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  • Writer's pictureDianaRose

London bars guide

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

I enjoy a romantic yet playful ambience - conversation, laughter and flirtation who unfolds naturally over sparkling glasses and candlelit tables.✨ 

Photos were made during my stay at The Ritz Hotel in London and at Okura Hotel in Amsterdam

Here are some of the most fitting establishments in which we can wine, dine and experience together. Please, click on the London bar name for more information:

Home to the infamous “snug”, which features a distinctive, ultra-chic wall mural by New York-based artist TM Davy, The Berkeley Bar & Terrace is a triumph in style as well as substance. With a menu that celebrates vintage wines and spirits (pay close attention to the Champagne), this is a bar well deserving of the top slot on my special occasion hit list.

China Tang at The Dorchester might be one of London’s most storied dining rooms, but did you know that it’s also home to a bar? China Tang, The Dorchester, 53 Park Lane,

Idris Elba’s newly opened bar in Covent Garden is a parrot-themed paradise for music lovers, with live acts playing every night and all the impressive Yamaha sound kit. With twisty faux vines, bird-shaped cocktail glasses and tropical potted plants dotted around the sizeable yet somehow still intimate space, the interiors call to mind a chic, grown up Rainforest Café – and I mean that in a good way. 45 Aldwych, Holborn, London WC2B 4DW.

Once a playground for art and literature's elite, Manetta’s is a lovely little jewellery box of a bar hidden underneath Fleming’s Hotel in Mayfair. The Manetta’s of the thirties was immortalised in the works of Agatha Christie, but old-school glamour is still the order of the day, as is the literary theme. Flemings Mayfair, 7-12 Half Moon Street, Mayfair London, London W1J.

Hidden above Jason Atherton's genius restaurant, Social Eating House, on Soho’s Poland Street, we’ll find one of the best speakeasies in the city. Fun and games are the order of the day at The Blind Pig, where the cocktail list is modelled on children’s literature and the pub grub-style bar snacks have all the Michelin flare of the food downstairs. 58 Poland Street.

The newly revamped bar at London’s Corinthia, Bassoon, feels more like a super-luxe speakeasy than a hotel bar. The theme is 1920s New Orleans, which we can see in the monochrome Art Nouveau-meets-Mondrian decor, the jazz-era modernist paintings that line the walls and the shiny black seven-metre bar morphs into a piano at the far end. Expect a big-easy inspired cocktail list.

Lets iendulge our inner explorer at Mr Fogg’s, the Fitzrovia. Victorian horticulture is the theme here, with a two-floor space that celebrates the fictional character’s botanical library, complete with a greenhouse-style enclosure above the stairs. The cocktails are inspired by the Victorian tradition of expressing secret emotions through the giving of certain flowers. 48 Newman Street.

Sure, the American Bar is brilliant, but at the Beaufort, gold-gilded interiors, ornate plasterwork and glowing bar are complemented by a dazzling cocktail menu, which reads like a script in three acts: Music, Magic, Drama. The Savoy Hotel, Strand, London WC2.

London may not be short of sky bars, but Iris is fast-becoming the city’s best. Perched on The Gherkin’s 40th floor with staggering panoramic views across the capital, Iris gives new meaning to the phrase “raising the bar”. Iris is open 11am until 11pm, though I recommend getting there in time for sunset over the city (reservations only, no walk-ins). Millicia West. 30 St Mary Axe,

Photos were made during my stay at The Ritz Hotel in Paris and Mandarin Oriental in Milan

When we walk into The Mekan bar at Ruya and we’re immediately transported outside of London. This Anatolian inspired bar has all the trimmings of Asian Turkey: from the beautiful hostesses in floor-length white dresses, to the DJ mixing world house reminiscent of luxury beach bars. As plush as Ruya restaurant with service to match, the Mekan bar is one of London’s most elegant new drinking spots, with an equally sophisticated clientele. Open Monday to Saturday 12pm to 1am, at 30 Upper Grosvenor St, Mayfair, London.

Located just off Britain’s biggest shopping drag with a delightfully decently sized al fresco area out the front, Harry’s Bar, which isn’t a members’ club, feels thoroughly Italian. There’s the interiors – all gleaming dark wood paneling, sumptuous leather banquettes and colourful artworks that nod to mid-century Italian opulence. 30-34 James Street, London W1U 1ER.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that, with 17 different bars (and ten restaurants) under one roof, The Ned is in absolutely no need of yet another watering-hole. The Ned, 27 Poultry.

Open until 1am, Dickie’s is the hottest new gentlemen’s club you don’t actually need membership to. We just need to make sure we book in advance! 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, London,

Photo was made during my stay at The Eden Hotel in Rome. Diana 🌹

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