The beagle picks the best bars in London - his hometown and the world's best cocktail city...

Apparently City of London bankers arm wrestle their Wall Street peers every year to determine which city is "the world's financial capital". Fortunately in the cocktail world we can just check the 50 Best Bars list...

Oh look, it's London. Again...

Must Visit



Must Visit

The American Bar, Savoy Hotel - Strand
The bar, the legend. Yes, it's formal, but yes, it's worth it. The staff will treat you like royalty and this really is all about the history of London's oldest 'American' (i.e. cocktail) bar. If you need to brush up, don't worry, the walls are adorned with the images of past guests and there's a museum next door.

Lyaness, Sea Containers - South Bank
Whether in its botany-themed previous life as Dandelyan (a former Best Bar in the World) or its current incarnation as Lyaness, Ryan Chetiyawardana's riverside location is deservedly revered. The man is a magician, and this is his grand stage.

Swift - Soho
Many will disagree, but for us, it's taken the team behind other ornithological offerings Nightjar and Oriole til their third bar to get it just right. Swift dispenses with the complicated drinks and often excessive garnishes of its older siblings and just serves top-notch drinks in a simple but effective style.

Happiness Forgets - Hoxton
A lively basement room with a lot of attitude. Simple twists on longstanding classics are the order of the day. The place is always packed, so you know they're doing it right.

Coupette - Bethnal Green
They say they're "inspired by France but proudly local," so what does that get you? You might come for the French breakfast, the Champagne or the Calvados, but you'll stay for the truffled white negroni or the Champagne Pina Colada (oh yes you will) and you'll leave mesmerised by the coin covered bar top.

Black Rock - Shoreditch
You're going to need to like whisky to get the most out of Black Rock, but if you do, you're in for a treat. This dark basement bar (now with a ground floor Tavern and upstairs private Blending Room) does its best to demystify scotch by serving a range of simple but effective cocktails and a great selection of drams from their cabinets.

Three Sheets - Dalston
Another bar with minute furniture that is not designed for comfort, but the drinks will soon let you forget. Brothers Max and Noel Venning have a simple approach - nine imaginative twists on classic cocktails from a menu that changes weekly.

The Connaught Bar - Mayfair
Yes it's a hotel bar in Mayfair, but it's almost worth the bank loan. A firm fixture in the 50 Best Bars list, and recent (2020-21) number 1, it has also received it's own 'Legend of the List' award in the past. The martini trolley might have something to do with it.

Artesian Bar, The Langham - Marylebone
Anywhere that won 'best bar in the world' four years in a row can't be that bad a place. The dream team may have moved on to other projects, but this hotel bar still punches well above its weight, and you never know who might sidle up to the counter...

Scarfes Bar, The Rosewood - Holborn
Come for the bar staff in tartan trousers, stay for the live music and menu inspired by the caricatures of artist Gerald Scarfe. A cosy drawing room of a bar.


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