Top 10 Secret Bars in Covent Garden
Whether you consider yourself a wine connoisseur, a cocktail aficionado, or just enjoy a glass (or two), Covent Garden offers the best spots in central London, overflowing with hideaways to spend date night or an evening catching up with old friends. Live life like Cora Pearl on Henrietta Street, discover Frenchie’s seasonal cocktails or get experimental with mixologists at Henrietta.
Perhaps the worst/best kept secret bar in Covent Garden, The Savoy’s prestigious American Bar – the world’s longest-surviving cocktail bar – is the best bar in the world. Originally opened in 1903, the first ever bartender was a lady named Ada ‘Coley’ Coleman, whose signature cocktail was the Hanky Panky, still a popular choice today. Ada’s successor was the inspirational Harry Craddock, who not only created a number of classic cocktails but who notoriously compiled these recipes into the legendary Savoy Cocktail book, still regarded today as the bartender’s bible. From cocktails such as Curtain Call, inspired my frequent guest of The Savoy Marlene Dietrich, all the way to First Impressions, which is based on the first time David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor met in which Bowie kept her waiting for four hours.
Transport yourself to downtown New York at Balthazar. Perch at the Parisian-style bar and enjoy a selection for carefully chosen wines alongside expertly mixed cocktails at the bar by Brian Silva and his award-winning bartenders. House cocktails include Negroni Finis, a mix of gin, Cinzano Orancio, Campari, Byrrh and passion fruit and the Two to Four, a delicious combination of gin and champagne with Merlet Poire and lemon juice.
Located in the basement of his Covent Garden restaurant Frog, Eve Bar is Adam Handling’s first venture into the bar arena. The playful cocktail menu is aptly divided into five enticing themes – Innocence, Temptation, Indulgence, Antique and Non-Intoxicating. The bar’s modern and creative approach to cocktails is matched by its mysterious and decadent interior; with rich furnishings and striking bespoke art pieces adorning the walls, Eve invites its guest to indulge in luxury. Plus, the bar’s varied and live music guests amplify the experience to ensure a night of temptation and fun.
Transport yourself to Paris for the night at Gregory Marchand’s Frenchie on Henrietta Street. With a stylish, industrial décor featuring exposed brick, plain white walls and marble tables, take advantage of the exceptional wine list and seasonal cocktails without having to book a table in the restaurant. Opt for the signature Frenchman in New York with Portobello Gin, Nardini Acqua Di Cedro, Drouin Pommeau, Earl Grey and Lemon Verbena or The Nutty Pilot, with 303 Squadron Vodka, Acqua di Cedro and Frangelico. Don’t forget to order Frenchie’s signature bacon scones to go with your fancy french fizz.
The Lost Alpaca
Formerly known as Bajo Bar, The Lost Alpaca is FLORAL by Lima’s secret cocktail bar on Floral Street. From Mexico’s mescal and tequilas all the way down to Brazil’s cachaça and Venezuela’s award-winning rums, The Lost Alpaca brings Latin America flair and fun to Covent Garden. Showcasing the best spirits and mixology the continent has to offer through a range of innovative cocktails that best represent the different countries. All this accompanied by Peruvian bar snacks, in an easy-going vibe with some Latin American soundtracks.
From the team behind the Experimental Cocktail Club, the Henrietta is one of Covent Garden’s best kept secrets. Guests can enjoy a dynamic atmosphere into the afterhours with a late night menu and cocktails available until 1am. The lights will be dimmed and the music turned up allowing guests to stay and play at their table, or head upstairs to the mezzanine bar. Head bartender Zach Cadez has designed the summer cocktail menu to complement the new dishes; with highlights including: Osasun, served in a Pourou, a type of traditional Catalan wine jug and The Stars Look Down comprising Yaguara cachaca, Sipsmith sloe gin, lime, blood orange, coconut & Earl Grey cordial, Peychaud’s bitter and Summerhill with Dupont.
Ever wondered what life would be like as one of the 19th century’s most garlanded and celebrated courtesans? Well now you can find out at the newly opened Cora Pearl on Henrietta Street! With a food and cocktail menu designed to encapsulate the spirit of Cora Pearl herself, head downstairs to the hidden cocktail bar for moody parquet flooring, dark textiles, tarnished mirrors and vintage lights for a late night Martini, obligatory French Pearl or Chaine d’Or (French for gold chain); named after four wealthy men who made Cora Pearl famous, featuring gin, Quinquina, Chartreuse and lime.
Margot is an Italian restaurant situated in the heart of Covent Garden. Their extensive wine list includes over 350 wines from around the world and they have a bar filled with signature cocktails. The bar in Margot is an intimate affair, with the bar being manned by a single bartender serving a carefully curate cocktail collection. Sit back and relax in the splendour and sip on such delights as Keep it for Yourself chamomile infused Ketel One, pear, galliano, lemon and cardamom bitters and Benvenuto Chairman's Reserve Rum, Cointreau, Amaro Averna with cherry bitters. You’ll feel so at home, you won’t want to leave.
Ivy Market Grill
The Ivy Market Grill brings the familiar luxury of The Ivy on West Street to a relaxed yet sophisticated all-day dining restaurant in the heart of Covent Garden. Open seven days a week, the Ivy Market Grill provides the perfect setting for any occasion for you to experience a taste of Ivy magic. Sit at the bar and enjoy a range of bespoke cocktails such as The Ivy Royale, consisting of Hibiscus Gin, sloe infusion, rose water and The Ivy Champagne or a Garden of the Abbey, inspired by an English garden, consisting of Wyborowa vodka, elderflower cordial, cucumber, apple and lime and topped with Aspall cyder.
Known for their signature Grind Espresso Martini, the Covent Garden Grind on Maiden Lane offers all-day dining as well as innovative and experimental cocktails late into the evening. The recently refurnished and Instagrammable spot opens until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays; making it the perfect spot to catch up over a cocktail with friends.
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