being able to go for a walk or hop on a tube to some of the best bars in central London. This article explores 5 of the best Secret London Bars the city has to offer. Some of the attributes that stand out most to us, aside from a tasty drinks offering, is often a sense of history, carefully crafted storytelling and a keen eye for interior design.
Central London has a plethora of bars to discover - some of which, aren’t so secret but are equally as precious and worthy of a visit. The magic of making new discoveries in London lives in the character that it continues to unveil, particularly off the beaten track venues in the streets of lively gems like Soho, Bloomsbury, Fitzrovia and the West End. Finding a pocket of peace in a busy city is a true win - in addition to discovering something worthy of writing home about (or sharing on your carefully curated Instagram accounts).
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
The name has you intrigued, doesn’t it? This little gem has a reputation for being a must-visit - to those in the know! You’ve heard of The Breakfast Club, right? The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is a secret bar hidden behind a fridge door, in The Breakfast Club, Shoreditch.
The trick to gain access to this bar is to casually mention to one of the staff ‘I’m here to see the Major’. You’ll then be given access to the speakeasy bar, through an innocent looking Smeg fridge and down a dim-lit stairwell. This is a great location to forget where you are and escape the busy city. Best known for its cocktails, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy and the variety of music (from hip hop to blues) will keep you entertained.
While you’re at it, it is also worth checking out The Breakfast Club for arguably one of the best brunches in London.
Experimental Cocktail Club
Located in the heart of Soho, Experimental Cocktail Club is a treat to discover. Residing in a three-storey townhouse, the prohibition-style bar experiments with shabby-chic decor and a delicious collection of cocktails. Reservations are recommended for this mysterious haunt. You might find yourself walking past it a few times before realising you’ve reached your destination - this secret gem is a popular one.
TimeOut have actually rated this bar 5* and describe the cocktails as ‘consistently outstanding’. The venue charges a £5 entry fee after 11 pm, but we doubt you’ll want to get there that late with so many tasty cocktails to try.
Meraki Bar can be found in Fitzrovia, in a hidden living room in the modern Greek restaurant Meraki. You’ll fall in love with the concept alone behind this bar. The name ‘Meraki’ means ‘to create something with your heart and soul’ in Greek, and there's no doubt that this has been central to the development of both restaurant and bar.
A lively scene, the atmosphere is complemented by indulgent cocktails and delicious Mediterranean cuisine. The architecture is interesting in this venue, with arched brick walls reminiscent of caves - a perfect setting for groups. If that isn’t enough, guests can play their own music through the high-tech lighting and speaker systems.
The Phoenix Artist Club
This bar is a firm favourite and a delight to explore, tucked away in the side streets of London’s West End. A hidden treasure in the busy theatre district, The Phoenix Artist Club has been awarded many accolades. It was once used during the filming of Harry Potter, in the opening sequence of the film you’ll see this modest British side street.
Traditionally a members club, this tends to take effect on busier evenings. The club is open to the public during the day and has more appeal than your usual cocktail bar. Club members and Phoenix Theatre ticket holders get entry preference to this venue, however, there is a chance for a standard entry - and it’s worth taking that chance!
Decorated with theatre posters from several decades, and often signed by the talents themselves, the walls could tell us many exciting stories.
There are some memories you choose not to forget, and this will be one of them. Based in the basement of a restaurant in Hoxton Square, it’s a venue to go to for a more relaxed evening. You’ll often find people popping in after work - but not without a reservation.
This venue fills up fast, and while the cocktail menu is one of the smaller in the list, each cocktail is completely original and worthy of a few trips to the bar. It’s this individuality and flair that runs through the veins of Happiness Forgets, which is mirrored in the service and the decor.
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