We all love a drink but when a good night means forking out the price of a new winter wardrobe we have to question things. Enter the humble happy hour; most places have them but we don’t always know about them (or remember when they’re on), so when you want to get more tipple for your tenner, hunt down the bars below and enjoy unlimited Prosecco, 2-4-1 cocktails and spirit and mixer for just £2.50. You may just forget you’re in central London. Oh, and Saturday is National Happy Hour Day so what better reason to hit the bar?
The Jones Family Project Restaurant & Bar
Old Street (0.2 miles)
What: All Play and No Work
Why: Now, just because a bar offers happy hour doesn’t mean they expect you to get off-your-trolley drunk. The Jones Family Project has plug sockets under each bar table so you can work from your laptop (or charge your phone if you’re not feeling too productive). Thirsty bar guests can enjoy selective blends and cocktails for just a newly designed fiver from Monday to Saturday between 5 and 7pm.
Where: 78 Great Eastern Street Shoreditch EC2A 3JL
Clarendon Cocktail Cellar
What: Film-Inspired Cocktails
Why: Tucked away beneath Artist Residence, Clarendon Cocktail Cellar is a hidden gem, not to mention drinking den. The new menu is inspired by cult movies and comes in the form of movie posters printed onto round coasters. The Kill Bill is made up of vodka, sake, ginger, lemon and bitters and the Titanic an epic mix of rose (clever), Plymouth Gin (nautical), Dry Vermouth, hibiscus, sea salt, iceberg, lemon and soda. Bet you can sink it quickly. With a whole new drinks menu, 5 select drinks will be just £7.50 every day, from 5-7pm – The Titanic, The Slumdog and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo included. Also, a bartenders choice will be on the menu, changing weekly.
Where: 52 Cambridge Street, Pimlico, SW1V 4QQ
What: Retro Bar with Insanely Low Prices
Why: Simmons’ happy hour isn’t just any old happy hour, it is four happy hours. Yes, that’s right – their happy hour lasts from 5-9pm everyday excluding Saturday. It’s not only this that makes it so great, it’s also their unbelievably low prices… £2.50, aka pocket change, will get you a spirit and mixer, a bottle of beer or a glass of wine. Fancy splashing out? £10 will get you a bottle of wine, or two cocktails, £15 will get you a cocktail teapot and £16 will get you a bottle of Prosecco. For the retro gamers out there, there’s a SEGA Megadrive available to play but we reckon, after making the most of the happy hour you’ll be on the dancefloor, throwing shapes instead.
Where: 32 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, N1 9DT
What: Home of the 'Amigo Hour'
Why: When the venue itself announces they are home of the ‘amigo hour’ you know you can never expect to pay full price for a drink. Running daily until 8pm and all day Sunday and Monday, Barrio’s flagship cocktail bar has temptations like Wonky Donkey, Casco Viejo tequila, elderflower, ginger, lime, lengthened with soda, and Gingerbread Colada, Santa Teresa Gran Reserva rum with pineapple and coconut. Selected cocktails are just £5.50, bottles of beer £3.50 and house bottles of wine just £5.
Where: 141-143 Shoreditch High St, E1 6JE
What: Putney’s Favourite Cocktail Bar
Why: Tequila is a guarantor for a great night out (but not such a great morning after). Visit Putney’s Tequila Mockingbird between 5 and 9pm any day and that great night will be fast tracked with their 2-4-1 cocktail deal. If you’d rather steer clear of tequila – don’t worry, we’ve all had those nights – the cocktail menu has all the classics as well as drinks unique to the bar. Cocktails wiliest you back just £8.50, martinis £9, and specials £10. At those prices, you can’t go wrong… Or can you?!
Where: 12 High Street, Putney, SW15 1SL
The London Cocktail Club
What: Tinder Tuesdays
Why: Most people think ‘London Cocktail Club’ and think drinks in baked beans cans, pot noodle tubs and sharing punches in BBQs but next time you think of it you can add ‘happy hour’ to the mix. Although the exact details across the 7 bars vary, think 2 for £12 cocktails all night on Monday (Sunday in Bethnal Green) and 4.30-7pm the rest of the week (5-8pm at Islington, Shoreditch and Bethnal Green). Basically, visit early evening and you’ll be fine, and if you visit LCC Islington on Tuesday you’ll find yourself in Tinder Tuesdays; 2 for £12 cocktails all night long and, if you are actually on a date, icebreaker shots on the house.
Where: Across London
What: Elegant Dining and Affordable Cocktails
Why: A perfect spot for those of you with a penchant for elegant dining and great cocktails; Villandry St James’s serves up Mediterranean food in a beautiful Edwardian dining room whilst offering views of Big Ben – all this and the cocktails are just £6. The happy hour is from 5-8pm from Monday to Saturday, coinciding with dinner service so you can kill two birds with one stone. If you’re nearer the Great Portland Street restaurant on a Friday night, dive in – dine a la carte and you can add unlimited Prosecco for just £18 per person or beer for £15.
Where: 12 Waterloo Place, St. James’s, SW1Y 4AU
What: The Longest Happy Hour, The Longest Drink Menu
Why: The bar with the longest happy hour on our list, Clapham’s Dirty Martini’s happy hour lasts from Monday to Thursday 4-10pm, Friday 4-9pm, Saturday 3-8pm and Sunday all day with their drinks half price. The cocktail menu is massive – every type of martini imaginable – so don’t worry if you suffer from choice paralysis, you’ll have all that time to sample as many as you like (or can justify for a Sunday). Soak up the alcohol with the tempting food menu including tiger prawn skewers, halloumi kebabs and mac ‘n’ cheese bites. With a happy hour that long and a cocktail menu that expansive, it would be rude not to.
Where: Mayfair and Clapham