It’s party season and there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. Tried, tested and off-the-beaten-track, our round-up of London’s best bars is your guide to the city’s unmissable watering holes. Your Christmas in the capital starts here.


What: Slap bang in the middle of London's hipster heartland, Shoreditch's Worship Street Whistling Shop boasts all of the requisite quirk you'd expect from a bar in this district. There's a back story though. The bar's location has served as a thoroughfare since ancient times and the bar itself harks back to the Worship Street of times gone by. Decor and drinks are based on Victorian tradition (ideal for Christmas drinks) but recipes have been honed to meet the expectations of the modern-day drinker.

Drink: As its name suggests, you're not going to find a raft of familiar mixes on the menu. Instead, there's a whole host of weird (the 1691 counts goat's cheese among its ingredients) and wonderful cocktails on offer. Don't be put off by their unusual make-up, even the most improbable combinations are pleasantly drinkable. Our tip? The smokey, spicy and fragrant Persian Slipper which has the perfect level of warmth to banish December's icy chills.

Where: 63 Worship St, London EC2A 2DU


What: From the team behind the wildly-successful Summer Tales and Night Tales pop ups, NT's Bar brings all the outdoorsy fun of previous ventures under a permanent East London roof. A stone's throw from London Fields and housed in an unassuming 1960s block, you'll have to ring the buzzer to door 207 to access this dimly-lit and vintage-inspired hangout. Though the decor may be intentionally chintzy, there's nothing retro about this bar's menu which draws in an in-the-know clientele night after night.

What: Drinks at NT's Bar can be split near enough into two categories. On one hand you've got the classics which offer familiar tastes executed excellently. Then on the other hand there's the more experimental offering serving up a sip of the latest drinking trends. We recommend going with the latter. Special mention goes to the Blood Moon Spritz which  is impressively light and thirst-quenching.

Where: 207, 1 Westgate St, London Fields, E8 3RL


What: For New Yorkers Hotel Chantelle has been one of the city's worst kept secrets for drinks, brunch and dinner for some time now. Lucky then that this restaurant has now opened its doors to Londoners as its drinks menu was just too good to leave stateside. Like its Manhattan sister location, Hotel Chantelle's draw is its unlikely (but surprisingly effective) fusion of American and French drinking and dining traditions. Peppered with a constant stream of some of the city's hippest residents and occasionally host to live jazz music, Hotel Chantelle certainly isn't short of atmosphere either.

Drink: As with its culinary offering, technical execution and presentation are top priority for Hotel Chantelle's bar staff, so it goes without saying that the drinks on offer can consider themselves among London's best. Gin lovers should ask for the Libertine which mixes the spirit with lime and cucumber for a refreshing blend.

Where: 23 Orchard St, London W1H 6HL