Fun Places For Birthday Drinks in London
Birthdays are good for your health.
The more you have, the longer you live.
Celebrating birthdays, however, might not be quite so beneficial to the ol’ constitution. Particularly the liver. And particularly if you do it at one of these music-filled, atmospheric, and straight-up fun places for birthday drinks in London…
Drinks Shop and Do | Kings X
This multi-use space prides itself on its parties. They’ll do everything from reserving a section of the bar area for your party, to closing off the whole thing for you.
Numbers? Up to 240 (for the whole venue).
Bookable area? Yes, several – they have three floors, with several bars and dining rooms for pretty much any number of people. Minimum 20 to book one. Check out their guide HERE.
Old Street Records | Shoreditch (MEMBER PERK AVAILABLE)
OSR is a multi-levelled, grandiose Shoreditch warehouse, covered in vintage artist posters, and shelves overflowing with a whole range of classic records. The bar offers up an eclectic programme of soul, funk, indie, hip hop and electronica, rock and classic pop music, all of which are a combination of both emerging and established record labels showcasing their up and coming talent, as well as big bands and renowned DJs. Annnnnnd they have a solid cocktail menu & freshly baked sourdough pizzas.
Numbers? Up to 100
Bookable area? Yes, you can book a drinks area at the bar, or the whole venue if you’re feeling frisky.
Barrio Shoreditch | Shoreditch
This retro-sexy, Latin-vibing, colourful treat of a bar was built for parties. The drinks are readably priced, the go down smoothly, and you can get one served in the head of a lucha-libre wrestler. They’ve got a covered terrace, a dance floor, and an entire indoor caravan that you can book out for yourself.
Numbers? Up to 200 for the whole venue, but there are many intermediate options.
Bookable area? Yes, several, many with their own bar. Numbers range from 35-80 people seated. Check out their venue guide (including Barrio Angel, Central and Brixton) right HERE.
Ray’s Bar | Dalston
Set below Voodoo Rays, this 50-seater basement space is one of London’s unequivocally fun places for birthdays, sporting a peppy, Toy-style vibe. It’s dark, it’s moody, it’s got great drinks, and above all there is a superb pizza parlour. Literally.
Numbers? Up to 85
Bookable area? You can get a semi-private bar area for up to 20 people, and the whole venue for 85. There’s no minimum spend to reserve an area of the bar for 15 or 30 people.
Evans and Peel | Earl’s Court (NUDGE MEMBER PERK AVAILABLE)
This secret bar, while hidden behind a bookshelf, is actually quite expansive. Once inside, you and your party can revel in the beaten white tiles, the dickie-bow-clad bar staff, and the soft lighting. You’ll all be served illegal bottles of booze in brown paper bags…you know, to avoid arousing the suspicion of the authorities.
Numbers? Up to 20
Bookable area? Yes, you can book a semi-private bar area for 20 people
TT Liquor | Shoreditch
Taking up three full stories, TT itself is a huge, converted Victorian police station that looks like, well, like it’s been converted from a Victorian police station: brick walls, stone slab floors, and caged liquor bottles (framed by their captors with subtle low light) surround the beautifully aged wooden fittings. The upper deck is reserved for cocktail masterclasses which, despite being educational, are actually perfect for parties.
Numbers? Anywhere up to 120
Bookable area? Oh yes – you can book a cocktail masterclass for 6-20 people, a space in their vaults for 5-15 people, or an area in their bar for anywhere up to 120 people.
Burlock | Marylebone
Burlock serves over 200 varieties of rum, in a apace built to evoke the Golden Age of Havana with tropical, colonial décor including an indoor grand house veranda, and a tasting room decked out like a Havana barber shop. And like the Golden Age of Havana, they love to have a party.
Numbers? Up to 160 for the whole venue
Bookable area? Yes, you can book tables for up to 50 people
The Piano Works | Farringdon
The open plan, bare brick walls of this vast, 400-capacity listed Victorian warehouse puts the musicians at centre stage as they play energetic renditions of whatever pop classics the paying customers want. And the list of cocktails is lively too. Definitely a contender for a bracingly fun, big night out.
Numbers? Technically up to 400, realistically up to about 50-ish.
Bookable area? Yes, they do cocktail masterclasses, and if you have 20 people, you can even form your own band-led choir – it starts at £25pp, and goes all the way up to £60pp for the whole shebang.
Tropicana Beach Club | Covent Garden
This place is huge, colourful, and bombastic. Some of the live entertainment on offer includes an elemental magician, steel drum bands, cabaret acts and fire entertainers. Also, it’s a club. There will be dancing.
Numbers? Up to 600
Bookable area? Yes, 50 people for a “VIP drinks area”, 150 for a dinner booking, and 600 people for the whole venue.
Oriole | Smithfield
Located beneath London’s iconic Smithfield Market, Oriole comes from the people behind Nightjar, and the cocktails are just as good as you would expect them to be. But the best bit? They have live music seven nights per week, including some great Calypso, Cuban Son, Brazillian Jazz, and regular performances from Nightjar’s well-known roster of swing jazz musicians, with space at the front for dancing.
Numbers? Up to 12 on a Fri-Sat, and up to 30 on Sun-Thurs (or 185 if you want the whole venue).
Bookable area? You can book tables for up to 12 people, and semi-private areas for 19-30 people; but there’s a £50pp minimum spend for larger groups.
Kansas Smittys | London Fields (NUDGE MEMBER PERK AVAILABLE)
Thanks to regular appearances at places like Ronnie Scotts, 606 and Nightjar, the Kansas Smitty’s house band have become well-loved enough to take this rare step of opening up their own place. And the music is what this place is really about. You see, it’s an authentic homage to the love of good jazz; and arrantly good juleps, given that they have a whole menu of them.
Numbers? Up to 40, tops.
Bookable area? Tables are for up to 5 people, but you can book the whole venue for 40 people, at around a £1,500 minimum spend (depending on the time of year).
Original Sin | Stoke Newington
The second bar from the troop behind Happiness Forgets, not only does Sin look like the sort of brooding, dimly lit basement bar you might find in NYC’s meatpacking district… it’s also one of those rare gems which combine style with, well, fun. This is in large part down to the all-girl bar staff, who will always remember your name and drink; the alternating roster of live musicians who grace the stage on unpredictable monthly intervals; and the pool table, which is completely free to play.
Numbers? Up to 80 for the whole bar, but only 15 for an area.
Bookable area? Sunday to Thursdays they book for groups up to 15, however on Friday and Saturdays its only for groups of 6 people. No minimum spend.
The Sun Tavern | Bethnal Green
Sure, it looks like a pub. But this is really a cocktail bar in disguise. It’s an 1850’s corner house that’s just been converted by the team behind The Discount Suit Company, and they’ve filled it with a soundtrack of old Stones, Zeppelin and Beatles records, a menu of 18th Century punches & tankard cocktails, and a dozen craft beer taps.
Numbers? Up to 35
Bookable area? Not really, as the bar area is all one space, but you can reserve the seated area at the back
Call Me Mr Lucky | London Bridge (NUDGE PERK AVAILABLE)
The first cool thing about CMML is the entrance – it’s through a Goodfellas-style bustling kitchen accessed by a secret passphrase. The second cool thing is the tequila-soaked cocktail menu. And the third is the makeshift Wheel Of Fortune on the wall which – when someone spins the arrow to land in the right place – wins a round of shots for everyone else in the bar. Now that’s a party bar.
Numbers? Up to 70 for the whole venue
Bookable area? Yes, you can hire the party vault for up to 24 guests
The Blues Kitchen | Shoreditch
Some people believe that you need to visit at least three different places in an evening in order to drink Snake Venom, the world’s strongest beer at 67.5%; eat alligator tails; access 100 varieties of bourbon; tuck into a BBQ menu created by a three-time winner of the British Barbecue Championships; and listen to live blues, seven nights a week. Those people are wrong.
Numbers? Up to 150
Bookable area? Yes, so, so many. They have private rooms, banqueting tables, an Airstream trailer, drinks booths, and stage-side seating. Numbers range between a dozen and 150. Check out all the options HERE.
Nightjar | Shoreditch
This place has won awards for it’s cocktails, and should have won awards for its speakeasy style interior, if only such a ceremony existed. There’s live jazz, a dancefloor, and no reason not to go there for a party.
Numbers? Up to 85
Bookable area? Yes, but it’s a little unusual: you can either book tables for live music for up to 10 people, or you can book the whole venue for 50-85 people. Nothing in-between. Minimum spends for the whole venue are quite steep, and there’s a hire fee too – but this place is worth it.
Brick & Liquor | Clapham & Tooting
Easily one of the better cocktail bars in South London, B&L prides itself on not only their top-shelf mixed drinks, but also the fact that their spacious venue is sociable, inviting, and fun.
Numbers? Up to 60 in Tooting, and 100 in Clapham
Bookable area? Yes, you can reserve an area of the bar, or indeed the entire bar. Packages start at just £25pp minimum spend.
The King of Ladies Man | Battersea
Are you into the ’70s? Do you yearn for disco drinks like Pina Coladas, Tequila Sunrises, Mezcal Sunsets, and Mai Tais? Do you kinda want to go to a bar hidden behind a launderette? Then we have just the place…
Numbers? Up to 75
Bookable area? You can book drinks tables for anywhere up to 75
The Mayor of Scaredycat Town | Spitalfields
Literally hidden in a fridge, The Mayor is an underground speakeasy with exposed brickwork, an air of exclusivity, some great music and a wide selection of cocktails (from the Rosie and Gin to the Linchberg-Leith Lemonade). Plus, everyone can grab a bite at the Breakfast Club upstairs.
Numbers? Up to 50 for the whole venue
Bookable area? You can book an evening table for 8 people, or the whole venue for 25-50. Nothing in between.
The Culpeper | Spitalfields (NUDGE MEMBER PERK AVAILABLE)
The Culpeper would make for a great pub to go to on any occasion, including a birthday. It’s fun, it’s lively, and they serve great beer. But head upstairs, and you’ll find its own bar serving signature cocktails; gardens supplying herbal tinctures for said cocktails; a bespoke grill from the London Log Company; a view of the City’s towering skyline; AND, an intimate, 12 – 14 seater glass Greenhouse where you can eat, drink and be merry under the sun and stars; rain, hail or shine.
Numbers? 20-ish in the pub.
Bookable area? No, but you can book the rooftop greenhouse for dinner, for up to 12 people
Mac & Wild | Devonshire Square (NUDGE MEMBER PERK AVAILABLE)
Scottish food doesn’t get a good rap. Which is a shame, because the Scottish food at Mac & Willd is truly excellent. And the Scottish booze? Well, head here and you’ll find a selection of European wines and Scottish craft beers; over 100 bottles of single malt whisky; three pre-batched cocktails known as ‘The Forager’, ‘Auld Pal’ and ‘The Ginger Laddie’; venison tartare; venison mince on toast; venison chateaubriand and “Haggis Pops”.
Numbers? Up to 15
Bookable area? You can book a gun room, for a virtual game-hunting experience with 14 mates.
Want to go somewhere a little more understated? Then check out the classy places for birthday drinks…