Culture, Lifestyle

London’s Best Secret Bars

Sure, everyone enjoys a lovely, classic British pub with artisanal pork scratchings and commercial lager, but sometimes you want to show off how fancy and knowledgeable you are to your friends and peers through decadent, hidden establishments. “Oh this place? Yeah it’s my usual hangout,” you say walking into a bar through a hidden fridge, a place you’ve never been in your life because you usually drink cans in your underwear.

Here are London’s best hidden bars you can take your mates to right now that are so good they’ll give you an intense boost of self-satisfaction so large your ego will take on a life of its own, needing a name, clothing, and its own accommodation.

BAR THREE, SHOREDITCH

A small bar hidden beneath Spitalfields Market, right under restaurant Blixen (which you can order incredible food from to be brought down), who create unique cocktails far from your archetypal sex on the beach, such as thirst quenching tequila highballs, whisky + milk, and a French 75 (made from gin and champagne), which is, and we don’t throw this around lightly, the best drink we’ve ever had in London.

Also their toilets are absolutely cracking. An unusual commodity in London boozers.

BLINDER, HERNE HILL

Look out of place wearing your baker boy hat, tweed waistcoat and overcoat in All Bar one? Then this bar-within-a-bar is for you. Located inside bar First Aid Box on Dulwich Road, Blinder is a Peaky Blinders inspired, prohibition style hideaway that boasts intense rum cocktails and luxury bar snacks such as coriander beef jerky. Order in a bad Brummy accent for authenticity.

CAHOOTS, CARNABY STREET

Another vintage bar, but this time 1940s inspired, which is actually set in an old London underground station. From strong cocktails in teacups, to salad cream and crisp sandwiches in ration tins, to full on afternoon tea served in picnic baskets, Cahoots spares no expense in committing to its retro theme.

Be warned though, this place requires serious booking in advance. If you can’t get in just drink some cider out of a tin of baked beans on the pavement for similar vibes.

LORD TREDEGAR, MILE END

Our Editor’s favourite public house and retreat from the despair of modern life. Right bang in the middle of a row of terrace houses sits this out-of-place pub that serves the tastiest (and biggest) Sunday dinners in London, complete with real roaring fire and a killer beer garden that’s rare for the part of town. On tap you’ll find a host of local craft lagers and ales as well as a lesser-known Czech beer called Litovel. Simple, but oh so effective.

THE MAYOR OF SCAREDY CAT TOWN, LIVERPOOL STREET

That joke we made about going through a fridge to access a bar? Yeah, we weren’t joking about this. Entrance to this secret speakeasy is only available through password. Just tell the staff that you’re there to see the mayor (even if there’s a massive line to get into the Breakfast Club) and you’ll be whisked away through a cream Smeg fridge to a bar specialising in luxury cocktails. We’d suggest getting their signature old fashioned.

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