Classy Places For Birthday Drinks in London | Cocktail Bars, Speakeasies & More

Classy Places For Birthday Drinks

Classy Places For Birthday Drinks

Classy Places For Birthday Drinks In London

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…


JW Simpson | Fitzrovia

JW’s interior is a mishmash of peeling wallpaper, tiled floors and battered wooden walls which, together, leave the clear impression of a flat that’s recently burnt down. And the owners have decided to drink through the pain by setting up a cocktail bar in the corner.
Numbers? Up to 40
Bookable area? Yes, and there’s no minimum spend to book in for your party.

The Vault at Milroys | Soho

Birthday Drinks in London

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

Humble Grape | Battersea, Fleet Street, Islington

Birthday Drinks in London

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.

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, Rotorino) 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.
Numbers? Up to 100
Bookable area? You can book part of the bar area for 1 to 35 guests, with your own bartener & 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.

Paradise by Way of Kensal Green | Kensal Green

Birthday Drinks in London

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.
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

Birthday Drinks in London

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

Dickie’s Bar | Mayfair

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

Lyaness | South Bank

Lyaness places for birthday drinks

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.
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

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.
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.

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)
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.
Numbers? Up to 22
Bookable area? No

Artesian | Marylebone

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.
Numbers? Up to 20
Bookable area? No

The Gibson | Shoreditch

The Gibson seeeems 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.
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

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

Clarendon Cocktail Cellar | Pimlico

Housed below the quite excellent Cambridge Street Kitchen, the drinks here are inspired by classic cinema, and are served up on coasters displaying the film poster in question (you’ll find everything from the Irish whisky/cranberry/absinthe The Departed; to the sake & vodka-loaded Kill Bill). There are gorgeous artworks on the walls, and a cool speakeasy vibe.
Numbers? Up to 15 (if you’re going to book)
Bookable area? Yes, they have a private booth in the vault for parties of 15. No minimum spend.

CTC Brick Lane | Bethnal Green

The cocktails here are genuinely works of art. And the fact that they’re made from the stuff brewed up in their on site distillery doesn’t hurt either. If you’re into fancy drinks, in a fancy space, then you’ve got yourself a winner.
Numbers? It’s a small space, so realistically up to about 20.
Bookable area? Yes, you can book tables in a semi-private area, but you can’t book on Friday or Saturday nights.

Satan’s Whiskers | Bethnal Green

Located in what was previously a closed down Caribbean restaurant, Whiskers is the perfect place to go when you quite simply, want to sit down to good, simple, no-nonsense cocktails. If you just want a simple, elegant space, with simple eminently drinkable booze, this is your place.
Numbers? Up to 6 (if you’re going to book)
Bookable area? You can book a table for half a dozen people, so only one to consider if you’re really keeping it intimate.

Purl | Marylebone

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.
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

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.
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)

Discount Suit Company | Spitalfields

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.
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 Victoriana to its limit – it overflows with artifacts 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.
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

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.
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

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.
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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