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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Best Bars in London - My Top Four

This time last year, I wrote a post about how I used to say I would never live or work in London and yet now, I have completely fallen in love with the City and everything it has to offer.

Having been inspired to write this post by a friend who has never visited London, (I know, weird right?!), I wanted to share all my favourite things to do in the City and all the places that make me love London beyond the standard tourist attractions that everyone already knows.

As there were just too many to fit into one blog post, I've split them up into my favourite bars, restaurants and activities, so don't forget to visit again and check out the other posts in the series.

Best Bars in London - My Top Four

Bars


When Kelly Brook opens a bar and restaurant, you know it’s going to be fabulous. Steam and Rye encompasses everything I attribute to a great night and has quickly become my favourite place to go out in London when I want to let my hair done and have a LOT of fun.

Located in the heart of the City in the Old Bank of New York Building, Steam and Rye is a late night, American prohibition themed bar and restaurant ready to take you back to the glamour and opulence of 1940s America. The restaurant is dimly lit, cosy, and brilliantly themed, with an extensive menu of succulent meat and inventive cocktails – my two favourite things. On the ground floor is the main bar, with another bar on the lower ground too.

Steam and Rye has a massive party atmosphere, it’s literally impossible not to enjoy yourself. From spontaneous outbreaks of dancing on the bar from the staff to performances by beautiful dancers up on the stage, the whole evening feels like one big celebration. LuLu, the Entertainment Manager honestly makes my night, we literally wait all night just to see him up on stage shaking everything to Beyonce. Serious moves alongside indoor fireworks and explosions of confetti is a recipe for a fantastic show.

The playlist felt like it could have been taken from my ‘Girls Night Out’ Spotify playlist with plenty of BeyoncĂ©, Spice Girls, and 90s RnB and Dance. Their cocktails could be compared to the work of Willy Wonka for adults with fabulous concoctions filled with whipped cream and topped with Fab ice lollies, oreos and marshmallows.

They also have a restaurant on the top floor which is amazing. The decor is totally in theme, I couldn't take my eyes off the walls, the service is always great and the food is a meat lovers paradise. 

Every staff member was happy, friendly and went out of their way to ensure everyone had a great night, and that for me, is one of the reasons why this is such an incredible venue, that I will keep coming back to. 

I fully applaud Kelly Brook and Nick House for creating an American experience unlike any other in the heart of our beautiful City.  

My top tip: Don’t forget your flats because you’ll be dancing the whole night away


Steam and Rye


Steam and Rye


Steam and Rye




The Melia hotel chain is one of my favourites, and a chain I work with very often in my work and personal life. Their ME brand has some of my favourite hotels in the world and of course, their London property has a special place in my heart.

I visited the ME hotel just as it opened, and have since seen Radio Bar transform and adapt to meet the needs of their customers, to become one of London’s most loved rooftop bars.

Radio bar is located on the 10th floor of the ME Hotel on the Strand with uninterrupted views of all of London’s most well-known landmarks from the Shard to the London Eye. Now serving afternoon tea Monday – Friday between 12 and 5pm, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday between 11am and 3pm, the venue is now so much more than just an after dark bar.

Part of Radio Bar is outside, with plenty of lounge seating to relax and enjoy the views. A perfect space to enjoy the sunshine in the summer and snuggle up with a blanket (which are provided!) in the cooler months.

My top tip: Make a reservation for Radio Bar on a Saturday night to dance the night away with a few drinks, then pop back again on Sunday morning for brunch and to enjoy the views. 


Radio Bar at the ME Hotel



Another well-known London rooftop restaurant and bar, Madison has the best view in the City of St Pauls Cathedral. A venue of such stunning architecture and history, the terrace at Madison provides the perfect photo opportunity to see this incredible structure up close and personal.

The venue consists of a restaurant, bar and lounge and rooftop terrace which means it’s a venue perfect for any time of year, although I personally prefer to visit in the summer to make use of their outside space. It’s one of those venues that is always really fun, not too pretentious and has great music.

I haven’t eaten at the restaurant myself but have heard the food is good, and the views are just as beautiful as outside on the terrace.

My top tip: Get a group together and book a VIP booth to make use of the table service as the queues for the bar, especially in the summer can get pretty big


Madison




Dirty Martini is one of those chain bars, which I go back to every single time. It’s my safe haven in London and somewhere that rarely disappoints. They are expanding at an incredible rate at the moment which is just shows, it’s not just me who loves their bars – there was a point where I thought I was probably making a good dent in their monthly revenue I was there so much!

Dirty Martini are always revising and expanding their offering from changing up their snack menus to adding in seasonal cocktails. The bars are mostly pretty hidden away, most of them are underground so there’s only a doorway street side, which unfortunately makes them easy to miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for. 

Dirty Martini bars offer an extensive happy hour, which of course, I always take advantage of, and it makes a night out in London much more affordable if you can time it right. You can sign up to their newsletter and they often send vouchers for a free martini which I love. 

My top tip: If you’re looking to hire a private space, I love the options available at Dirty Martini St Pauls. Also, they serve my absolute favourite cocktail ever – Dragonfruit and Pomegrante Martini, which is closely followed by the Passionfruit Martini. They are all kinds of heaven. 


Dirty Martini



If you have a favourite bar in London you'd like to add to the list, leave it below.

For more inspiration you can check out the London Like A Local guide with tips from some fabulous bloggers to add to your list of ‘must sees’. 

Also coming up on my London series is my favourite restaurants and activities so check back soon. 

Love Lauren xx
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4 comments

  1. I love the bar in the Sanderson Hotel another place for fab cocktails.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dirty Martini will always be a favourite!! So excited to go to Steam and Rye it sounds amazing! :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. I frickin' love radio bar...or any bar with a rooftop really!! Love this post!xx

    Honeypot Blogs

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great collection, Lauren! I love Madison especially. I've just shared my favourite London rooftop bars which may be of interest! - SG.

    ReplyDelete

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