Where to Drink

Tim Badham
TOAST the arrival of the Royal Baby at one of London’s new bars and clubs. Ascend to the rarefied heights of Aqua Shard, where it’s claimed a generous amount of space for its standalone lounge bar. Situated in a three storey atrium with immense windows bathing the room in light, it’s the perfect place to watch the summer sun descend over the capital. Both the design and the mixology draw inspiration from two of the most quintessentially British refreshments: gin and tea.

The Inception Group has put Soho squarely in its crosshairs with its new opening in Kingly Court. Following the success of Maggie’s and Mr Fogg’s, Disco is a tongue-in-cheek take on Manhattan’s Studio 54 and Paradise Garage, replete with 1970s paraphernalia from a Pan-Am airlock entryway, to Keith Haring-style paintings and rollerskates. There is also a DJ booth made to resemble a gigantic disco ball, in which vinyl is spun exclusively. Staff members are clad in bow-ties and braces (and not much else) and are known to break into choreographed dance routines.

On Old Compton Street, the Soho House group has opened the sister venue to Notting Hill’s Electric Diner. Billed the Soho Diner, this gastro destination looks like it was transported directly from Wrigleyville, Chicago with all of the wear and tear that makes a dive bar so desirable. It focuses on American staples like pickleback shots, old fashioneds and martini royales, with six different cocktails available on tap, including negronis and mojitos.

Mahiki has reigned supreme in Mayfair’s clubland for years and now it’s introducing a slice of East London to their tiki oasis, with Carl Clarke (Disco Bistro, Rotary Bar & Diner) setting up his Rock Lobsta pop-up in the kitchens. Guests will be able to enjoy haute fast food with ingredients sourced from the Cornish coast, seafood-inspired cocktails and a range of wines from hip young producers.

Shoreditch has a handsome new gastropub to add to its ranks named The 3 Crowns. Headed up by a team with experience at Quo Vadis and The Eagle, the posh boozer will feature craft beer, old world wines, an open kitchen and a timeless design with plenty of oak panelling and leather banquette. They will treat you like a king.