Best Bars in London’s West end, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street & Bond Street

London’s Best Bars According to the London Lifestyle Awards

We’re chuffed to announce that Pall Mall Barbers is in this year’s running for the London Lifestyle Awards Hair Salon of the year! We’re in good company – the list features some of the capitol’s best bars, restaurants and cultural attractions. You can check out the shortlist and cast your vote here until October 14th. In the meantime, here’s our take on the nominees for the best bar award, looking at the best bars in the West End of London.

Archer Street

3-4 Archer Street, W1D
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus

Summer’s over and the days are getting shorter, but flip flops and Magnum, PI-style Hawaiian shirts are still de rigueur at the Archer Street Antigua Beach Shack. As you might expect, the cocktail menu is heavy on the rum, but you can kick back to Calypso music with a range of bottled beers or even a pint of bourbon and blueberry Blind Pig Cider. Maybe leave the Speedos at home, though.

best bars in the west end of london

Artesian

1c Portland Place, W1B
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus

One of the best bars in the West End, Artesian is named after the original 360 foot well that sits beneath the Langham Hotel. It also claims to have its own, special ice: colder and with a higher density than all those other, lesser ices, all the better for keeping their signature rum punch cooler for longer. We can’t vouch for these claims from a strictly scientific point, but wouldn’t say no to an afternoon of testing it out.

Bar Termini

7 Old Compton Street, W1D
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus

Don’t go into Bar Termini expecting a War and Peace length drinks menu, or even time to linger over a glass of Chianti, for that matter. Everything about this Old Compton Street pit-stop is brief – from the well-curated menu of Italian drinks and snacks to the one-hour booking slots. Still, it’s a great place to meet a friend after work or to grab a bite before the theatre. Just be sure to plan ahead – there are only twenty-five seats and they’re booking only after 5pm.

Brazen Monkey

35 Cranbourn Street, WC2H
Nearest Tube: Leicester Square

If you’re looking for a quiet spot to catch up with an old friend, this isn’t it. Brazen Monkey is a loud and proud karaoke bar with no themes or hidden agenda, unless your agenda is to get tipsy and blast out classic ballads with a room full of mates. Thankfully the drinks are pretty cheap – a bottle of house wine starts at £16 in case you need a bit of Dutch courage before subjecting everyone to your best Barry Manilow impression.

best bars in the west end of london flight club

Flight Club Bloomsbury

55 New Oxford Street, WC1A
Nearest Tube: Tottenham Court Road

Yes, you probably read that wrong – there are no underground boxing clubs to be found at this address (that we know of, anyway). Flight Club takes darts out of the dark and dingy corners of traditional boozers and reinvents them for the twenty-first century. You can rent an oche (the technical term for ‘the bit with the dartboard’ apparently) for up to twenty people and have food and drink delivered as you while away the hours with slick, multi-player games. Hosts are on hand to help if you need to brush up on the rules before you try your hand. Flight Club is not only one of the best bars in the west end, but it’s not far from our Fitzrovia store.

Milk & Honey

61 Poland Street, W1F
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus

“No name-dropping, no star f*cking” is the first of Milk & Honey’s eight house rules. This is one of London’s original secret member’s clubs and it’s been going strong since 2002. Cocktail making starts way before guests arrive – they squeeze their oranges, lemons and limes by hand each morning. You’ll need to join up if you want to sample them, though. It’s members only after 11pm and even then you’ll have to book, but that’s often the case in the best bars in the West End.

Mr. Fogg’s Gin Parlour

1 New Row, WC2N
Nearest Tube: Leicester Square

With its flocked wallpaper and damask fainting couches, Mr. Fogg’s Gin Parlour could have been plucked straight from the pages of a Jane Austen novel. In keeping with the surroundings, Mr. Fogg’s strength lies in its afternoon teas – for the rather bargainous price of £20, you’ll be treated to a proper spread of cream cakes and scones, served with your choice of house cocktails. You could, of course, opt for the more traditional pot of tea, but you are in a gin parlour and we think it’d be rude not to.

Polo Bar at the Westbury

37 Conduit Street, W1S
Nearest Tube: Bond Street

The Polo Bar is the very essence of moneyed Mayfair. With its Swarovski crystal fittings and Fendi finishes, it’s definitely more Bond Street than Oxford Street – the first item on the menu is a sharing plate of Beluga caviar at £390 a pop if you still need convincing. This is definitely a place to stop off if you’re still feeling flush after a hard day hitting the shops – a glass of white wine starts at £11.50 and there’s not a whiff of Prosecco in sight. You’ll just have to be content yourself with Moët if you want to sit a spell at the polished marble bar.

Punch Room at the London Edition

10 Berners Street, W1T
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus

The lobby of the London Edition Hotel is one of those places so achingly hip that you suspect any of your fellow guests could be an off-duty celebrity. The lobby alone is great for people-watching, but the reservations-only Punch Room is even better. In keeping with the name, there are over thirty boozy punches on the menu, or you can opt for the wicked sounding “Scandal Water” – 19th century high society’s slang for afternoon tea served up with a generous spoonful of gossip. You’ll be served five complimentary pairings of tea and treats, or you can really loosen your tongue and swap the tea for one of the aforementioned spiked punches.

best bars in the west end radio bar

Radio Rooftop Bar at ME London

336-337 The Strand, WC2R
Nearest Tube: Temple

Fun fact: Radio’s name is a tribute to the building’s former occupant, the Marconi Corporation. Marconi was an early pioneer of radio and television, and this building on the Strand was the site of its earliest broadcasting experiments. It’s now the home of the five-star ME Hotel and the sleek, modern vibe gives no clues to its past. Radio boasts a huge roof terrace for rare sunny days and a curiously weighty drinks menu. A closer inspection reveals why – in addition to the cocktails and fizz on offer, you can also rent a pair of shades in case you left yours at home.

Seymour’s Parlour at Zetter Townhouse

28-30 Seymour Street, W1H
Nearest Tube: Marble Arch

Seymour’s Parlour is no stranger to a good party. The second bar in Marylebone’s Zetter Townhouse is kitted out like a grand country home, but without the stiff upper lip. Their social calendar is packed out with celebrations of Mardi Gras, Burns Night, St. Patrick’s Day… any excuse, really. There’s also a regular line-up of masterclasses, tastings and even (if you can get down there on October 4th) a take-over by the staff of Le Calabar in Paris, who will be serving up cocktails sans pantalons (Google it, but maybe not at work). Zetter Townhouse can also be found in Clerkenwell, but that wouldn’t make it into our list of the best bars in the west end.

Swift

12 Old Compton Street, W1D
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus

Upstairs or downstairs? Those are the choices at Swift on Old Compton Street. Upstairs is the place to grab a quick pre or post-theatre drink and maybe platter of oysters if you’re feeling peckish. Downstairs, on the other hand, is meant for lingering. Whiskey connoisseurs should have no trouble – Swift stocks a truly astounding 250 choices from every corner of the globe. Like many of the best bars in the west end, it’s a short walk from our Trafalgar Square store.

The American Bar at the Savoy

100 The Strand, WC2R
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross

The Savoy Cocktail Book is still regarded by modern bartenders as the bible of the trade, and this is the place where it all began. The book was painstakingly compiled by Harry Craddock, but it was his predecessor Ada Craddock who put The American Bar on the map as the place to be seen. You can still find her signature blend of gin, vermouth and Fernet Branca – better known as the Hanky Panky – on the menu nearly a century later. Legend has that she created it at the behest of the actor Sir Charles Hawtrey who, upon tasting it, exclaimed, “By Jove! This is the real hanky-panky!” Not only is it one of the best bars in the West End, but it’s one of the best looking bars in London too.

The Vault at Milroy’s

3 Greek Street, W1D
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus

If you’re a whiskey lover, you’ll already by familiar with Milroy’s of Soho. This cozy shop has been going strong since 1964 and now stocks over 400 different blends and single malts from around the world. The ground floor tasting bar is whiskey-only, but a hidden door behind a bookcase leads you downstairs to the dark furnishings and dimmed lights of The Vault if you fancy a wider choice of spirits.

What do you make of the lineup of the best bars in the West End of London? Are your favourites missing? Don’t forget to cast your vote here for your favourite bar and of course, your favourite barber!

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