Food & Drink /

Best New Bars in London 2020

The new kids on the block

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Looking for the hottest drinking spots in town? Stay in the know with our guide to the hottest new bar openings in London, from ambient wine bars to quirky speakeasies

Gibney’s London

Gibney's London

Famed Dublin institution Gibney’s of Malahide is coming to London shores – just in time for St Patrick’s Day. You’ll find it in the basement of Richard Corrigan’s recently opened Old Street restaurant Daffodil Mulligan, with eight beers on draft including the Gibney family’s brew stout. In keeping with the upmarket restaurant upstairs, the pub will offer a snacks bar menu created by Corrigan – think cheese toasties, black pudding sandos, salt chilli chicken and oysters.



A new venture from the team behind Pergola, Bloom replaces celebrity haunt Mahiki in West Kensington, the bar and nightclub where Rihanna, Harry Styles and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have all partied. Aiming to be a more accessible, more down-to-earth space, Bloom has no strict guestlists or dress codes – anyone is welcome to come and enjoy the two bars and restaurant. The Tiki décor and tropical cocktails of Mahiki have been replaced with vibrant neon signs, geometric graphic tiles and botanical accents, alongside a secret dancefloor opening at 10pm each night.

28°-50° Wine Bar & Kitchen

28°-50° Wine Bar & Kitchen

Independent wine specialists 28°-50° have opened a chic wine bar in Covent Garden, serving 30 wines by the glass or carafe alongside a bespoke ‘collector’s list’. Arrive to a picture-perfect cork bottle wall before heading into one of three rooms: the main restaurant, the dimly lit Oak Room, or the recently opened private dining room. Enjoy high-quality wines from Hungary, Burgundy, the UK and more, alongside a European-inspired menu of sharing plates, rock oysters and charcuterie.

Milroy’s of Spitalfields

Milroys Spitalfields

Said to be the capital’s oldest whisky specialist retailer, Milroy’s opened its first shop on Greek Street in Soho back in 1964 – which is still going strong today. In September last year they launched a second site in Spitalfields, set across four floors with a whisky bar, a cocktail bar, a tasting room and a private memebrs club for whisky aficonados, complete with a cigar terrace. Over 1000 types of whisky are available from all corners of the globe, including scotch from the Highlands, American whisky from the US and whiskies flown in from South Africa.

Cahoots, Ticket Hall and Control Room

Cahoots, Control Room

The not-so-secret speakeasy Cahoots has expanded with two new rooms. The first – found on the ground floor – is designed as a vintage ticket hall transporting guests back to the 1940s. Period train schedules, phone booths and ticket machines add authentic nods to the era, alongside a smoke-stained ceiling and an on-site tobacconist. Pick up tipples served in tin cans at the old station kiosk and dine on old-school snacks, from black pudding sausage rolls to mini scotch egg poppers. Below The Ticket Room sits The Control Room, decked out with live cogs and switchboards, with a bar made out of old suitcases. This plays host to a number of events, including musical quiz nights and immersive movie evenings – all fuelled by cocktails from the experimental drinks menu, featuring long forgotten ration ingredients.

Darling House

Darling House

Hanson Letherby

Fancy cocktails in a bathtub? Head to Darling House, the experiential house party-style bar housed in an eccentric two-storey residence above Waterloo restaurant Hello Darling. It’s masterminded by Darling & Edge, the theatrical set designers behind some of London’s most unusual immersive experiences. Drinks at Darling House are served from a little cupboard manned by a mixologist, but you can also order prosecco by pressing a doorbell in the hallway: once rung, a magnum will magically appear from a hidden door on the landing. There are six lavishly decorated rooms, including a lounge with a tiger’s head popping out the wall, a 30s-style twin room, and a bedroom with a huge four-poster bed, which guests are welcome to lounge on – a different kind of home away from home.



@pasco photography

Mexico meets 20s Harlem jazz club at Clapton’s new pop-up mezcal bar, Doña. Housed in a basement on Stoke Newington High Street, the flamingo-pink feather clad bar features velvet banquet-style seating, low lighting and candles, alongside a mezcal-focused cocktail menu. Live music takes place every night, with a spotlight on female performers.

Locket’s by Wiltons


Over 70 years since it’s latest opening, The Wiltons Group has launched Locket’s, a café and wine bar in the Grade II-listed Smithson Plaza. Named after Locket Hambro, the daughter of Wiltons Group co-owner Jamie Hambro, Locket’s sits round the corner from the group’s other two restaurants: Wiltons, and Francos, both located on Jermyn Street. During the day Locket’s serves a menu of pastries, coffees and salads, but come night time it transforms into a candle-lit wine bar, offering an internationally diverse mix of wines alongside a selection of sustainably sourced small plates.

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