Leicester Square might be better known for its theatres, galleries and historic landmarks but there’s plenty more to see and do once the sun goes down. From prohibition-themed cocktail bars to gin parlours and masterclasses, this London neighbourhood has it all. Here are 5 of the area’s cosiest and craftiest cocktail bars.
The Blind Pig
Named after an American speakeasy and “hidden” on the top floor of Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House, The Blind Pig‘s current cocktail menu is an ode to cherished books and fairy tales. There’s the ‘Peter Rabbit’s ABC Fizz’ and ‘Pooh’s Hunny Pot’ along with ‘Harry Potter’s Best Bottle Butter Bitter’ to name a few. As for the decor, it’s sleek and low-lit, with a copper-topped bar and antique mirrored ceilings. Perfect for a romantic evening out.
Mr. Fogg’s Gin Parlour
Fancy a gin and tonic? Mr. Fogg’s Gin Parlour is the perfect pit-stop en route to dinner, offering over 200 selected gins. Their cocktail list is a play on words, with each concoction hinting at a theatrical theme—’The Drunken Usher,’ ‘Madame Butterfly’ and ‘Songs by Bobby Burns’ among others. For something more immersive, sign up for a ‘Gin Safari’, where you’ll learn more about how gin is made, various botanicals and tonics, with six different gin tastings and two gin and tonic drinks.
This beloved bar is styled as a ‘modern day Victorian men’s club’ but, don’t worry, women are more than welcome. Most people come to The Escapologist for the cocktails—they have a two-for-one daily happy hour promo—and stick around for the gourmet pizza. For something sparkly, order their ‘French Letter’ or opt for the strong and sour ‘Baron’s Smoking Jacket’.
The Covent Garden Cocktail Club
An underground bar with red leather sofas and gramophones, The Covent Garden Cocktail Club is reminiscent of both prohibition-era New York and British Gentlemen’s Club London. There are several locations throughout the city, including on in Covent Garden. Their drink menu is extensive, from wines and beers to tropical drinks, brunch favourites and flavours of the month like the ‘Meghan Sparkle’.
Conspicuously located on Gerrard Street in Chinatown, Opium is part apothecary and part academy. Choose from four different menus: Zodiac, Apothecary, Attic or Peony. Naturally, the Zodiac menu features 12 cocktails, each themed after the animal for that year. The “Tiger” is a blend of Remy Martin 1738, Cognac, Saké, Aloe Vera, Cherry Blossom and Lemon. Slip into the Peony bar, hidden behind the red curtain, for a “Rhubarb Paloma” or a “Mellow Yellow.”