London

The pace with which London bars and clubs go in and out of fashion is mind-boggling. New trends, likewise, emerge all time. In one somewhat recent development, the dreaded velvet rope has been usurped by the doorbell-ringing mystique of members-only drinking clubs. Some of the city's most talked-about nightlife spots these days are those attached to some of the best restaurants and hotels—no wonder, when you consider the increased popularity of London cuisine in international circles. Moreover, the gay scene in London is still going strong. One constant of the nightlife here is variety. The understated glamour of north London's Primrose Hill, which makes movie stars feel so at ease, might be considered dull by the übertrendy club goers of London's East End. Likewise, the price of a pint in Chelsea would be considered blasphemous by the musicians and poets of multicultural Peckham.

Whatever your pleasure, however your whim turns come evening, chances are you'll find what you're looking for in London's ever-changing arena of activity and invention.

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  • 1. American Bar

    St. James's

    Festooned with a chin-dropping array of old club ties, vintage celebrity-signed photographs, sporting mementos, model airplanes, and baseball caps, this sensational hotel cocktail bar has...Read More

  • 2. Pizza Express Jazz Club

    Soho

    One of the United Kingdom's most ubiquitous pizza chains also runs a leading jazz venue in Soho. Established in 1976, the dimly lit basement restaurant...Read More

  • 3. Prospect of Whitby

    East End

    Named after a collier ship, this is one of London's oldest riverside pubs, dating to around 1520. Although a regular for Dickens, Pepys, Samuel Johnson,...Read More

  • 4. Scarfes Bar

    Holborn

    Named after renowned London-born artist and caricaturist Gerald Scarfe (whose work adorns the walls), the Rosewood’s seductively glamorous bar is one part Edwardian gentleman's club...Read More

  • 5. sketch

    Mayfair

    One seat never looks like the next at this downright extraordinary collection of esoteric living-room bars off Savile Row. The exclusive Parlour, a patisserie during...Read More

  • 6. The Blackfriar

    City of London

    A step from Blackfriars Tube station, this spectacular pub has an Arts and Crafts interior that is entertainingly, satirically ecclesiastical, with inlaid mother-of-pearl, wood carvings,...Read More

  • 7. The Dove

    Hammersmith

    Read the list of famous ex-regulars, from Charles II and Nell Gwyn to Ernest Hemingway and Dylan Thomas, as you wait for a beer at...Read More

  • 8. The Holy Tavern

    Clerkenwell

    Loved by Londoners and owned by the well-respected St. Peter's Brewery in Suffolk, The Holy Tavern is one-of-a-kind: small, historic, atmospheric, and endearingly eccentric. Antique...Read More

  • 9. The Lamb & Flag

    Covent Garden

    This refreshingly ungentrified 17th-century pub was once known as "The Bucket of Blood" because the upstairs room and front yard were used as a ring...Read More

  • 10. Union Chapel

    Islington

    The beauty of this sublime old chapel and its impressive multicultural not-for-profit programming make this spot one of London's best musical venues, especially for acoustic...Read More

  • 11. Bloomsbury Tavern

    Holborn

    Located between the British Museum and the West End, this pretty Victorian-era pub and its stained-glass windows and varnished wooden floors and paneling is the...Read More

  • 12. Cutty Sark

    Greenwich | Bars/Pubs

    Take a break from Greenwich's cultural and historical attractions at this spacious riverside pub, which dates back to the late 1700s. Mismatched...Read More

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  • 13. Electric Diner

    Notting Hill

    A huge selection of bottled beers and quirky twists on classic cocktails are the big attractions at this bar and diner next to Notting Hill's...Read More

  • 14. Museum Tavern

    Bloomsbury

    Across the street from the British Museum in Bloomsbury, this friendly and classy Victorian pub makes an ideal resting place after the rigors of the...Read More

  • 15. Princess Louise

    Holborn

    This fine pub, popular with academics from the nearby British Museum and King's College London, is an exquisite museum piece of a Victorian interior, with...Read More

  • 16. The Bull and Last

    Highgate | Bars/Pubs

    A luxurious menu featuring dishes like roast venison and handmade ricotta and black cabbage ravioli makes this large corner pub a must for visitors...Read More

  • 17. The Cow

    Notting Hill

    This boho-chic Irish pub is all about the Guinness and the superb, if pricey, seafood. Whether you're in the unpretentious downstairs saloon bar or the...Read More

  • 18. The Craft Beer Co.

    Clerkenwell

    With 37 beers on tap and 350 more in bottles (one brewed exclusively for The Craft Beer Co.), the main problem here is knowing where...Read More

  • 19. The Dog and Duck

    Soho

    A beautiful example of a High Victorian pub, The Dog and Duck has a majestic interior overflowing with thousands of ornate glazed tiles, etched mirrors,...Read More

  • 20. The Harp

    Covent Garden

    This is the sort of friendly flower-decked locale you might find on some out-of-the-way backstreet, except that it's right in the middle of town, between...Read More

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