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 the 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.
The long-awaited opening of SUSHISAMBA in late 2018 was one for ages, Brazil had arrived at Covent Garden in true samba style. Walking into the decadent restaurant above the Market Building in an Instagram picture waiting to happen with an incredible painted staircase making way to an urban jungle wrapped around jewel toned seating.
The bar greets you as you walk in and is the perfect place for a pre or post-show drink, a catch up with friends or a destination to impress a date. Sip on signatures like their Sake Spritz or Little Pedro whilst snacking on green bean tempura and take in the sights of the Piazza below. Every month they have a different SAMBATINI, the perfect excuse to keep going back again and again.
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.
From Miami to Covent Garden comes Buns&Buns, which from the name you might this place is all carbs and no cocktails but you would be very wrong. Sat right in the heart of the Market Building this cool and casual restaurant has a striking bar in the centre where you can perch, enjoy a bun or two and sip on cocktails all the while having a prime spot for people watching.
Enjoy a Lychee Martini whilst snacking on a lobster roll and enjoy the Miami way of life in Covent Garden thanks to Buns&Buns.
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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