Best Secret Bars in London

London is a city filled with plenty of activities to engage with and sights to see, but one thing that London delivers is its speakeasy bar scene. Hidden drinking dens, cocktails to die for and themed décor that exudes glamour and beauty. What’s not to like? 

Luckily for you, we at Future London Academy have compiled a list of secret bars that we think you need to visit this coming summer and we’re here to help you find them!

Bandra Bhai (underneath Pahli Hill restaurant)

79-81 Mortimer St, London W1W 7SJ

Beneath the streets of Fitzrovia, step into a retro Indian smugglers den. Full of spectacular trinkets, foreign liquor, gaudy art, and velvet upholstery, Bandra Bhai is a tribute to underground operations of years gone by and is now your delightfully tacky, dimly lit, groovy basement spot serving the best cocktails in London.

Library Bar at The Standard

10 Argyle Street The Standard, London WC1H 8EG

Located in the heart of Kings Cross, The Standard boasts a beautiful 70s-themed bar, nestled within our brutalist walls. Once home to the Camden Council Library, the space has been transformed into equal parts book-filled haven and cosy lounge where you can get stuck into books from categories including order and chaos, science and religion or, one of our favourites, adult relationships. 

John Lewis Willows on The Roof

Oxford St, London W1C 1DX

If you want something secret, look no further than Willows on the Roof. Located on top of Oxford Streets John Lewis branch, Willows on the Roof is a beautiful rooftop bar surrounded by beautiful fairy lights, lush greenery and cozy seating. You will definitely be delighted by the cocktail menu they offer, serving classic recipes with some sort of twist. Perfect for an intimate night with a visual spectacle.

The Pregnant Man

40 Chancery Lane, London, WC2A 1JA

Back in 1970, the reputation of an ambitious new advertising agency called Saatchi & Saatchi was established with a cutting-edge poster campaign to promote safe sex. It combined the simple image of a heavily pregnant man with the line “Would you be more careful if it was you that got pregnant?” It was a big success, so many years later the agency decided to name its very own pub in honour of the work, conveniently located in their actual office buidling.

The Pregnant Man boasts a large bar with a modern and cosy design. The menu is expansive and reasonably priced with an even larger drink selection and amusingly named cocktails like “You’re so vanilla” and “Wake me up before you go go”. Definitely worth a visit.

Scarfes Bar

Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN

With multiple awards under its belt, Scarfes Bar truly provides a perfect gentleman's club experience. Warm lighting and colours create beautiful and relaxing energy, alongside live jazz, unique cocktails and Gerald’s Scarfe's collection of original and one-off paintings scattered across the establishment, Scarfes Bar is the place to go if you’re an art fanatic looking for a bar with artistic spectacle.

Nightjar Shoreditch

129 City Rd, London EC1V 1JB

Step back in time at this subterranean bar with candlelit tables and live jazz every evening. Regularly featured as one of the world’s best cocktail bars, Nightjar’s menu showcases a variety of rare, revived and original cocktails which are split into four categories: Pre-Prohibition, Prohibition, Postwar, and Nightjar Signatures. Sip your way through history in an intimate setting with the best jazz and blues around.

Wilhelmina's Lounge

49-50 St John's Square, London EC1V 4JJ

Hop into your time machine and travel back in time to Wilhelmina's Lounge. The décor, paintings and furniture are reminiscent of the Georgian era. With classical food and drinks, Wilhelmina’s Lounge boasts an eccentrism that everyone should experience.

Sessions Arts Club

24 Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0NA

Situated in a Grade II-listed former 18th-century courthouse, this collaborative project of chef Florence Knight, artist Jonny Gent, St John co-founder Jon Spiteri and architect Russell Potte is a stunning dining bar, marble bar, and a rooftop infinity pool. Much of the furniture has been salvaged, including the mahogany horse-shoe bar in the former judges dining room, which was imported from an Irish pub. Accessing the building is via an unmarked door and divided by plush velvet curtains, making this one of the most beautiful hidden gems London has to offer!

Laurels on the Roof

45 Curtain Rd, London, EC2A 3PT

A glittering rooftop bar channeling all of the vibrant sparkle and energy of 1970s LA. Located on the 6th floor of The Mondrian Hotel in Shoreditch, this all-day rooftop bar keeps it classy with a playful cocktail menu reminiscent of Hollywood’s fabulous pool parties.

Lounge Bohemia 

1e Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3EJ

If you’re looking for a mysterious and unexpected experience, look no further than Lounge Bohemia. Reservations are by appointment only through a strangely sparse website. You’ll find the entrance to the bar next to a kebab shop and decorated in kitschy 1960s chic inspired by owner Paul Tvaroh’s Czech heritage – in fact, some items are from his grandmother’s own living room! The cocktails focus on molecular mixology, served in lightbulbs, toothpaste tubes, or even a volcano.

Discount Suit Company 

29 Wentworth Street, London, E1 7TB

What may look like a rundown suit shop is actually home to one of London’s trendiest cocktail bars. Located in the former stock room of the tailor’s shop above, keep your eyes peeled for the little black door located next to the shop facade. Once downstairs, grab one of the cosy armchairs or plush sofas and treat yourself to a forgotten classic cocktail while grooving along to the bar’s powerhouse vinyl collection.

Waterloo Lost Property Office

BrewDog Waterloo, Waterloo Station, 01 The Sidings, London, SE1 7BH

If you’re looking to find a quiet escape in one of the most bustling parts of London, make your way upstairs inside BrewDog’s massive Waterloo location. Once there, find the vintage telephone and ask the operator to let you inside this secret hideaway headed up by award-winning mixologist, Rich Woods. If you’re feeling daring, try the Martini Roulette, a mini trio of martinis which showcase the evolution of the iconic drink.


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