Classy Places For Birthday Drinks in London | Cocktail Bars, Speakeasies & More
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Published 01/12/70


Classy Places For Birthday Drinks

Classy Places For Birthday Drinks In London

Last updated: 7th April 2020

It’s your birthday.

Which means you are, by definition, older and more mature.

And being older and more mature, you’ll likely be in the mood to celebrate with a bewilderingly good cocktail in an atmospheric, sophisticated space.

So we’ve lined up a solid collection of the very best places for birthday drinks in London in which to do that…

 

The Vault at Milroys | Soho

The Vault

Hidden below a whiskey shop (and not just any whiskey shop, but London’s first ever speciality whisky shop), the Vault is a Chesterfield-filled escape from the city above. Just low-lighting, smooth music, and great cocktails. READ MORE.

Numbers? Up to 8 (if you’re going to book)
Bookable area? Yes, you can book the Barrel Room for up to 8 guests.

 

Craft London | Greenwich

Craft London is three levels of understatedly grandiose Modern British and internationally-influenced Greenwich cafe / restaurant / bar which comes to you courtesy of chef Stevie Parle (The Dock Kitchen, Sardine) and industrial designer, Tom Dixon. And the top of those floors? Is a cocktail bar, which contains 360° views through floor to ceiling windows; an outdoor balcony; polished blue concrete floors; and a pewter-topped centrepiece bar. READ MORE.

Numbers? Up to 100
Bookable area? You can book part of the bar area for 1 to 35 guests, with your own bartender & mobile bar unit. Over 35 guests, and you get the whole bar. And if you really want to push the boat out, you can get the whole restaurant, too.

 

Eve | Covent Garden

Eve Bar covent garden

It’s a sumptuous subterranean cocktail bar tucked away underneath Covent Garden’s The Frog, serving never-before-seen theatrical cocktails, alongside bar snacks like cheese and truffle doughnuts or smoked cod caviar. READ MORE.

 

Paradise by Way of Kensal Green | Kensal Green

Frequented by a fashion-forward crowd including Kate Moss, Sophie Ellis-Bexter and Matthew Williamson, you’d expect the interior of Paradise by Way of Kensal Green to hold a few surprises. And, as always, you’d be right. The broad impression you’ll get walking in is “rock’n’roll stately home” featuring wood panelling, oil paintings and lines of leather-bound books alongside religious icons, cherub motifs and taxidermy. There’s a music room upstairs, regular big-name DJs, and a conservatory roof terrace built for cocktailing. READ MORE. 

Numbers? Up to 150
Bookable area? Yes, their private rooms can fit 14 to 50 guests for private dining or up to 150 for drinks & canapés.
Minimum spend? From £500 – £2000, depending on room and day

 

By Appointment Only | Liverpool Street

When you started searching out places for birthday drinks in London, you probably felt your work was done when you clocked the main image on here. Well that cocktail bar is BAO, a subterranean drinking den set inside a stunning Victorian Bath House, which is – no exaggeration – one of the most beautiful venues in this city. Head inside and you’ll note tessellating Arabic tiles, marble floors, stained glass decor and oriental rugs, before settling into your seat and being presented with a drinks menu, from which you’ll almost immediately glean that all of their spirits are house-infusions. And there’s a bathtub full of Champagne. READ MORE.

Numbers? 2 – 50
Bookable area? Yep, plenty. Minimum spends vary a lot though, so best get in touch before hand.

 

Dickie’s Bar | Mayfair

Dickie's Bar

After NY’s The Dead Rabbit won ‘World’s Best Bar for the second time in a row, Richard Corrigan decided it might be a good idea to get their head bartender to become his head bartender. So he did. And the results is Dickie’s Bar; a suave, polished, elegant Mayfair drinker attached to his restaurant. READ MORE.

Numbers? Up to 10 ish (if you’re going to book)
Bookable area? No

 

Lyaness | South Bank

Lyaness Bar

Replacing cocktail wizard Ryan Chetiyawardana’s bar Dandelyan – which he closed months after winning the World’s Best Bar award – is Lyaness, his next, equally experimental venture (that’s just appeared on that list once again). As well as being, of course, an excellent shortlister for birthday drinks in London, considering the cocktails are incredible, and there’s a stunning view of the Thames. READ MORE.

Numbers? Up to 300 for the whole venue
Bookable area? Yes, they’re labeled as ‘semi-private areas’. Groups of 10 – 25 = £50 per person for a standard 2 hour reservation or £100 per person for a whole night reservation. 25 and above (max 60) = £75 per person for a standard 2 hour reservation or £100 per person for a whole night reservation.

 

The Distillery | Portobello

The Distillery Notting Hill

Containing four stories of gin, The Distillery has something for basically every party. There’s a cocktail bar, a G&T palace, a gin museum, and even a hotel. READ MORE.

Numbers? Up to 20
Bookable area? Yes, if you book a private gin-making session at the Ginstitute. Otherwise, you’re booking spaces in one of the bars. They have a whole range of packages, starting from 15.95pp and going up to £60pp minimum spend.

 

Humble Grape | Battersea, Fleet Street, Islington

All three of the Humble Grape wine bars are good for laid-back birthday drinks in London; they’re all beautiful in their own ways, they’re all filled with more wine than you can shake a cork at, and they’re all staffed by some of the most knowledgable barkeeps int he business.

Numbers? Up to 200
Bookable area? Yes. Battersea: seated for 6 – 16 guests, stood: 10 – 20 guests. Fleet Street: wine tastings for 6 – 200 guests. Islington: 20 seated. Minimum spends vary a great deal between time of year, day of the week, and type of event.

 

Swift | Soho

The result of a partnership between two of the biggest powerhouses in the London Bar scene (the minds behind Nightjar and Milk & Honey). READ MORE.

Numbers? Up to 13 (if you’re going to book)
Bookable area? No, you can only book a table area downstairs for up to 13 people.

 

BYOC | Camden

Yes, you’ll have to bring your own booze to this moody speakeasy. And yes, that’s a very good thing. You and your party will all be treated to individually tailored cocktails made with whatever bottles you all bring along. READ MORE.

Numbers? Up to 22
Bookable area? No

 

Artesian | Marylebone

Artesian cocktail bars london

Winner of “world’s best bar” accolade several times over, Artesian is a high-flying, we-take-our-cocktails-oh-so-seriously glamour shot of a bar. Expect to pay the big bucks, and get the best drinks. READ MORE.

Numbers? Up to 20
Bookable area? No

 

The Gibson | Shoreditch

Gibson - best bars in Shoreditch

The Gibson seems to have travelled from the American 1930s to modern-day London, and landed firmly on its feet. They serve some of the most creative cocktails in the city, and frequently have a live band playing in the corner. Dancing probably isn’t on the cards, but when you’re drinking out of a herb-filled glass pipe that’s literally smoking, that kind of detail doesn’t matter. READ MORE.

Numbers? Up to 35
Bookable area? Yes, they have two semi-private areas for either 1-5, or 6-18 people. These have no minimum spend. If you want to go beyond that (up to 35 people max) then there are, but these vary a lot depending on time of year, day of the week, etc.

 

Milk & Honey | Soho

Milk & Honey

M&H was at the vanguard of the speakeasy movement in London, and has held up remarkably well in the meantime. You don’t have to be a member to book, but you will have to vacate the prohibition-style spot at 11pm. READ MORE.

Numbers? Up to 10ish
Bookable area? No, not unless you’re a member

 

Purl | Marylebone

Purl

The original venture from the boys behind the Whistling Shop and Dach & Sons, Purl’s subterranean bar combines exposed brickwork with leather sofas; chandeliers with cosy booths; urban edge with classic cool. But as nice as all of that is, the focus here is 100% on the drinks. The cocktail menu forebodingly warns: “This is not an elegant or simple cocktail list…if you don’t like fire, liquid nitrogen or loud noises, you won’t like this.” And if you’re after something a little bit special on your birthday, this place provides just that. READ MORE.

Numbers? Up to 35
Bookable area? Yes, they have some neat little alcoves. Up to 12 people requires no minimum spend. Above that it varies a lot, so best get in touch.

 

12th Knot | South Bank

12th Knot

Another one in Sea Containers London’s portfolio of stunning Tom Dixon-esque bars with a view out over the Thames and some really nice cocktails besides. 12th Knot’s recently had a full refurb – but the best bit? There’s a terrace to go out onto overlooking the river. READ MORE.

Numbers? Up to 300 for the whole venue
Bookable area? You can book a table for up to 20 people, or the whole venue for up to 300 (however, that costs anywhere between 25k – 50k)

 

The Drop | King’s Cross 

Best Wine Bars London: The Drop

Tucked away under a railway arch in King’s Cross’ Coal Drops Yard is The Drop, a low-lit, exposed brick restaurant and wine bar courtesy of the Hart Brothers (the same folks behind places like Michelin-starred Barrafina, and Casa Pastor). Here however the focus is very much the wine. Supported by a menu of mostly British-leaning dishes, they offer a totally unique and exciting wine list made up of mostly smaller, independent producers often doing new, innovative things across the globe. READ MORE.

Numbers? Up to 24
Bookable area? You can book a table for any size, however their set feasting menus are for groups of 8-24

 

Discount Suit Company | Spitalfields

Discount Suit Company best bars city

DSC is an underground booze den hidden in the basement of an old suit tailor’s stock room, which was literally a discount suit company. It’s now a dimly-lit neighbourhood cocktail bar entirely composed of exposed brickwork, scaffolding planks, Victorian floorboards and Motown records. If you want somewhere that’s not only cool, but makes you look cool too? Look no further. READ MORE.

Numbers? 30ish
Bookable area? Yes, you can book a table or bar area free of charge.

 

Mr Foggs | Mayfair

The fictional home of the famed, not-exactly existent Philleas Fogg, this cocktail spot pushes eccentric Victorian to its limit – it overflows with artefacts and trinkets, from stuffed Indian tiger heads, to whole crocodiles and umbrella stands made from elephants’ feet, birdcages, bicycles and one large penny-farthing swinging from the ceiling. READ MORE.

Numbers? Up to 12 (if you’re going to book)
Bookable area? Semi-private – parties of up to 8 guests can make their reservation for a table in the Drawing Room

 

Sketch | Mayfair

Sketch

With any mention of Sketch comes the inevitable reference to its collection of pod shaped toilets which look, almost exactly, like the spaceship from Mork and Mindy (basically a big egg with a door). But aside from that, there are also three bars and two restaurants, all of which will ever so slightly blow the mind of anyone unfamiliar with the joint. READ MORE.

Numbers? Depends on the night; probably 20ish at a stretch
Bookable area? No, and that’s the rub – you can’t book any of their bars, they’re strictly walk-in only. So you’d need to get your party there early, and hope.

 

The Blind Pig | Soho

Blind Pig Soho date ideas

Parked below an unassuming sign that reads “Optician”, this speakeasy-style cocktail joint has the same slick touches that we’ve all come to expect from an Atherton-run joint, like a beautiful antique mirrored ceiling, a copper-topped bar, and some mismatched-yet-perfectly-coordinated wooden furniture. The drinks are great, the snacks are even better, and the vibe is ridiculously cool. READ MORE.

Numbers? Up to 12 (if you’re going to book)
Bookable area? You can book tables, in semi-private spaces.

 


Want somewhere a little more fun? Check out our guide to Fun Places For Birthday Drinks


Classy Places For Birthday Drinks


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