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By Steven Potter & Vicki Forde of HotelMap™
From swanky rooftop spots to sultry underground dens and experimental cocktails to undiscovered sparkling wines, these are London’s best new bars. Having all opened their doors in the last year, these venues are perfect for those who want to spend their evenings in the hottest spots in town.
Renowned for their beautiful interiors and experimental cocktails, Bourne & Hollingsworth has just opened their latest venture, the Garden Room. Sitting atop the new Assembly Hotel London, the rooftop restaurant and bar is reminiscent of the B&H Buildings in Clerkenwell with whitewashed floors, Aztec-style prints, tapestries and an abundance of trees, creepers and plants. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views of London—the London Eye, The Shard and Nelson’s Column are all in view—and the cocktail menu incorporates the same fresh herbs and spices used in the food.
One of London’s most noteworthy recent openings, Iris occupies the top floor of The Gherkin. Previously London’s highest private members’ club, the venue has relaunched as an open-to-all champagne bar, with a contemporary restaurant named Helix sitting below on the 39th floor. Thought to be the only bar in London that boasts 360-degree views, the venue is one of the most dramatic settings in the capital—particularly if you’re there for sunset. Champagne is the headline act but there’s also a strong focus on cocktails with a menu themed around the geographical locations of London.
Having undergone many guises over the years, the 127-year-old Roundhouse building on Wardour Street reopened as Soho Residence in 2018. A £1 million restoration has transformed the building into a three-storey bar and club that’s open for everything from daytime drinking to late-night libation. The ground floor features a Botanical Bar dressed in Art Deco style; the basement is home to a late-night party space named Festival Club; and the first floor houses a gin parlour featuring huge windows, rich fabrics and green plants.
Hidden in the basement of brand new boutique hotel Vintry & Mercer, Do Not Disturb is a late-night speakeasy that takes inspiration from the clandestine bars of 1920s New York. With a retro, glamorous aesthetic, the sultry setting is made up of burgundy banquettes, antique rugs, velvet curtains and retro lighting. Paintings of flapper girls adorn the walls, low ceilings add to the speakeasy vibe, and barrel-aged cocktails and Asian small plates make up the menu. With its own separate entrance, the bar is a venue in its own right and perfectly placed for sleek City workers.
Also in east London, the newly opened Jin Bo Law sits atop the Dorsett City Hotel and offers to arrest 14th-floor views of the City of London. With the St Botolph without Aldgate church located right next door and the Gherkin, Cheesegrater, Walkie Talkie and Tower of London all visible from the terrace, the skyline is a unique blend of old and new. Inside, the chic industrial decor is punctuated with bright yellow accents and golden lighting while the unique cocktails carry their own punch with spicy Asian influences.
For more spectacular views over landmarks like The Shard and St. Paul’s Cathedral, head to Savage Garden, a new sky-high bar sitting 12 storeys above the City. Found within the Doubletree by Hilton–Tower of London, the all-day bar and cocktail lounge has a north-facing all-weather terrace for winter months and a south-facing gin terrace for the summer. The hedonistic decor sees burnt orange, lavender and rose pink sit alongside plush velvet finishes and marble floors while the drinks list is just as bold with a heavy dose of exotic ingredients.
Last year saw Phileas Fogg double his London empire with the opening of three new cocktail bars. Run by the Inception Group, the bars are renowned for their storytelling interiors and cocktails and these three new additions are no different. Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals is themed around the plants, herbs and spices that Mr Fogg brought back from his 80-day journey; Mrs Fogg’s Maritime Club and Distillery take inspiration from Mr Fogg’s better half to serve Indian-spiced cocktails, and Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration is perhaps the most extravagant of them all with its very own train carriage.
Located on the first floor of the Great Northern Hotel, Anthracite is a sophisticated new martini lounge in King’s Cross. As its name would suggest, the bar takes inspiration from the colour and properties of coal with sleek charcoal and electric blue colour palette, offset by colourful bespoke portraits, retro flooring and marble touches. The martinis, however, are the main draw with an extensive, carefully curated menu of vodka, gin and vermouth available to create a traditional or contemporary version.
A number of special hotel deals have been arranged for registered visitors and exhibitors of IFSEC International. As well as a range of nearby hotels, all of which are located a short walk from ExCeL London, there is a fantastic variety of properties to choose from.
Whether you want to stay in a major London hub such as Covent Garden or book into one of the capital's best new hotels, this selection of properties has something for you.
If you are attending the Protection and Management Series, you can access the official hotel deals from HotelMap™ here: Hotel deals for IFSEC International
Alternatively, email [email protected] or telephone +44 20 7292 2320