The Glade at Sketch/Simon Brown
Hattie Lloyd 17/11/22
The best bars in Mayfair | An expensively-assembled list…
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 many candlelit, booth-equipped restaurants in Mayfair – 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 Connaught Bar
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, finally hitting #1 in 2021. 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.
Details: The Connaught Hotel, Carlos Place, W1K 2AL | Open daily 10.30am-1am (midnight Sundays) | More info
The Red Room
Assuming you’ve tried one of those martinis, there’s a high chance you’ll get lost on your way out of The Connaught Bar. And if you find yourself in the Champagne bar, seek out the velvet curtain at the back, and head on through. This is The Red Room, a beautiful, marble-clad wine bar with a mere thirty thousand vintages in the cellar.
Details: The Connaught Hotel, Carlos Place, W1K 2AL | Open Tues-Sat, 4pm-1am | More info
A glorious hidden gem of a bar tucked inside The Beaumont hotel, just a stone’s throw from Selfridges. A sophisticated, wood-panelled cocoon, it’s styled after the popular American Bars of the 1920s. The drinks are heady – try a Larry Sent Me with pisco, pineapple, pandan syrup and chinotto – and the bar snacks are wonderfully decadent, including caviar with brown butter waffles. If you’re looking for a proper, grown-up bar in Mayfair, Le Magritte has to be up there.
Details: The Beaumont, 8 Balderton Street, Brown Hart Gardens, London W1K 6TF | Open daily | More info
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.
Details: 85 Piccadilly, W1J 7NB | Open weekdays 7.30am-1am, Sat 9am-1am, Sun 9am-11.30pm | More info
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.
Details: 9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG | Open weekdays 7am-2am, weekends 8am-2am (12.30am Sundays) | More info
The Green Room
Going for drinks in the basement of a chicken restaurant might not immediately scream ‘sophisticated Mayfair bar’ at you, but The Green Room isn’t just any bar in the basement of a chicken restaurant. It’s tucked inside the third edition of lauded peri peri spot Casa do Frango on Heddon Street, and this spacious, beautifully decorated speakeasy is itself the sibling of the restaurant’s hidden bar in London Bridge. Look, what we’re trying to say is it’s a great place for a drink, especially if you go on a mission to investigate the Portuguese spirits lined up behind the bar.
Details: 31-33 Heddon St, London W1B 4BN | Open Wed-Sat from 5pm, just walk in | More info
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.
Psst… if it’s busy, Mr. Fogg’s Apothecary offers the same great drinks nearby.
Details: 15 Bruton Lane, W1J 6JD | Open Mon-Thurs from 4pm, Fri from 3pm, Sat from 1.30pm and Sun from 4pm | More info
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.
Details: 28 Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K 7EH | Open weekdays noon-midnight (1am Thurs-Fri) and Saturdays 6pm-1am | More info
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…
Details: 35 St James’s Place, SW1A 1NY | Open 2-11pm Mon-Sat, 4-10.30pm Sundays | More info
Like exploring the city’s bars? Check out the Best Cocktail Bars in London
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