Gone are the days of cowering in basements in fear of being arrested for having a drink. Yes, that’s right – prohibition has been gone for quite a while (since 1933 to be exact!). However, London has witnessed a swarm of bars popping up and adopting the aesthetics of your typical prohibition era speakeasy.
So when your exploration of London calls for something a little more refined, look no further than this list of our favourite not-so-underground speakeasies.
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
Location: 12-16 Artillery Lane, E1 7LS
In the true fashion of a speakeasy, The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town finds itself hidden in plain sight. It sits conveniently nestled below The Breakfast Club, during the day – there is almost no way of knowing it exists. Why? Because the only entrance is through a fridge door in the main restaurant.
Pro Tip: Ask to see the Mayor
Location: 11-13 Camden High St, Kings Cross, London NW1 7JE
A concept we were down with from the start. This speakeasy has a slightly different premise than that of the ordinary bar. We’ll give you a hint… it’s all in the name! B.Y.O.C stands for “bring your own cocktail” – so that’s exactly what you need to do. Bring along a few bottles of your favourite tipple and let your personal bartender whip you up bespoke drinks to your taste
Pro Tip: Let your bartender know what you like
Evan and Peele Detective Agency
Location: 310c Earls Ct Rd, Kensington, London SW5 9BA
Are you ready to be instantaneously transported back to the 20’s? Well, the Evan and Peele Detective Agency is just the place for you. Allowing guest to solve their own mysteries for a reward (we think you know what it is) the atmosphere is one of your classic 1920’s private detective agency.
Pro Tip: Ring the bell and use the password: Detective X
Location: 129 City Rd, London EC1V 1JB
Wedged between two cafes, you’ll find a narrow wooden door with an engravement of a bird – welcome to NightJar. This is as much signposting as you’ll receive in locating this gem. It would be very easy to walk down City Road daily and not notice this discrete location, however, once you’ve found it – the sheer sophistication and glamour that it exudes is not easily forgotten.
Pro Tip: Make sure you get there for one of their daily shows
The Cocktail Trading Co.
Location: 68, Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6GQ
So this location is a little easier to find than the previous, however, don’t be put off by that. The Cocktail Trading Co. sits comfortably by Brick Lane, and as anyone researching London knows – this is an amazing location for a night out. The Cocktail Trading Co. specialises in its own custom cocktail list – all with amazing twists and accompanying treats. We won’t spoil it for you, you’ll just have to head down and see for yourself!
Pro Tip: If you’re feeling for something off the menu, ask Elliot the bartender/owner for his personal recommendation.
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