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17 Best Bars in London For All Kinds of Drinking Occasions

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It’s no exaggeration to say there’s a London bar for every occasion. In a city with hundreds – if not thousands – of alcohol-infused hangout spots, you need a tried-and-tested Londoner to hand when selecting the best place to head for a drink and a catch up. 

Looking for something specific – maybe the best bar in London for cocktails, the best spot in the capital city for your four-legged friend to join or a pub masquerading as a bar for the pal who insists on dressing up? Read on for a London bar for every occasion. 

Queen of Hoxton is more than just a bar: it’s also home to Bottomless Brunch, drag queen nights and excellent DJs. It’s a place you’ll find yourself wandering towards when you hear the music, before buying a round of drinks with friends and then suddenly it’s midnight and you’re plotting a whole night out.

Think of a typical, understated London rooftop bar and Netil 360 should pop straight into your head. A great dog-friendly bar in London, it’s spectacular as the sun goes down, with festival-esque vibes and the feeling like you’re on top of the world. It also has a no bookings policy, which is great for your disorganised friends.

Fancy date night or celebration coming up? Head to Madison. You’ve probably seen this bar on Instagram already, with backdrops of St Paul’s and expensive bottles of wine. That new outfit you’ve been waiting for a suitable occasion to pull out? Madison Rooftop Bar is that occasion.

Ultimate ping pong, digital beer pong and plenty of other games: Bounce is a laugh for everyone except for maybe your slightly-too-competitive friend. Fun during the daytime and hilarious in the evening, bring out your inner child with adult-friendly versions of all the best games you played as a kid. With alcohol.

South London rooftop views, leafy interiors, Latin American inspired cocktails and a spacious setting for even the largest groups: Lost in Brixton is a brilliant hangout spot for evening drinks with friends in London for an all-round winner that’s sure to please every member of the group.

The neon lights and fluorescent decor inside Tonight Josephine are set to please your most Instagrammable friends. Throw in some decadent cocktails with interesting ingredients and you’re sure to end the night with plenty of hilarious moments and a new favourite drink.

Adult ball pit – need we say more? Ballie Ballerson is basically an oversized escape for any “adult” in London and, when you throw bottomless pizza and cocktails into the mix, acts as the perfect stress reliever. Come here with friends and bring out your inner (drunken) six year old for a few hours.

A pub bar for your friend who wants a pint but a spot that’s also cool enough for your friend who fancies going out-out: The Prince is in Hammersmith and fuses smart casual in the best way. Its huge garden and incredible gardens will win over anyone.

You don’t need to be good at darts to visit Flight Club. In fact, it’s all the more fun if you’re not. Flight Club Shoreditch comes with seriously cool interiors and a buzzing atmosphere that always provides entertainment. Better yet: you can also laugh at everyone else’s varying darts success while you’re playing.

Rainy afternoon in London? Head to Swingers. Crazy golf with a twist, Swingers is a fab date night spot or spontaneous afternoon when the British weather cancels your outdoor plans. Street food and cocktails means there’s no reason not to play another round when you’re finished.

If ever you’re looking for sushi in London, someone’s sure to recommend SushiSamba. It’s also a great spot for date night drinks which, when paired together, is the ultimate recipe for success for Friday night romance. SushiSamba is not only brilliant for its atmosphere but also its colourful decor. Win-win.

Bring out your inner mixologist at Mr Fogg’s. Set to become the inspiration behind your next at-home cocktail night, Mr Fogg’s will have you gazing at the menu for far too long and eventually compiling a shortlist of every drink you want to try. Come along with a group for best results.

You could come to Savage Garden and order a G&T… or you could step it up a notch with a more inventive cocktail featuring ingredients like smoked soda, turmeric syrup and Champagne foam. This beautiful setting looks even cooler when you snap a photo with your intricately-adorned cocktail in front of the London skyline backdrop.

Gong is London’s highest bar and sits on the 51st floor of The Shard. That makes it pretty fancy alone, before you take into account its two separate Champagne and cocktail bars or the jaw-dropping views all around you. The ultimate in snazzy evening drinks? An infinity pool to enjoy them in.

Pergola Paddington’s green and pink hues make it a millennial dream – a dream that’s intensified with the addition of its street food vendors and not-too-expensive drinks. Great for last minute plans, it’s always possible to rock up to Pergola Paddington and find somewhere to chill with friends without reservations or stress.

Oysters – but in an unpretentious way. Jin Bo Law is a City of London bar on the 14th floor of the Dorsett City Hotel that’s ideal when you’re meeting pals who work in the city and don’t want to spend too long on the tube. A great spot for a classy cocktail or two.

Skylight is a brilliant choice for all friends, no matter whether they walk on two legs or four. Another of the few dog-friendly bars in London, Skylight is also home to an indoor cinema, outdoor croquet and street food for when you’ve worked up an appetite.

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