the-blind-pig-bar-soho-poland-street

Kadie's Club

Nightlife in Mayfair all too often falls into one of three categories: corporate; glitzy; members clubs. It’s particularly refreshing, then, that this subterranean bar/lounge/club has opened up just off Regent Street, bringing a much-need dose of “cool” to W1. Bidding guests to “expect the unexpected”, the tone is set before arrival via a seductive website instructing guests: “we do not have a dress code, rather we ask you to approach your evening’s wardrobe deliberately and with a sense of occasion. From Saint Laurent cowboys and rock and rollers to sartorial sophisticates and Gucci glamourati, you are welcome if you dress with purpose, personality and originality”. When you’ve interpreted this as you please you’ll be handsomely rewarded by an Aladdin’s cave of hedonism-chic; jewel-coloured armchairs, dusky frescoes, mirrored walls and lush foliage flicker in warm candlelight and seem to encourage guests to throw off the shackles of the working week and have a really good party. Cocktails help too ­– their bellini features pink grapefruit sherbet, while the “All Night Negroni” is a rocket fuel for fun – though we won’t be surprised if you end up sticking to Veuve all night. You have been warned.

The Blind Pig

Hidden amidst the bustling streets of Soho, the Blind Pig lies just beyond the inconspicuous optician sign on Poland Street. Step inside the prohibition-inspired 21st century speakeasy. With dim lighting, mirrored ceilings, reclaimed wooden chairs and a copper-topped bar, it’s the perfect pre or post-dinner date spot. Although, if you’re feeling like a one-stop kind of night, the bar is under the same ownership as the Social Eating House, located just below the Blind Pig on the ground floor. Stop in there first for dinner, or just order some of the Blind Pig’s crafty bar snacks.

Swans Bar at Maison Assouline

Head to the Swans Bar at Maison Assouline for a late afternoon lunch and cocktail. The part bookstore, part museum, part Parisian style café is housed within a former bank building designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1922. The beautiful architecture is complimented by Assouline’s books and unique furniture. We could spend hours browsing their coffee table book selection, exploring their cabinet de curiosités or shopping their newest line, Assouline Interiors, a selection of luxury library furniture and décor.

Milk & Honey

Milk & Honey is a member’s club in Soho where visitors must buzz in at the unmarked door. Once inside, there are four floors, each offering a different atmosphere. The first floor is the only one open to non-members before 11PM and requires booking in advance. The Red Room is an upscale lounge with a fireplace and comfortable leather chairs. Next up is the game room, available for private parties. Lastly, is the rooftop terrace, an envious locale during summer months. Wherever you end up it will be guaranteed a good time.

Experimental Cocktail Club

An unexpected, shabby chic speakeasy in the heart of Chinatown, Experimental Cocktail Club is a welcome escape from nearby tourist traps. The battered door, brick walls, cut-glass tumblers and teapot-shaped lights in the bathroom contribute to the overall aesthetic and make it a favourite amongst locals. While it’s on the expensive side, the ambiance is worth it. With tasteful background music and a decent crowd, the Parisian-inspired bar is the perfect balance between a happening hotspot and a cosy place to chat.

Ronnie Scotts

Since 1959, Ronnie Scott’s has been an iconic establishment for jazz lovers. The stage has hosted everyone from Johnny Griffin to Elkie Brooks and to Christian McBride. Book a table for the main stage and enjoy table service throughout the show, or for a sophisticated, but slightly more laid back experience head to Ronnie’s bar upstairs. Shows at the bar are a little more unconventional, still occasionally showing acoustic jazz performers, but also including poetry slams, indie musicians and Cuban bands. Unlike downstairs, reservations are not necessary for the bar, but they are available.

The Box

The Box’s unique “theatre of varieties” is without a doubt an entertaining experience. Doors open at 11PM and you are expected to arrive by 12AM, with shows starting thereafter. The late start’s not a bad thing, as you’ll definitely want to have a few drinks before you experience this. Expect the unexpected…world-class talent served with a generous serving of wit – and naturally, sex. The black-tie optional theatre-nightclub first made waves in New York, and found its way to London in 2011. Ever since, it has stunned crowds. Housed in a former theatre, it elevates erotic shows to a level of ecstasy for its guests, and embodies old world glamour with a risqué edge.

Opium

Located in the heart of Chinatown, Opium is a theatrical fusion of East and West. Spread over a maze of dimly lit floors and open until 3AM at weekends with food (think dim-sum with a contemporary twist) served until 2.30AM. Seasonally crafted libations at the Apothecary Bar are mysterious and medicinal to inventive effect, only identifiable by their Chinese characters. With a motto of “我们的房子是你的房子” (translating to “our home is your home” if you didn’t quite gather that) it’s a characterful spot to begin or end your night a bit differently. The only challenge is finding it – the concealed entrance is simply marked by a glowing orb lantern.

  • 020 7734 7276
  • Go to Website
  • The Jade Door
    15-16 Gerrard Street
    London
    W1D 6JE

Mr. Fogg's

With walls adorned in the memorabilia of a insatiable Victorian globetrotter, Phileas Fogg, Mr Fogg’s is a feast for both eyes and stomach. Presented as an “anthology of truly sumptuous libations”, the drinks menu reflects Mr Fogg’s journey with a similar eccentricity as the interior. Having won numerous accolades for both food and drink, Mr Fogg’s is a breath of fresh air in Mayfair’s often too serious cocktail scene. Bring an open mind, an eager palette and book ahead.

Mark's Bar at HIX

Seductive lighting, leather chesterfields and killer cocktails served in quirky glassware mean this clandestine bar underneath the HIX Soho is packed from dusk until past midnight. It’s gained the seal of approval from some of London’s toughest critics, seeing it become one of the hottest spots in Soho, with not a tourist in sight. The interior is striking thanks to Mark Hix’s best bud Damien Hirst providing the artwork (note the fish suspended from the ceiling) attracting a stylish crowd of twenty-to-thirty somethings. The atmosphere is palpable and the accompanying bar bites are faultless. If you need a sophisticated date spot somewhere central, this is the one.

Ralph's Coffee & Bar

Ralph’s Coffee & Bar is Ralph Lauren’s first eating and drinking destination in London. A hidden oasis in the heart of Mayfair, Ralph’s offers an extensive breakfast and bar snacks menu — featuring delicious dishes such as Chia Pudding, Lobster Eggs Benedict and Avocado Toast — and an exquisite cocktail list reflective of Ralph Lauren’s American heritage. From Old Fashioneds to Ridgway Margaritas, classic cocktail flavour combinations are championed here. Open from 8 until 8 Ralph’s is the perfect place to stop for a pick me up before, during and after work.

  • 020 7113 7450
  • Go to Website
  • 173 Regent Street
    Mayfair
    London
    W1B 4JQ

Bar Termini

The brilliant brainchild of cocktail aficionado Tony Conigliaro, this diminutive Soho joint is the place to come for a negroni – and frequently tops the list of the best bars in the world. With just 25 seats, it’s an all-day operation as a cocktail and coffee bar with old-school service making a pleasant pit stop for an early morning pick-me-up or sophisticated date with twist of cool. The “bicherin”, a Turinese coffee-chocolate hybrid, is the Achilles heel of those with a sweet tooth and a busy schedule. Alternatively, plump for the rosato negroni – a rose petal-infused take on the classic.

Ronnie Scott's

Experimental Cocktail Club

Milk & Honey

Swans Bar at Maison Assouline

The Blind Pig

The Box

Opium

Mr. Fogg's

Mark's Bar at HIX

Ralph's Coffee & Bar

Bar Termini

The Blind Pig

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