A four-storey gin palace; a candle-lit cocktail lounge behind a bookcase; and a hedonistic Italian pizzeria and karaoke joint…
…already make for one hell of a difficult decision when choosing where best to drink in West London. Let alone when you consider all of the other options below.
Behold the best of the west:
The Distillery | Notting Hill
Located along Notting Hill’s Portobello Road is this four-storey fun-house of gin. As well as a full-time distillery (where small-batch Portobello Road Gin is made), you’ll find The Ginstitute (their in-house gin school teaching you to blend your own gin); two bars; a gin museum; and a micro hotel. You can quite literally eat, sleep, drink, and learn gin. And all under the same roof at that.
Address: 186 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, West London, W11 1LA | For more information, or to book, visit their website here
The Bletchley | Chelsea
Much like the code linked to its namesake, this bar hopes to stay a bit of an enigma. But what we can tell you is that it comes to us from the folks behind highly-successful ABQ who – taking inspiration from the code-breaking operations at Bletchley Park in WWII – have mastered a secret formula that allows them to create a series of bespoke, personality-matched cocktails exclusively for you…
Address: 459 King’s Road, SW10 0LR | For more information, or to book, visit their website here.
Callooh Callay, Chelsea | Chelsea
It’s the West London counterpart to the multi-award-winning Callooh Callay in Shoreditch. Housed in a former night-club, and still utilising some of the old features, the decor’s a little off-kilter. Drinks-wise, however, nothing’s changed. On offer is a mix of Calooh Callay classics, as well as some newer creations, shaken up by a bar team from the likes of Sketch and 69 Colebrook Row. And they’re still every bit as delicious, especially when paired with a little charcuterie or a selection of cheese.
Address: 316-318 Kings Road, West London, SW3 5UH | For more information, or to book, visit their website here.
The Prince | Earl’s Court
It’s a multi-storey eating and drinking den in Earl’s Court, which, alongside three bars and four restaurants, boasts a covered, flower-laden beer garden, with a retractable roof for summer.
Address: 4 Lillie Road, Earl’s Court, West London, SW6 1TT | For more information, or to book, visit their website here.
Evans & Peel Detective Agency | Earl’s Court
A secret West London speakeasy, where – after being led through to a softly-lit agency office – The Detective will usher you through a bookcase and into a candlelit drinking den serving booze in brown paper bags.
Address: Earls Court Road, Earls Court, SW5 9BA | For more information, or to book, visit their website here.
The American Bar at The Stafford | Green Park
After a recent refurb, this wood-panelled Central London institution is slicker and smarter than ever. Come here when you want to feel like you’re relaxing in an Old Boys’ Club – the kind that has a 16-strong cigar list and it’s very own cobbled smoking terrace. The cocktail list has been designed to take you on a journey through American history, everything from the Gold Rush to landing on the moon. And whilst it doesn’t come cheap at £21 a pop, the drinks sure are delicious, like their Home Run of gin, Calvados, cucumber, yuzu juice, apple, pear, and egg white; an ode to major league baseball player Babe Ruth and the American Dream.
Address: The Stafford Hotel London, SW1A 1NJ | For more information, or to book, visit their website here.
Nocturne | South Kensington
An illicit, boozy basement beneath a wine & cheese shop in South Kensington, sporting low lighting, cocktail cabinets, drinks trolleys, and a centrepiece piano if you fancy tinkling the ivories. Which you might, after trialling some of their drinks – separated into Vintage, Pre-Prohibition and Prohibition eras, and all inspired by years gone by…
Address: 158 Old Brompton Road, SW5 0BA | For more information, or to book, visit their website here.
Barts | Chelsea
Hidden away behind an inconspicuous black door in Chelsea is this eccentric, 1930’s-inspired drinking den. Get the password right and you’ll be ushered inside where – dressed up in a little fancy dress – you can work your way through their 40+ cocktail list, including sharing cocktails served up in full china tea-sets.
Address: Chelsea Cloisters, Sloane Avenue, Chelsea, SW3 3DW | For more information, or to book, visit their website here.
Holy Bar | Knightsbridge
A bar you’ll want to visit religiously – tucked inside a vegan restaurant, within a wellness centre, off one of the most exclusive shopping thoroughfares in the capital, it’s just about the last place you’d expect to find theatrical, smoking cocktails inspired by a deck of tarot cards…
Details: Urban Retreat, 2-4 Hans Crescent, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 0LH | For more information, or to book, visit their website here
Trailer Happiness | Notting Hill
“Trailer Happiness is an intimate lounge bar, den and kitchen on Portobello Road serving the finest classics and original cocktails with a Tiki twist” – Trailer Happiness. That was easy.
Address: 177 Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, W11 2DY | For more information, or to book, visit their website here.
The Piano Kensington | Kensington
New York does piano bars: friends squeezed around a grand piano in Greenwich Village, cocktail in hand, filling the room with Ratpack classics and showtunes. And West London does too.
Address: Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kensington High Street, W8 4PT | For more information, or to book, visit their website here.
Image: The Distillery
Liked exploring the best bars in West London? Check out The Nudge’s guide to the best restaurants in West London, too.
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