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. Amused Moose Comedy

    Soho

    This roving West End comedy-night group is often considered the best way to see new talent as well as established household names doing "secret" shows....Read More

  • 3. Artesian

    Fitzrovia

    They don't take reservations at this jewel box of a cocktail bar at The Langham hotel, but you can order a drink while you wait...Read More

  • 4. Bar Américain

    Soho

    The beaux-arts interior of this popular subterranean bar just north of Piccadilly Circus is so opulent that you'd be forgiven for thinking it had been...Read More

  • 5. Beach Blanket Babylon

    Notting Hill

    In a Victorian mansion house close to Portobello Market, this always-packed bar is distinguishable by its eclectic indoor-outdoor spaces with Gaudí-esque curves and snug corners—like...Read More

  • 6. Beaufort Bar

    Covent Garden

    Things could hardly get more glamorous than at the Savoy's lesser-known Beaufort Bar—a black-and-gold art deco master class with dramatic low lighting that has vintage...Read More

  • 7. EartH (Evolutionary Arts Hackney)

    Dalston

    East London’s coolest performing arts venue occupies two huge spaces (one standing, one with unallocated bench seating) in an old art deco movie theater. Original...Read More

  • 8. Experimental Cocktail Club

    Chinatown

    It's easy to miss the unmarked shabby-chic black door with a scuffed wash of red paint on Chinatown's hectic Gerrard Street, but once you find...Read More

  • 9. Gordon's Wine Bar

    Westminster

    Nab a rickety candlelit table in the atmospheric, 1890s, low-slung, brick-vaulted cellar interior of what claims to be the oldest wine bar in London, or...Read More

  • 10. Le Bar at Louie

    Covent Garden

    On any given night, ace jazz player Trombone Shorty might work his way through this beyond cool New Orleans voodoo cocktail lounge on the second...Read More

  • 11. 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

  • 12. Ronnie Scott's

    Soho

    Britain's most famous jazz club has attracted the biggest names—from Stan Getz to Ella Fitzgerald and Jimi Hendrix—since opening nearby on Gerrard Street in 1959...Read More

  • 13. 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

  • 14. The 100 Club

    Soho

    Since this legendary live music venue opened on Oxford Street in 1942, many of the greats have played here, from swing and jazz stars Glenn...Read More

  • 15. 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

  • 16. The Blind Pig

    Soho

    Chances are you won't have heard of half the ingredients on the cocktail menu at this dark and sultry bar above Social Eating House, famed...Read More

  • 17. The Coach & Horses

    Soho

    On the corner of Greek Street, Soho's most famous pub is as authentic as they come, complete with light oak screens and fittings, spittoon troughs,...Read More

  • 18. The Comedy Store

    Soho

    Before heading off to prime time, some of the United Kingdom's funniest stand-ups cut their teeth here, at what's considered the birthplace of alternative comedy...Read More

  • 19. The Connaught Bar

    Mayfair

    The walls are platinum silver leaf and everything's all buffed and burnished at this glamorous David Collins--designed 1920s cocktail lounge at The Connaught. Hail the...Read More

  • 20. 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

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