You’re in Mayfair.
You have, until this point, been absolutely crushing date night, thanks to your trademark combination of good looks, sparkling wit and specialist cheese knowledge. After a languid dinner at one of the area’s many candlelit, booth-equipped restaurants – Gymkhana, perhaps, or Umu – you and your date have stepped out into the night, walked and talked a little more… and panicked.
But fear not. Because we’ve compiled a palpitation-quelling selection of nightcap spots, with their own trademark combination of good atmosphere, intimate nooks, and unanimously excellent cocktails.
So behold, the best bars in Mayfair…–
The Retiring Room
The Retiring Room is named for the waiting rooms at India’s train stations. And when it’s this good, you’ll actually be hoping for delays. You’ll find it below the acclaimed Mayfair eatery, Bombay Bustle, decked out in glamorous jewel tones with art deco lighting. Appropriately, it’s a real retreat from the bustle outside, too – with intimate leather booths and decadent cocktails with everything from edible pearl garnishes to paan liqueur, a drink made from betel leaf (a plant representing auspicious beginnings in India). READ MORE
Details: 29 Maddox Street, W1S 2PA | Open daily
One of the Nudge’s all-time favourite bars in London – though, if you need further proof, it’s been sitting pretty in the top 5 of the World’s 50 Best Bars list for several years now. Panelled with mirrors and silver leaf, it’s quietly glamorous without feeling stuffy; the bartenders are both cheery and knowledgeable – and the drinks are, without exception, flawless. Wave over the martini trolley for a bespoke edition, made table-side, or order one of their signature concoctions – the recipes for which you’ll be handed at the end of the night. READ MORE
Details: The Connaught Hotel, Carlos Place, W1K 2AL | Open daily 10.30am-1am (midnight Sundays)
In a textbook case of nominative determinism, Hide Below is very easy to walk straight past. That’s because it’s the low-lit cocktail bar set in the basement of acclaimed chef Ollie Dabbous’ three tiered restaurant paradise, HIDE. Take a stool at the beautiful natural wood-topped bar and pick out a dram from the amber-hued spirits lining the back wall; snoop around their walk-in wine cellar; or order a martini, stirred with frozen birch sap instead of ice. READ MORE
Details: 85 Piccadilly, W1J 7NB | Open weekdays 7.30am-1am, Sat 9am-1am, Sun 9am-11.30pm
The Glade at Sketch
Some people just aren’t cut out for it.
Luckily, the people who plastered the walls of The Glade bar at Sketch knew exactly what they were doing, and have created a drinking den straight out of a fairytale, with illustrated woodland walls, quirky baroque furnishings and a huge bar overseeing proceedings, from which you can score classic and signature serves. READ MORE
Details: 9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG | Open weekdays 7am-2am, weekends 8am-2am (12.30am Sundays)
Mr. Fogg’s Residence
Like its namesake, this bar has now made its way right across London, with bars from Covent Garden to Liverpool Street. This, however, is the original, and still hasn’t lost the wow factor thanks to the array of worldly trinkets, taxidermied animals, flags, and penny farthings dangling from the ceiling and crammed onto the walls. The cocktails are just as eccentric, combining classic spirits with not-so-classic infusions, like salted grapefruit cordial and African spice falernum. READ MORE
Details: 15 Bruton Lane, W1J 6JD | Open Mon-Thurs from 4pm, Fri from 3pm, Sat from 1.30pm and Sun from 4pm
Kwānt is pronounced quaint – through really it’s anything but. Dramatic decor takes inspiration from Morocco, old London members’ clubs and a little smattering of 70s tiki, and the whole place is hidden behind an old oak door below Mayfair eatery Momo. It’s the first solo venture from Erik Lorincz, who previously took The Savoy’s American Bar to glory with a #1 spot on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, and you can expect equally great things of him here… READ MORE
Details: Below Momo, 25 Heddon Street, W1B 4BH | Open daily from 5pm
A sleek annexe to Corrigan’s in Mayfair, Dickie’s Bar is headed up by Gregory Buda – former ‘tender at New York’s Dead Rabbit, a.k.a. the best bar in the world for about 5 years running. With a sleek wooden bar-top and plush leather seating, it’s the quintessential hotel bar – only with much better cocktails. READ MORE
Details: 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K 7EH | Open weekdays noon-midnight (1am Thurs-Fri) and Saturdays 6pm-1am
To say that Dukes is famous for its martinis is an understatement. Because these aren’t just good martinis. They’re the ones that inspired the favoured tipple of James Bond himself – author Ian Fleming used to come here regularly and order the very same thing. They’ll be made tableside at their very own martini trolley, and they’ve got such clout that you’re only allowed to order two in one sitting… READ MORE
Details: 35 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NY | Open 2-11pm Mon-Sat, 4-10.30pm Sundays
Last Updated: 21st September 2020 | Main image: The Fumoir
Like exploring the city’s bars? Check out the Best Cocktail Bars in London