Life is a cabaret, old chum. And if that means lavishly wining and dining in London’s best bars with entertainment for the rest of our lives, it’s a lifestyle we’ll happily adopt.
Two of the best things about London are its world-class entertainment and brilliant bars. So when you combine the two? Well, that makes for something truly special. So come taste the wine, come hear the band, and read on for the best bars for drinks, a show, and some of the best entertainment experiences in London.
London’s Best Bars With Entertainment
With a stellar line up of serenading jazzy pianists, crooners singing in harmony, and DJs spinning the sounds of a bygone era ’til the early hours, Cahoots is the best place for unforgettable 1940s era entertainment in London.
Their swing dance experts also host a regular roster of spiffingly good dance lessons for those of you keen to learn the art of a good ol’ 40s knees-up.
Satisfying all your Latin party needs in one place, shimmy on over to INCA London and you’ll uncover a haven of food, cocktails, and of course, exceptional entertainment.
Expect to tuck into a South American fusion menu while acrobats, contortionists and dancers take to the stage.
With exquisite Chinese dining, stunning interiors and extraordinary live shows – a list of theatrical bars in London wouldn’t be complete without Park Chinois, Mayfair’s most luxurious Asian restaurant. Spread across two floors, you’ll find the intimate Salon de Chine on the ground floor, serving exquisite drinks with live music from the house band.
Meanwhile down the spiral staircase, Club Chinois is home to a glamorous low-lit dining room and extraordinary live show with acrobats and burlesque dancers. From chef to show – this is what experiential dining is all about.
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Mamma Mia! The Party
Journey to the island of Skopelos as dinner at Nikos Taverna turns into a fabulous disco! As you are welcomed to the beautiful Greek island of Skopelos, a love story starts to unfold around you, and a delicious four-course meal is served with a side of drama.
After the sun has set, desserts have been served and the drinks are flowing, thr beautiful town square transforms into a fabulous disco. Expect a glittering finale, packed with all the ABBA classics and a chance to party your way into the night.
Why eat dinner before a show when you can eat it at the show itself? Especially when that show is at Proud. Book into the likes of Cabaret All-Stars and enjoy performances from an award-winning line-up of performers, and tuck into a delicious three–course dining experience with a welcome prosecco on arrival.
Tickets start from just £34pp and include a show, three-course meal and glass of prosecco. But if you really want the full VIP experience, opt for the Chef’s Table ticket. For £249pp you’ll get a show, a handcrafted 10-dish tasting menu, 6 glasses of carefully selected wines and a welcome glass of champagne on arrival.
Where: Embankment / City Of London
Cecil Beaton Bar at The Lane
Bringing entertainment, dining, drinking, art & culture all together in one place is The Cecil Beaton Bar, nestled within the newly restored Theatre Royal Drury Lane. Dressed in plush furnishings and décor as daring and different as Cecil Beaton himself, Cecil’s at The Lane provides the perfect backdrop for a glamorous night at the theatre.
Stop by for a tipple on your way to see resident show Frozen The Musical, or settle in for the entire evening sampling beautifully crafted cocktails from award-winning cocktail connoisseur Tristan Stephenson. While you’re there, be sure to try their signature cocktail, the Eliza Doolittle – a combination of No3 Gin, White Port, Creme De Violet, Lemon Juice and Franklin & Sons Soda.
Phoenix Arts Club
See London’s musical theatre cultural scene at its finest at one of the best theatrical bars in town, the Phoenix Arts Club.
Multi-award-winning and independently owned, the Phoenix is bursting with shows to choose from – from cabaret and comedy, to drag, burlesque and LGBTQ+ entertainment. It’s the perfect spot to spend an evening, or just pop in for a quick pre or post-theatre drink, but be warned – once you go, it’s hard to want to leave.
Tucked away beneath the Phoenix Theatre (the bar used to be the theatre’s dressing rooms back in the day) this place is fully immersed in the history of the West End. The walls are lined with theatre memorabilia from shows past, and it would be safe to say that every West End star that’s ever been has visited (the cast of Kinky Boots even showed up at my birthday celebrations a few years back…).
Creative, cultured, and a whole lot of fun – from someone who’s spent countless nights at this club, I can truly say it’s one of the best nights out in London.
Where: 1 Phoenix St, London WC2H 8BU
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With its a speakeasy-style subterranean bar and dimly lit corners, Nightjar is the perfect date night spot for cocktails, rare spirits and live jazz and blues. Alongside an incredible cocktail menu, it also serves up an extensive spirit list, including vintage spirits and a nightly schedule of the very best vintage jazz, blues, ragtime, funk and swing that London has to offer.
One of London’s most charming bars with entertainment for pre and post-theatre cocktails, or drinks with the main act.
If you’re not familiar with this luxurious drinking den, you’re in for a treat on your first visit. It’s one of the most beautiful bars we’ve ever seen, where a dazzling disco ball is the star of the show, hanging above plush sofas, interesting artwork and fabulously flamboyant interiors.
Head down on a Thursday night and you’ll be treated to live music by the Cash Cows – think two charming gents with an acoustic guitar and double bass, playing reworked versions of everything from Hound Dog to Hit Me Baby One More Time. We really rate an evening’s entertainment here.
The Ned draws in the crowds with its stunning surroundings and impressive offering of ten restaurants to choose from. But it’s equally impressive to just pop in for a drink at The Nickel Bar. With a stage that’s positioned right in the middle of the venue, it’s a charming spot to grab a cocktail or glass of champagne and take it the incredible surroundings, to a soundtrack of live music – from jazz trios to pianists.
There’s also regular live music in the cosy Library Bar should you fancy a change of (stunning) scenery.
Circus Restaurant is renowned for its outrageous pop-up Circus performances that infuse the night with magic and amazement. Contortionists on a disco ball, aerialists spinning in suspended hoops and burlesque dancers eating fire are just some of what you might see at this Covent Garden hotspot. And with different performances popping up every night, you’re guaranteed to want to come back and see more.
Meanwhile, the cocktails are just as sensational as the show, with signatures including the aromatic Kami Martini, with Reyka Iceland Vodka, Apricot, Herbal Vermouth and Hendricks Absinthe, and the fizzy Upside Cloud, made with Champagne, Eucalyptus Spray and Tropical Cider. Yum!
Where: 27-29 Endell Street, London WC2H 9BA
London Cabaret Club
Don your most fabulous dress, because we’re shimmying over to London Cabaret Club to indulge in a night of unforgettable entertainment – dining from seasonal set menus and immersing yourself in world-class performances featuring stars from London’s West End, dazzling choreography and stunning costumes.
Until the 26th February, you can step back in time to their “All About Gatsby” show, an immersive adaption of Scott Fitzgerald’s novel that puts you right in the centre of the action. With champagne flowing, music playing and a mysterious millionaire who’s invited you to the most extravagant evening in town – expect a night of mystery, scandals and dazzling immersive performances unfolding around you.
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You asked for a show, and Archer Street will give you one. A hidden gem in heart of Soho, the team behind this cocktail bar are all professional performers from West End shows and professional theatre, who’ll occasionally hop up on a table and burst into a rendition of your favourite songs.
This bar is one you stumble upon and pop in for a casual post-theatre cocktail, but leave blown away at the high-energy entertainment you really weren’t expecting to see. A delightful little find right in the heart of theatreland and one that must be experienced.
Where: 3-4 Archer St, London W1D 7AP
When you’re searching for an art-deco kind of evening, you’re guaranteed to find it if you head to Ricco Lounge. With international artists on Thursdays, jazz and soul on Fridays and cabaret shows every Saturday night, it’s the perfect place to pop into for a cultured night of immersive entertainment.
And if you’re in the market for comedy, then look out for their live comedy nights coming every Wednesday from February too! It’s everything creative and cultured under one roof.
Amazonico’s high-energy space The Bar & Lounge, combines a vibrant atmosphere with spectacular views of their vast open kitchen and unique music that will transport you to Latin America. Enjoy sipping on specialist cocktails while the dining room’s resident house bands serenade the restaurant with jazz, bossa nova and swing every single night. Surrounded by rainforest-inspired lush greenery and natural materials, sit back, settle in, and fully immerse yourself in a tropical experience like no other.
If you’re really, really lucky, you may even get an invite to the secret spot located underneath the restaurant, behind a discreet doorway. At the bottom of golden-clad stairs is the jewel in the crown of Amazónico and London’s best kept secret, The Club. The space is invite only – with no membership and no way to request or guarantee access, this is one of London’s most exclusive spaces.
Where: 10 Berkeley Square, London W1J 6BR