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TOP 10 BANK HOLIDAY BARS

21.08.15

The long-anticipated August bank holiday is fast approaching. Should you be planning to celebrate by raising a glass or two, we’ve pulled together a round-up of our favourite drinking spots across the capital. From fancy rooftops to relaxed pub gardens, these are our top 10 bank holiday bars and pubs in London.

THE ALBION : THE PUB GARDEN

If it’s a pub garden that you’re looking for this bank holiday, The Albion is your answer. Positioned between Upper Street and Caledonian road, its North London location is perfectly situated away from the crowd of Notting Hill – ideal for a lazy day in the sun. The quiet, picturesque walled garden is decked out with wooden tables, greenery and colourful flowers. There’s a range of draught beer and a lengthy wine list designed to suit the traditional English food menu. Brunch options are on offer as well as afternoon meals, so you can while away the entire day if you so wish.

10 Thornhill Road, Islington, London N1 1HW

HAPPINESS FORGETS : THE COCKTAIL BAR

Hidden under a restaurant in Hoxton Square, Happiness Forgets is an understated cocktail bar that lets the drinks menu and the minimal, candle-lit interior speak for itself. Be sure to book early as there’s a table only policy – unusual to imagine but all becomes clear once you’ve experienced the impeccable service and unique cocktail creations on offer. Surrounded by the lively bars of Shoreditch, it’s the perfect place to start the night in style, or if you’re in it for the long run, stay a little later when the music kicks in and the dancefloor becomes all too tempting.

The Basement, 8-9 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6NU

COQ D’ARGENT : THE FRIDAY NIGHT VENUE

Kick-start your bank holiday weekend in style with a trip to Coq D’Argent for Friday night drinks. It's based in the heart of London’s banking district with its own rooftop lawn and garden and looks out onto the likes of St Pauls Cathedral and the Gherkin. A French-themed alfresco dining menu accompanies the spectacular skyline views and comprehensive drinks list – what more could you want from the start of a long weekend? If the weather isn’t quite up to scratch, there’s a statement indoor bar and elegant interior that’s equally as lively.

The Poultry, 1 Poultry, London EC2R 8EJ

SKY POD BAR : THE NEWCOMER

If you’re looking for something more than just a drinking session this bank holiday, head for the Walkie Talkie building with its recently-opened roof garden and accompanying Sky Pod bar. Book your free slot in advance to explore the gardens for an hour before heading to the bar for a champagne cocktail or two. The views across the London skyline are accompanied by an elegant atmosphere so it's ideal if you’re visiting the capital and equally as special if you fancy doing something different from the norm. Make it your pre-dinner destination or stay long enough to watch the sunset.

20 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 3BY

SUMMER TALES : THE ALL DAY DESTINATION

Night Tales is back this season with its resident pop-up in Shoreditch, this time (ever-so appropriately) re-named Summer Tales. A fusion of street food, cocktails, DJ’s and beach-related décor, it’s a fun place to go and set up camp for the day. With offerings from the likes of Pizza Pilgrims and Rum Kitchen as well as cocktail stands, beers and cider, there’s something for everyone, so it’s the ideal destination for big groups. Saturday’s and Sunday’s cost £5 entry and it’s advisable to take cash.

288-299 Old Street, Shoreditch, London, EC2A

GIOVANNI'S GIN GARDEN - THE POP-UP

With summer in London comes an influx of pop-up bars and this season sees the famous West End-based Quaglinos play host to an exclusive Tanqueray Gin Garden named after the restaurant's founder, Giovanni. Due to close at the end of August, it's your last chance to make an appearance in this prestigious establishment's latest project. One for the Instagram-lover’s, it’s set in a romantic garden complete with a pergola and colourful blooms. The cocktail menu offers a bespoke array of drinks including Venetian Martinis and Tanqueray & Tonic Mojitos, created so beautifully that you’ll want to sample every one… and why not? It is a bank holiday after all.

16 Bury Street, London SW1Y 6AJ

BUSSEY BUILDING : THE NOVELTY BAR

It’s hard to believe that there’s a rooftop in South London to rival Franks, but the Bussey Building has earnt its status as a close contender this season. The 120 year old multi-level warehouse space is part of the Rooftop Film Club and hosts theatre, comedy and music events. It’s a cultural haven. Located just across from the outdoor cinema is the bar, a lively evening venue with laidback vibe. Somewhat more relaxed than our other rooftop listings, it’s the perfect bank holiday hang-out if you’re with a big group.

Block A, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST 

JAM TREE CHELSEA : THE DAY TO NIGHT DESTINATION

As one of the most popular casual dining spots on the King’s Road, Jam Tree Chelsea is sure to be a hive of activity come bank holiday weekend. With the new food menu tempting regulars back and the popular sun-trap garden defining ‘summer drinking’, it’s the perfect pit-stop after a morning meandering the King’s Road. Offering a large selection of cocktails and Bloody Mary’s (should your previous night have been a heavy one) there’s something for everyone. We challenge you to drag yourself away when the evening kicks in as the lively atmosphere continues into the night.

541 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW6 2EB

FALTERING FULLBACK: THE HIDDEN GEM

Coming across a hidden gem in London is like finding buried treasure, and The Faltering Fullback near Finsbury Park station is our latest discovery. Get lost in the multi-level garden – it seems unassuming at first but explore the tree house-style design and you’ll find a hidden table or bench around every corner. Overgrown plant life only adds to its charm and should it rain, there’s a sheltered smoking area by the door. All tastes are covered inside, as there’s an area with screens for match day, an old English-themed back room featuring classic pub décor and pool tables are located close to the bar.

19 Perth Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4 3HB

RADIO ROOFTOP : THE VIEWPOINT

Arguably one of London’s key rooftop bars, Radio Rooftop continues to top our list of drinking destinations, whatever the occasion. Patio heaters and blankets are readily positioned in prep for the unpredictable English weather so you won’t have to head inside when the sun goes down. If gin and tonic is your ‘thing’ then you’re in the right place. Radio Rooftop offers 15 variations offering various fruit infusions and multiple gin choices to sample. Expect to queue as it’s a popular venue during peak periods due to its sophisticated reputation and 360 degree views. We suggest heading up there during the day to pitch up early and enjoy watching the atmosphere move from laidback to glamorous with the clock.

336-337 Strand, London, WC2R 1HA