A selection of the best new watering holes

Tim Badham


WEST END nightlife is booming with a variety of alluring options to keep Londoners out late.

Libertine has soft launched in the Winsley Street space that formerly housed Chinawhite. Retaining members of the team and ownership, this new venue takes inspiration from John Wilmot, the maligned/celebrated rake, the 2nd Earl of Rochester, who famously wrote A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind and inspired a Johnny Depp movie. The expanded club area features a 50ft screen that bathes the room in colourful visuals and syncs with a digital mirror ball as well as the music. With its pedigree and good looks it appears poised to become a top destination. On entering Libertine through a mirrored walkway, look out for a discreet black door which leads into the covert speakeasy Reason & Mankind. Powered by mixological wunderkinds Fluid Movement (Purl, Worship Street Whistling Shop), guests can enjoy molecular libations in a snug and seductive drinking den decked out in dark woods, textured Belle Époque wallpaper and velvet banquettes. This addition opens at 5pm (before Libertine kicks into action) then serves as a VIP lounge bar until early morning.

Bag O’ Nails is also soft launching on Kingly Street. With a reputation for hosting musical royalty from the halcyon days of rock ‘n’ roll, including The Beatles, The Stones and Jimi Hendrix, its current reboot will be as a private members club, replete with cherry wood paneling and velvet banquettes. Members will be able to channel greatness and perform high tech karaoke before late night DJs take to the decks.

Apartment 58 has re-opened its doors to London’s young creative community. Outgrowing its original Poland Street location, the hip hangout and members club has settled in New Oxford Street’s famous Centre Point building. Acting as curators, the directors will source a rotation of talented DJs and entertainers, furniture collections from Designjunction, and pop-up food concepts, the first of which is Big Apple Hotdogs.

Tim Badham is the founder of Innerplace, London’s personal concierge service. innerplace.co.uk @innerplaceLDN