Drink

Five hotel bars too good to be in hotels

When the pubs are rammed you could do a lot worse than one of these super chic booze dens

FIVE HOTEL BARS TOO GOOD TO BE IN HOTELS 1

Cocktail Lounge, Zetter Townhouse (EC1)

There are a lot of ripped-jean media types fussing around here at night, given all the Clerkenwell offices that surround it. So it always feels more like an after-work drinking spot than a “charge it to my room” one. It’s full of cool vintage bric-a-brac too, like one of those small, dusty shops in Mediterranean countries where the owners always seem to hate you on sight.

Average room cost per night: £222

FIVE HOTEL BARS TOO GOOD TO BE IN HOTELS 2

Peg + Patriot, Town Hall Hotel (E2)

A bar that hurls itself head-first into the silliness of the east London cocktail scene. Its mixes have involved gin, coal and lavender. Or burnt pineapple rum, coconut beer and banana butter. And they all have names like “Doncaster Miners’ Club”. You’re not in a hotel here, friends. You’re in a boutique crazy house.

Average room cost per night: £172

FIVE HOTEL BARS TOO GOOD TO BE IN HOTELS 3

Cocktail Lounge, Zetter Townhouse (EC1)

There are a lot of ripped-jean media types fussing around here at night, given all the Clerkenwell offices that surround it. So it always feels more like an after-work drinking spot than a “charge it to my room” one. It’s full of cool vintage bric-a-brac too, like one of those small, dusty shops in Mediterranean countries where the owners always seem to hate you on sight.

Average room cost per night: £222

FIVE HOTEL BARS TOO GOOD TO BE IN HOTELS 4

Dandelyan, Mondrian Hotel (SE1)

The gaudy pink-and-green furniture here is a great fist-shaking show of defiance, a determined “look here, you!” Fun and ostentatious and not hotel-y. The cocktails are bold, summery and exotic, too. Plus it’s right on the Thames, so you can watch those London River Buses bobbing by and mumble something hollow about “Boris’ legacy”.

Average room cost per night: £149

FIVE HOTEL BARS TOO GOOD TO BE IN HOTELS 5

GNH Bar, Great Northern Hotel (N1)

“Cocktails and stolen glances ‘til late,” promises the website. Look at you – catching eyes, sidling over, cracking wise. Here you’re a lothario. This isn’t some perfunctory, quick-lager-before-bed hotel bar; this is transformation. It’s also got the stylish darkness of a Shoreditch speakeasy, just without the neckbreaking walk down four stairwells.

Average room cost per night: £179

Related