Unusual Places In London To Grab A Decent Drink

Londoners who need a refreshment with liquid will have a seemingly endless selection of pubs and bars to choose from. Even if this range is not enough, there are also many hidden bars in the city - even bars within bars - in the most unexpected places.

There is an unusual bar on a London car park in Peckham
Sunset at Frank in Peckham

Parking: Franks Cafe & Campari Bar, Peckham

Franks Cafe in Peckham is a paradise for Negroni lovers wrapped in concrete. It's a bittersweet summer evening (similar to Campari) on a multi-story terrain. Founded in 2007, it attracts many people every year and is a firm favorite of those who climb the evil pink stairs to the 10th floor.

It's only summer, but it's well worth the wait. Not only are the drinks superb and the skyline views spectacular, but Bold Tendencies, which manages the roof areas in the car park, offers a whole host of bonus extras. There are art installations on the roof, theatrical performances underneath and even live orchestra evenings - beautiful with the concrete acoustics.

Frank's Cafe, 95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST

A museum: The Upper Deck Cafe at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden

The London Transport Museum houses an unusual bar - you might even find a round ice cube in your cocktail!
Updated London Transport Museum

Damn fine drinks are served in this museum café above the London Transport Museum's shop. Try the Routemaster cocktail, a mix of London gin, cointreau, spicy lemon and a sweet dash of grenadine. The key point here is the round motif on every serve - whether as an ice cube in your glass or as cocoa powder on your cappuccino. We are an idiot for London iconography - especially when it comes to alcohol.

If you prefer a night out, the museum has regular Thursday and Friday nights throughout the year. A perfect opportunity to snoop around in the museum after work, to "drive" the bus without having to give way to the kids (you know you want it) and have a few drinks.

The Upper Deck Cafe, the London Transport Museum, the Covent Garden Plaza, WC2E 7BB

A Cinema: Picturehouse Central, Piccadilly Circus

It's hard to land in just one movie bar in London because so many are now serving the goods. Of course, it is still possible to enjoy a normal Odeon visit with a huge tub of popcorn, but the chains Picturehouse, Everyman and Curzon have all pointed out that Londoners like to sit back and enjoy their movie with a handmade cocktail in hand , And of course there are also beautiful independent cinemas.

However, Picturehouse Central earns a special name check to bring glamor to the West End movie experience. High ceilings, dark walnut surfaces, bizarre works of art - a feast for the eyes. And your belly benefits too. Order all sorts of drinks to eat in the bar, or finish off with them on the screen. And members receive a very special bonus: a member bar with its own roof terrace and views over London.

Picturehouse Central, corner of Shaftesbury Avenue, Piccadilly Circus, W1D 7DH

A subway station: Market Hall, Fulham

Visit Market Hall Fulham for an unusual bar in a former subway station in London
Photo: Jim Stephenson

If you're like us, the idea of ​​combining a well stocked bar with a former Grade II listed subway station sounds magical. And that's exactly what you get at the Market Hall, a restaurant that sits nicely in the light-filled foyer of the old Fulham Broadway subway station.

Chug past a bar that has been charmingly carved into the original coffers. Explore the stunning Edwardian architecture and heritage-listed features, which have been lovingly restored, and enjoy a selection of beers, ciders, wines and cocktails. There is a strong focus on British Bevvies with local beers and London spirits.

Market Hall, 472 Fulham Road, SW6 1BY

A tram shed: Tooting Tram & Social

Unusual bars in London: Tooting Tram and Social
Tooting Tram & Social

A former tram shed full of trams. Equipped with chandeliers, sofas and a top sound system, Tooting Tram is a hotspot for the night with a busy schedule. There are karaoke nights, open mic evenings, fast-paced bingo, retro games evenings and more.

When it comes to the sauce, there is currently a "cocktail of the week" and a constantly changing selection of beers, bottles and spirits that people from the south of London can taste.

Tooting Tram & Social, 46-48 Mitcham Road, SW17 9NA

A housing block: Barts

Are you looking for an unusual London bar? Go to a block of flats to find barts. If you can
Mama is the word at Barts

An exceptionally well hidden hotspot for connoisseurs in a posh apartment house in Chelsea. And there is no separate side entrance. Oh no, you really have to venture in and find out you know what you're doing.

Inspired by the American Speakeasy era of the 1920s, a concept that has exploded in recent years in the beverage scene, it serves decadent cocktails in gramophones and top hats. If you can do it, you should go to Churchill's Breakfast. It is flavored with unusual Perique tobacco liqueur and is all kinds of smoky delicacies.

Barts, Chelsea Cloisters, 87 Sloane Avenue, SW3 3DW

A great venue in Soho: La Bodega Negra

La Bodega Negra is a London bar with a rather unusual appearance
No, you are not in the wrong place at La Bodega Negra

If you book a first date here to impress your insider knowledge - out of love for God - make sure the secret entrance looks like a strip joint. And very convincing.

It's a bang in the middle of Soho and tells GIRLS in huge neon signage. But behind the daring facade you are on safe territory. Inside is an authentic Mexican restaurant with a bar menu with margaritas and tequila whips. There's actually a "conventional" entrance around the corner that leads to the adjoining all-day café - but where's the fun?

La Bodega Negra, 9, Old Compton Street, W1D 5JF

A government building: The Houses of Parliament

A view of the Houses of Parliament from Westminster Bridge. Photo: David Bank

A little naughty - because you actually need to know someone who can sneak in you. Thousands of people have enough security clearance to bring you to one of the bars - you can even have a pub crawl out. The most relaxed is the Sports & Social Bar, where karaoke is even played on Thursdays. Sing along with Eric Pickles?

The Palace of Westminster, SW1A 0AA

A huge refrigerator: The mayor of Scaredy Cat Town at The Breakfast Club, Spitalfields

Unusual London Bars: Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town can be found by a fridge
Chilled: Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town

"I'd like to see the mayor," you say casually to the staff here as you enter this (almost always) packed brunch spot, which is popular with constantly hungover people. You will then be led through a retro smeg refrigerator to an intimate underground drinking pit with well-made cocktails and a vibrant atmosphere. We do not mess with you. Honestly. Choose your time carefully. It gets busy and you can not book. We visited a full house on the first Monday after New Year.

The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, The Breakfast Club, Artillery Lane 12-16, E1 7LS

A wardrobe: Callooh Callay, Shoreditch

Callooh Callay in London has an unusual bar that you can access through a wardrobe
The wardrobe at Callooh Callay

No passwords, freemason handshakes or fumbling in the houses are required here. Just enter the main Alice-in-Wonderland bar before browsing through the innocent-looking wardrobe to discover the back bar (and especially the loos).

Matching a bar that routinely ranks among the best in the world, some really fantastic drinks are served from a constantly redesigned menu. Above, behind some velvet curtains in the corner, is Jubjub - another "bar in the bar". It's not technically just for members, but it gives priority to members (and their own key to unlock the front door - complacent).

Callooh Callay, 65 Rivington Street, EC2A 3AY

This article is part of our Best of London Food and Drink series. Visit the page for more recommendations on where to enjoy the best food and drink in the capital, broken down by cuisine, food type and more.


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