A proper in-the-know booze den, this. A real “take your mates from school to prove you’ve nailed London” place. Dimly lit, intimidatingly cool, and with a tiki residence going on until mid-September, there’s plenty of tempting sleepy sauce to introduce to your liver.
End the night with: a 59% Sazerac – cognac and absinthe megabooze.
147 Curtain Rd, EC2. Open ‘til 2am Tues-Thurs, 3am Fri-Sat
Once you’ve found this unbranded bolthole, aka “The Bar With No Name”, you’ll feel like you’ve dropped into the shady pages of LA Confidential. The kind of place a craggy US detective would head after “nailing that goddamn Paulie Six-Beavers”.
End the night with: a soul-soothing Rye Rye, with Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, rye syrup and rye bitters.
69 Colebrooke Row, N1. Open ‘til 12am Sun-Weds, 1am Thurs, 2am Fri & Sat
The promise of blues tunes is a top reason for not going home. Right up there with “overhearing my neighbours’ sexual joy only makes me doubt my own prowess”. This music bar is where you need to invade for the best sad-hearted rockin’.
End the night with: Just ask for whatever the saxophonist is drinking. Look at him! So happy! He hasn’t been cruelly denied an invite to the work fun day at Legoland.
20 Kingly St, W1. Open ‘til 11.30pm Sun, 1am Mon-Thurs, 2am Fri-Sat
Like Nikki who you dated at uni, this classic boozer is a warm and welcoming parent-charmer during the day, but a whirlwind party beast at night. Like Nikki, it’ll dump you just before final-year exams and crush your dreams. Haha just kidding!
End the night with: a healthy dent into the collection of bottled beers from New Zealand brewery Monteith’s.
18 Camberwell Green, SE5. Open ‘til 11pm Sun-Mon, 1am Tues-Thurs, 3.30am Fri-Sat
Victorian-style hard drinking is the vibe in this near pitch-black cocktail hideout, complete with oil lamps, chesterfields and other stuff you’ll spill gin over.
End the night with: the Nightwalker – a rum, coffee, lime and “liquid smoke” concoction that’ll aid your stumblings home.
63 Worship St, EC2. Open ‘til 12am Mon-Tues, 1am Weds-Thurs, 2am Fri-Sat
An international festival of light
Dinner in a decommissioned 1967 underground carriage
Half-price brunch and a HUGE fried chicken burger