Ever read a review of a bar that’s meant to be shit hot with a great atmosphere, the best signature tipples and a roof garden that’ll make you think you’re in the south of France, only to get there and be really bloody disappointed? Yep, even in the days of TripAdvisor it can be hard to figure out whether reviews are to be trusted.
But one way of determining whether a bar is really going to be your kinda scene is by watching tonnes of footage that shows what it’s like to actually be there. Of course footage can’t tell you what the cocktails are like, but is there really such a thing as a bad Margarita?
Armed with nothing but a Kodak Pixpro SP360 4K Dual Pro Pack, tripod and selfie stick, we checked out some of the most hyped bars around London to see what they were really like to drink in, socialise in and maybe even dance in. It’s a difficult job, but someone’s gotta do it, right?
You can now experience the bars in fully interactive, 360 degree tours, seeing exactly how the bars look on the inside.
Click on the images to follow through to the full 360 experience.
Ever get off the Tube at Liverpool Street station, look up and marvel at the swanky bar that’s at dizzying heights about your head? Well, that’s SUSHISAMBA. Perched up on the 38th and 39th floors of 110 Bishopsgate, the bar boasts a big selection of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine, culture, cocktails and music.
If that wasn’t enough to make you part with all your salary within a matter of minutes, the location is apparently the highest outdoor dining terrace in Europe. Marvel at the 360 degree views of the City while you drink a cocktail that probably costs more than some small countries. We highly recommend going here if you have a hot date you want to impress, fancy feeling a bit like James Bond or you’re an actual millionaire.
ADDRESS: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Alchemy was the ancient art (or ancient bullshit, it’s your call) of turning base metals into gold and the constant search for some kinda “elixir of life”. Unfortunately you’re not going to get that here, but you are going to get a bunch of science-y sounding cocktails that’ll get you suitably smashed. It’s one of those bars that feels more like an experience than just a way to drown your sorrows, which is always better in our books.
ADDRESS: 6 Bevis Marks, London EC3A 7BA
If you want to drink and relax, this is probably one of the best bets in the city. It’s moody, it’s romantic, it’s a bit art-deco and has these deep, curved booths that maybe, kinda, probably you could lay down in if you overdo it. Or cosy up to someone special, but laying down is more our thing. Just like SUSHISAMBA, you’ll also get a pretty damn good view of the city from this one too, so great if you want to wow someone who doesn’t venture into the capital much.
ADDRESS: 25 Old Broad St, London EC2N 1HQ
Wondering about that quirky name? Well, The Aeronaut celebrates Aviation pioneer George Lee Temple, who has the first dude to fly a plane upside down. “Why him?”, you ask. Well, Acton is where he was born. We’re not sure whether there’s something to be said for flying a plane upside down and the kind of hangover you’ll feel the morning after this place. But maybe that’s just us. It’s got good, wholesome food, beers that were brewed on-site and actual Circus shows sometimes too. You’ll never be left bored at this place.
ADDRESS: 264 High St, Acton W3 9BH
Sod going down to the local for a sad pint. If you want to drink and actually have fun rather than moan about stuff, then this rooftop space turned 1980s playground is for you. It’s like a Miami beach, but in the heart of Brixton with day and night parties, all kinds of street food to soak up the booze, immersive performances to keep you entertained and, of course, some of the most refreshing summer-themed cocktails we’ve sipped.
ADDRESS: Pope's Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8JH
The last place was modelled on a Miami Beach and this quirky-sounding bar is modelled on New York’s Grand Central Station. It has a breath-taking sculpted bar, a clock just like the one in Grand Central and, yes, its very own Eastern Pacific Steam Train Dining Carriages. It’ll have you very nearly believing you’re off on an adventure down the East Coast of the States rather than sat in the City surrounding by a load of suits.
ADDRESS: 147 Leadenhall St, London EC3V 4QT
Another option that takes your notions of having a quick drink to a whole new level. The Four Thieves has, drum roll please, a crazy golf course, table tennis, a remote control car racing track, arcade games and an in-house micro brewery (yep, that’s a thing). To top it all off, the bar is Cuban-themed and only a quick five minute amble from Clapham Junction Station.
ADDRESS: 51 Lavender Gardens, London SW11 1DJ
Just a few steps from Old Street tube, the Golden Bee ticks all of the boxes. Best in class cocktails, great music, buzzing (geddit?) atmosphere and a breath-taking rooftop bar. Monday nights are all about film screenings, which you can watch up on the terrace. If that’s anything better than movies outdoors, on a big screen, with bottomless popcorn and a cosy blanket thrown in then, well, we want to hear it. (It’s a trick question, there’s nothing better.)
ADDRESS: Singer St, London EC1V 9DD
Okay, before we go on The Bermondsey Arts Club was once a public lavatory. We just had to get that out of the way before we told you any more. Because some people are put off by drinking and lazing around in a urinal, whereas others are weirdly excited by it. If you fall into the second camp, you’re going to love this art deco-style cocktail bar and music venue in the heart of Southwark. It’s run by art school graduate George Garnier and even in London the cocktail menu stands out as being particularly creative.
ADDRESS: a102 Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 4TP
The Queen of Hoxton is a bit of a “thing” in the east end and that’s probably because a trip there often does make for a damn good night out. It’s a bar, nightclub, roof terrace, performance space, art gallery and, yes, has a pretty awesome cocktail list. If that doesn’t keep you entertained then nothing will.
ADDRESS: 1 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3JX