So the best place to drink whisky is probably in the middle of a peat bog in the Highlands. But if your bog options aren’t too plentiful (it’s January, so Clapham Common might still become an option) then you’re going to have to find somewhere a little less authentic. And so here are some of the perfect places to head for whisk(e)y.
The Connaught never fails to wow, making it one of our very favourite hotels in the world. And its whisky collection is no exception, spreading over five pages of their bar menu and equalling quantity with quality. The splendid surroundings are merely a bonus, and no surprise given it’s widely regarded as one of the best bars in the whole of London. If you don’t want to drink it neat, then their cocktails are a sure-fire thing too.
Where: Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Bond Street (0.5 miles)
Boisdale is more Scottish than Nicola Sturgeon downing Irn Bru with a traffic cone on her head. It really is the best known Scottish joint in town, and of course the perfect place to head if you’re on the whisky trail. The whisky bar at the Canary Wharf restaurant holds over 1,000 bottles of malt whisky making it one of the largest and best stocked whisky bars in the entire world.
Where: Cabot Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4QT, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Canary Wharf DLR Station (0 miles)
If it’s whiskey, rather than whisky, that you’re after (note the all important ‘E’ alerting your spell-check that you’ve skipped from Scottish whisky to Irish whiskey) then head to The Sun Tavern in Bethnal Green. The pub has a grand selection of whiskeys with an eclectic mix of bottles from major producers like Midleton, Cooley and Bushmills but also smaller and lesser-known producers. Away from whiskey they’ve also got an impressive line in Poitin, another Irish delicacy.
There’s nothing off-kilter at Scottish restaurant Mac & Wild. The Devonshire Square restaurant started life as a streetfood market stall, morphing into a popup sensation before finding its permanent home. And as you’d expect from a Scottish restaurant, it’s got a superb selection of whiskies.
The British and Irish don’t have the monopoly on whisk(e)y, as a visit to Salt Whisky Bar and Dining Room will demonstrate. They’ve got over 180 whiskies and they’re from all over, including as far afield as India, Japan and Taiwan and closer to home in the form of French and Welsh whiskies.
Black Rock is dominated by a massive tree trunk which replaces the bar as your primary source of alcohol. Stored inside channels cut into the 185 year old oak are whisky cocktails; head to the taps at the head of the ‘table’. If cocktails aren’t your thing then Black Rock’s 250 bottles of whiskies will see you right.
This Asian-inspired restaurant might not be the first place you’d expect to find a decent whisky collection, but you’d be wrong. The Shoreditch restaurant has over 100 Japanese and Scotch whiskies on-hand, which is great when then food menu is led by the whiskies, ensuring dishes match the earthy or smoky tastes in your glass.
So not as salubrious as, well, any of the above, and yet packing a whisky laden punch is The Britannia. Located in Southwark, close to Borough Station, the boozer boasts an unexpectedly impressive whisky collection.
The Bar at The Athenaeum is a great place to collapse after dinner at their infamous Galvin restaurnt with a glass of whisky in hand and a smile on your face. Which will happen as soon as you see the mass of whiskies behind the bar. Enjoy.
Where: 116 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7BJ, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner (0.4 miles)